May 21, 2012

Wings For Autism Takes Flight For Third Year

On Saturday, our third Wings for Autism event took place at our Boston station and close to 500 participants turned out. For many families, this was the first time they stepped inside an airport—let alone board a plane—since welcoming an autistic child into their family; that meant 15 or more years for some people. Since airports can be intimidating for children with disabilities, some parents feel limited in their travel options and saw Wings for Autism as an opportunity to work through the challenges.

The Wings for Autism event was created to offer a safe environment for families to practice traveling with an autistic child, and be surrounded by others in similar situations. By getting comfortable with the airport and flight experience (without actually leaving the airport!), both parents and their children with special needs could gain the familiarity and confidence needed to fly for real when the time comes. Here’s what was practiced:

  • The check-in process
  • TSA screening
  • Boarding
  • Preparing for take-off
  • Deplaning

The families also received a safety briefing and toured the flight deck with our Captains and First Officers!


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3 Comments on “Wings For Autism Takes Flight For Third Year”

  • Posted by Russell Hornig-Rohan on May 23, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    My name is Rusty. I am the database and spreadsheets manager for The Global Autism Project. I am an adult with autism. I am twenty-six almost twenty-seven. I found this article interesting because a lot of airports have travel training programs for people on the autism spectrum to fly independently. I also found this article interesting because my mom taught me how to travel on airplanes alone so that I could navigate airports all by myself. I want to let all of the families here know about The Paddle. The Paddle gives people and their friends and families a chance to go kayaking; many of them for the first times in their lives. We always need new volunteers. The Paddle for Autism Awareness is taking place on Saturday August 4th from 9:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. at Valentino Park on Coffey Street and Van Brunt Street in Red Hook, Brooklyn.

  • Posted by Mayra on May 24, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    My Hats of to you Jet Blue, what a considerate event for those families. Great Idea.

  • Posted by Ken C. on October 1, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    I appreciate any and all efforts of Autism awareness or helping those families burdened by this epidemic. I thank JetBlue for doing both. But as a JetBlue Crewmember with a son who is autistic, non-verbal, epileptic, and ADHD, most of my expenses go towards my son’s autism.

    Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is the one proven method to help the autistic child cope and participate in the world around him. Supporting “Wings for Autism” or offering an Autism Awareness blurb in a corporate daily email is certainly nice, but it is also window dressing. JetBlue could do so much more by offering an Austism Rider to their health insurance plans.

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