Over the weekend, the fifth Wings for Autism took place at Logan airport. The event began in May 2011, and our airline hasn’t missed one opportunity to get involved in this unique program. Each year, we partner with Massport, TSA, and other airlines to practice the airport experience with families of autistic children.
From checking in at the ticket counter and going through security to the boarding process, these moms and dads have the opportunity to show their autistic child firsthand every step of travel. Familiarizing the children, who are often scared of an airport’s hustle and bustle, reduces stress on the actual day of their journey. For the event, we opened up one of our A320 aircraft, giving the children a feel for sitting on a plane, fastening a seatbelt, and being served by an inflight crewmember. No aircraft on-the-ground experience would be complete without a peak inside the cockpit, and our volunteer pilots welcomed the children inside their world.
Since 2011, we’ve helped 1,500 families get comfortable with traveling with an autistic child, and this year alone saw more than 300 families in attendance. The next event will take place in November – stay tuned for details.