ANA and LA Airports Partner to Host Autism Flight Experience

The event was meant to help individuals with autism and their families acclimate to the airport and a typical flight experience By: Emma Weissmann
ANA recently participated in an autism-friendly program. // © 2017 iStock
ANA recently participated in an autism-friendly program. // © 2017 iStock

The Details

All Nippon Airways

Los Angeles World Airports

Los Angeles World Airports’ (LAWA) Office of the Coordinator for Disabled Services recently partnered with All Nippon Airways (ANA) to host a daylong program geared toward people with autism and their families. The experience, which took place at LAX’s Tom Bradley International Terminal, aimed to help these individuals familiarize themselves with both the airport environment and a typical flight experience onboard an ANA Boeing 777.

Why It Matters:
Although ANA is not the first supplier to offer autism-friendly programs — Royal Caribbean International prides itself on its fleet of autism-friendly ships, for example — it is the first international airline to participate in LAWA’s initiative, showing its commitment to catering to an often underserved segment of travelers. Other suppliers — and agents — should take note and consider how they can better accommodate clients with special needs.

Fast Facts:
- LAWA also has a Voluntary Autism Self Identification Program with travelers with autism, which is helmed by LAWA, members of the airport community and families at LeRoy Haynes Center.

- Attendees participated in the security screening process, traveled through the terminal to their gate and boarded a stationary Boeing 777 aircraft.

- The event took place Saturday, Feb. 25.

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