flair becomes canada’s first certified autism aware airline
Flair’s cabin-crew members successfully completed the certification course conducted by Connecticut-based Autism Double-Checked: The course is designed to prepare flight attendants to recognize and cater to the special needs of autistic guests as well as to help prepare the autistic guest for the air travel experience.
In North America, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) affects approximately one in 58 children. Research has shown that families with an autistic child are significantly less likely to take vacations for fear of how their child will react when confronted with the many unfamiliar and daunting challenges represented by crowded airports, airplanes and hotels.
Flair’s Executive Chairman, David Tait commented, “This is a ‘first’ of which we are very proud. Our crews were very excited to participate in this training and look forward to easing some of the rigours of air travel for families with autistic children.”
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Autism Aviators Take Flight
In cooperation with Edmonton International Airport (EIA), CATSA, Autism Edmonton and Autism Double-Checked, Flair hosted a trial boarding event at EIA in June, 2019.
Families with autistic children were invited to experience every phase of the airport experience: checking in, clearing security, waiting at the gate, boarding, finding your seat and fastening a seat belt. The standard onboard announcements will be made followed by the deplaning and arrival process. Tait added, “These are things we all learn to tolerate when travelling, for an autistic child however they can be frighteningly intimidating. Knowing the airline understands special needs and events like these ‘flights-to-nowhere’ greatly diminishes that fear of the unknown when the family goes on a trip.”
We have plans to continue helping to familiarize families with the travel experience on the ground and in the plane. Stay tuned for future events in our airports across Canada.