Did you know that some airlines will accommodate for Special Needs travelers? Some of the websites will show accommodations for those with physical disabilities, some also state Autism,but, I have found that when you call, all special needs can be requested and that each airline may offer steps to help.
After looking into the major airline carriers,I found many will provide for families with children with special needs. The recurring theme is that you need to calling when booking, and be sure to ask. Not all info is on the website. If your airline of choice is not here, call and ask.
With Holidays not to far away, this info may be helpful in any families looking to make their air travel a little more comfortable.
1. American Airlines
AA has pre-boarding for those with autism and will include any travelers accompanying them. AA can help customers with cognitive and developmental disabilities get on and off the plane and get to a connecting flight. Customers who need personal or continuous care or who are unable to follow safety instructions must travel with a safety assistant.
You can have reserved priority seating with a disability. Although the website does not offer all info on site, you can get more and set up for your flight with a phone call. Us Air has merged with American Airlines.
When checking the website, it does not offer a lot of info. Upon calling and speaking to a representative, you are told that individuals with special needs can pre-board. Seating is assigned when booking flights. The Delta Airline personnel will let the gate staff know in advance that a person with special needs will be on the flight. Let the flight crew know about any special needs when you board the plane.
3. Southwest Airlines
Southwest will also offer pre-boarding with passengers for special needs. Stated on the airline website is that passengers requiring pre-boarding should arrive at the gate forty-five minutes before departure. The website does not list any information pertaining specifically to passengers with special needs. You will need to call.
JetBlue offers what they refer to as ‘silent boarding’ prior to the pre-boarding process to give passengers with disabilities time to settle in and get used to their surroundings before the other passengers board. Their website gives specific information for passengers with cognitive disabilities .
Jet Blue suggests you contact the airline 24 hours before your flight to make any special requests. Children with special needs and their families can explore an empty, parked plane to familiarize them with the boarding process.
Virgin also offers pre-boarding for passengers with autism and their families, and may allow them to tour the plane prior to boarding, travelers must inform a flight agent when arriving at the airport. The website gives no specific information for passengers with autism, however, when in the air, the airline will always seat children with autism next to their parents. Inform the airline well in advance of any requested accommodations.
United also offer pre-boarding for passengers with special needs and includes their families.
Their website states that they maintain a strong relationship with numerous disability organizations throughout the country.
7. Spirit Airlines
Spirit Airlines is committed to assisting our customers who require special help. We want your flying experience to be comfortable and enjoyable. To provide advance notice of any needs you may have, you can add them to your reservation through the Manage Travel section of our website.
Though giving advanced notice is helpful, please be sure to alert our station agents of any disability accommodations you may require. We will do our best to meet your individual needs.
These are the top airlines I found info on, there are many other airlines that travel across the US & the world, when looking into your travel plans, always ask and see what the carrier does for special needs. Calling instead of booking on the web will allow for more effective planning.