However, for those with the challenges of Autism, flying can bring about a level of stress that most of us simply can’t understand.
Since 2008, the airport has worked to make sure that stress is removed from the equation through our partnership with the Transportation Security Administration and training from the Autism Society of North Carolina.
RDU’s Guest Services team was contacted back then by a family with two young boys who were both on the Autism spectrum. After learning what the family’s concerns were, our staff arranged to meet the family ahead of their flight and do a walkthrough of the terminal.
Of particular concern was the security screening process and crowds around the gate area. During the walkthrough, the family had the opportunity to experience the security checkpoint without the stress of making a flight.
Afterwards, they spent time on the terminal concourse to become familiar with the flow of passengers and the boarding process.
The experience was a huge success. Afterwards, the Guest Services team began offering similar one-on-one familiarization tours on a regular basis through its partnership with the Autism Society of North Carolina.
By appointment, our Guest Services staff takes those with Autism and their family members on a simulated run through the check-in and security process and through the concourse to their gate.
In addition, Guest Services Staff acts as a liaison between families and airlines and TSA to address any specific issues or concerns particular to each family’s situation.
To learn more about this service, or to schedule an appointment, contact Guest Services Supervisor Patty Rossi at (919) 840-7426.