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‘Autism in Flight’ at Fort Lauderdale Airport takes off with continued support from Delaware North

The Delaware North Travel team at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) recently supported the “Autism in Flight” program, which gives children with autism and their families the chance to participate in a simulated flight experience.

Approximately 50 students arrived at the airport on April 17, ready to board a mock flight to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. After weeks of classroom instruction focused on airport travel, the students and their families walked through a full airport experience, including check-in, security with TSA, boarding, a taxiway ride on the tarmac, a water salute on the return to the gate and picking up a “bag” at baggage claim.

By familiarizing themselves with the airport process, participants and their families can approach travel with confidence and calmness, while airport and airline staff also benefit from understanding the unique needs of individuals with autism.

Originating at FLL in 2013, the program is in collaboration with Broward County Public Schools (BCPS), JetBlue, the TSA and Broward County Sheriff’s Office. Delaware North generously contributes food and beverages for both students and parents, demonstrating steadfast support since the program’s inception.