ITA Airways Cares for Autism air travel becomes easier
Getting to the airport, finding oneself in large and noisy spaces, boarding an air plane are seemingly simple things, but for persons with autism they can be moments of discomfort.
In such cases, being aware and in control of the situation can make all the difference!
The initiative is part of the broader ENAC project “Autism - Traveling through the Airport.” ITA Airways is the first airline to join, in partnership with the ANGSA association (Associazione Nazionale Genitori perSone Autistiche - National Association of Parents of Autistic People), with the aim of helping people with autism to live serenely a unique experience such as traveling by air, in every moment.
ITA Airways makes its cabin simulator located in Rome Fiumicino Airport available free of charge to autistic people in order for them to experience the thrill of flying and become familiar with a new environment. Because flying is a wonderful experience, but it can be a real discomfort if not properly prepared.
What does it mean to become familiar with the journey?
- to realistically experience the feeling of flying on the ITA Airways simulator assisted by a real flight crew who will explain take-off, cruise and landing operations
- getting used to being in the plane, the cabin, the service and announcements on board, the noise.
- to become familiar with the control and security procedures and boarding locations in order to arrive on the day of departure calm and safe.
Useful things to know:
- On the day of the simulation, the future passenger and any accompanying person must bring:
o A valid identification document (passport or identity card)
o a cabin trolley
- Reception, gate and in-flight welcome and familiarization boarding procedures will be followed by ITA Airways qualified staff, who will be properly sensitized by ANGSA on autism issues.
- A snack and a drink will be provided during the flight simulation (any allergies or intolerances and/or food selectivity must be reported during registration)
- A parking space will be reserved for participants at the P18 parking lot (click here for map)
The next sessions on board the cabin simulator at the ITA Airways Training Center (ADR building) in Via Pier Paolo Racchetti in the technical area of Fiumicino airport (click here for the map) will be held on the following days:
- December 16, 2022 at 5.30pm
- January 20, 2023 at 5:00 pm
- February 24, 2023 at 5:00 pm
- March 24, 2023 at 5:00 pm
At the end of the experience, each participant will receive a "READY TO FLY" flight familiarization certificate.
The moment of departure has arrived! Exclusively on flights operated by ITA Airways*, the Airline is making a personalized assistance service available free of charge to autistic people and their travel companions in order to guide and accompany them through all stages of the journey, from the purchase of tickets to the flight experience and baggage claim at their destination.
Travelers can enjoy the following services:
- Dedicated number for special assistance
- Priority check-in
- Dedicated escort (only participating airports)
- Free Fast Track (only participating airports)
- Amica Lounge (only participating airports)
- Priority boarding
- Dedicated seat in the front rows
- Priority baggage claim
You can book the service - no later than 48 hours before the flight - by calling:
- The Customer Center di ITA Airways using the number 877 793 1717 (Special Assistance) available from Italy
- The travel agent with whom you made the booking
ITA Airways will make reasonable efforts to accommodate passengers requiring such assistance who fail to make reservations for such services at least 48 hours in advance or fail to meet these advance check-in requirements, if such accommodation does not delay the flight.
Autistic persons traveling alone must fill out Form A “Information for customers who require a special assistance”, duly signed by the traveler, or delegated person. The form must be printed and carried throughout the journey as it is required to present it at airport check points.
The airports that have joined the initiative:
- BARI AIRPORT Palese Macchie (BRI)
- BRINDISI AIRPORT O. Perozzi (BDS)
- GENOA AIRPORT Cristoforo Colombo (GOA)
- BOLOGNA AIRPORT Guglielmo Marconi (BLQ)
- NAPLES AIRPORT Capodichino (NAP)
- CATANIA AIRPORT Fontanarossa (CTA)
- VENICE AIRPORT Marco Polo (VCE)
- TRIESTE AIRPORT Ronchi dei Legionari (TRS)
- TURIN AIRPORT Torino Caselle (TRN)
- OLBIA AIRPORT Costa Smeralda (OLB)
- ALGHERO AIRPORT Fertilia (AHO)
- PALERMO AIRPORT Falcone e Borsellino (PMO)
- CAGLIARI AIRPORT Mario Mameli di Elmas (CAG)
- ROME FIUMICINO AIRPORT Leonardo Da Vinci (FCO)
- MILAN MALPENSA AIRPORT (MXP)
- MILAN LINATE AIRPORT Enrico Forlanini (LIN)
- Amsterdam-Schiphol Airport (AMS)
- Athens International Airport (ATH)
- Barcelona El Prat Airport (BCN)
- Madrid-Barajas Airport (MAD)
- Düsseldorf Airport (DUS)
- Frankfurt Airport (FRA)
- Munich Airport (MUC)
- New York Airport - John Fitzgerald Kennedy International (JFK)
- London Heathrow Airport (LHR)
- Malta International Airport (MLA)
*In case you have an itinerary which includes other airlines, please verify with the Customer Center all available services