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Inclusive Air Travel: The Arc’s Wings Initiative

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Wings for Autism event at an airport. The Arc

Our Commitment To Accessibility

At The Arc, we know how difficult it can be for people with autism and intellectual/developmental disabilities (IDD) to navigate the complexities of air travel. The change in routine, noise, unfamiliar surroundings, and crowds can cause meltdowns, shutdowns, and distress. What’s worse, people with IDD are often misunderstood and flagged by TSA agents for suspicious behavior. That’s why we created the The Arc’s Wings for Autism®/Wings for All® (Wings) program, a cornerstone of our mission to make every aspect of society more accessible and inclusive.

Our Program: Pioneering Inclusive Travel Experiences

The Arc’s Wings for Autism®/Wings for All® (Wings) is more than just an initiative; it’s a commitment to transforming air travel into a stress-free, accessible experience and opening the doors of the world to people with autism and IDD. 

Through simulated airport rehearsals, we offer a hands-on approach to demystify the air travel process, preparing families for real-life adventures.

Elevating Service Standards and Boosting Customer Satisfaction

By engaging with Wings, airports, and airlines not only gain invaluable insights into refining their services but also empower their staff with the knowledge and skills to offer compassionate, informed support to travelers. This empowerment leads to a more empathetic, efficient, and inclusive travel environment, enhancing overall customer satisfaction and positioning participating airports and airlines as leaders in accessibility and customer care. We take pride in setting new standards for inclusivity in the aviation industry.

Building A More Inclusive World

Wings extends its influence beyond airport terminals; it’s a catalyst for societal change. We champion the cause of inclusivity, ensuring that air travel is accessible to everyone, and inspire industry-wide change towards universally accessible air travel.

Our success is built on collaboration. By partnering with airports, airlines, and TSA professionals, we create a supportive and educational environment for both families and aviation staff. This teamwork is essential in driving positive change and enhancing travel experiences.

Airline Allies in Accessibility

Since the inception of the Wings program in 2014, we have had the privilege of collaborating with a diverse group of airlines, each contributing uniquely to the success and reach of our initiatives. Our partnerships span across the aviation industry, including:

  • Alaska Airlines
  • Allegiant Air
  • American Airlines
  • Delta Air Lines
  • Envoy Air
  • ExpressJet Airlines
  • GoJet Airlines (part of United Airlines)
  • Hawaiian Airlines
  • Horizon Air
  • JetBlue Airways
  • JSX (formerly JetSuiteX)
  • Mesa Airlines
  • PSA Airlines
  • Republic Airways (subsidiary of American Airlines)
  • SkyWest Airlines
  • Southwest Airlines
  • Spirit Airlines
  • United Airlines

It’s important to note that while some of these collaborations have been ongoing, others were specific to singular events or periods. For instance, our work with Hawaiian Airlines was for a one-time event, reflecting the dynamic nature of our partnerships. Regardless of the duration or frequency of these collaborations, each airline has played a crucial role in advancing our mission of making air travel accessible to all.

Join Us: Be Part Of The Change

Our success is built on collaboration. By partnering with airports, airlines, and TSA professionals, we create a supportive and educational environment for both families and aviation staff. This teamwork is essential in driving positive change and enhancing travel experiences.

We invite airports and airlines to collaborate with us in the Wings program. Together, we can create a travel environment that celebrates diversity and promotes inclusivity.

For more information, visit our website.

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