As people fly off on holiday for half term or begin planning their summer travels, airports up and down the country are doing more than ever to help people with hidden disabilities.
In Essex, London Stansted and London Southend Airports both have schemes which support people who have a disability that might not be immediately apparent to others, but for whom travelling in an unfamiliar, busy environment can be overwhelming.
At Stansted, a Sunflower lanyard or floret, discreetly indicates to staff that a passenger would like additional support. In Southend, a blue wristband performs a similar function. The wristbands and lanyards are free and are available in the terminal buildings.
People who have used the service include those with sensory impairments, autism, dementia or anxiety. In fact, at Stansted, they have a Special Flyer Autism Awareness Scheme which entitles the person needing assistance – and up to three members of their immediate family – access to services which ease their passage through the airport, especially when it is very busy.