The program will be implemented in two phases; The second phase will add quiet rooms and an airport safari tour
Dubai Airports is introducing a comprehensive new program to ensure a seamless travel experience for all People of Determination (POD) with hidden disabilities traveling via Dubai International (DXB). Launching in two phases over two years, the new program will bring together service partners from across DXB to improve the travel experience for passengers with autism, chronic fatigue syndrome and PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).
To incorporate recognizable and accessible options for POD travelers, Dubai Airports will introduce a trip planner for travel preparation and an autism-friendly route. Travelers are given a prioritized route through check-in, passport control, security and boarding, which can be used while wearing the sunflower lanyard. A globally recognized symbol of a hidden disability, these lanyards can be worn by anyone who may need additional assistance.
“Specially trained personnel equipped to assist POD travelers will be easily identifiable by wearing sunflower lapel pins, allowing for increased visibility, communication and assistance throughout the airport journey,” the airport operator said.
As part of the program, an awareness campaign will be conducted to raise awareness of autism, particularly in relation to socially acceptable language and empathy. Key training materials are distributed to all airport entities to ensure POD travelers receive consistent support and a positive customer experience. Dubai Airports has been accredited by the Dubai Autism Center as an Autism Friendly Environment.
The second phase of the rollout will introduce other innovative solutions, including connected airports, rest rooms and an airport safari tour.
Majed Al Joker, COO of Dubai Airports, said: “Dubai Airports is committed to encouraging the inclusion and participation of POD – who, as an integral part of our traveling customer base, deserve the highest level of care and customer service. We work to provide the essential services and amenities and are proud to partner with Dubai Autism Center and the sector to raise awareness of hidden disabilities. This initiative is just the beginning of what we hope will be a transformative travel experience for all PODs traveling through our airports.”