Back in August 2018 Newcastle Airport revealed the “Newcastle Airport Disability Lanyard”. The scheme meant that any passengers traveling through the airport with a hidden disability could wear the discreet sunflower lanyard and subsequently can be provided with specialist care from trained airport staff, making the process of travelling through the airport easier for those passengers.
Newcastle Airport have now been running the system for over a year and since then multiple passengers have come forward to say how much the system has benefited their passengers experience while travelling to their destination.
In June, one passenger named Angela Spedding travelled to Turkey via Newcastle Airport with her 11 year old daughter, Hannah, who suffers from aspergers syndrome. Angela said: “As part of my daughter’s condition it means that she struggles in new environments and busy places. Going on holiday this year, we knew her anxieties would be raised with the whole airport and flying experience.”
However when talking about the new lanyard system, Angela was quoted to say: “The check-in staff were fantastic, after noticing her lanyard they were incredibly helpful and asked her if she would like to board the plane first or last, she chose last. “We were able to access priority security which meant no queues, she did feel nervous but I explained this is a very important process which is for everyone’s safety.
“At the gate a member of staff was waiting for us and stayed with us until we boarded the plane, she explained everything to my daughter about what was going to happen. Overall it was such a positive experience.”
Other passengers in similar circumstances to Angela and Hannah have also praised the airport’s system for its ability to reduce the stressfulness of travelling while publicly acknowledging hidden disabilities and those that suffer from them.
The system has proved to be so popular that since the 2018 announcement, various airports such as Manchester and Heathrow as well as train services and supermarkets have introduced similar working systems with each showing signs of success.
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