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Autism ASD

At Dublin Airport, we are committed to helping passengers who may require additional support and assistance

Travelling through Dublin Airport

Many individuals with autism can find travelling through the airport a very difficult and scary experience. For many individuals it represents a new experience which is difficult to understand and sometimes very frightening. Below are a number of simple strategies that can be employed to help the individual with ASD to understand the process of getting through the airport.

‘Important Flyer’ wristband/lanyard

We can provide a wristband or lanyard for travelling through Dublin Airport. It can be shown to any Dublin Airport staff member (Customer Care and Security Screening for example) if assistance is required at security, passport control or any area where you may encounter queues or crowds.

To request a wristband or lanyard, please enter your details in the form below.

If are requesting an Important Flyer wristband or lanyard, please be advised you must provide us with a short note from your GP confirming that the person has a diagnosis of autism. You can email this to us at prm@daa.ie or post it to us Dublin Airport Customer Experience Department, Level 5, Terminal 1, Dublin Airport, Co. Dublin.

*Please note that due to high demand we can only issue wristbands or lanyards to people who have travel arrangements made*

Please note assistance can also be provided by our assistance service provider OCS:

  • OCS Main Office + 353 1 944 0341 (8am - 4pm)
Autism special flyer lanyard

Enter Your Details

* Mandatory field

Visual guides

Main parts to include when writing a visual guide about the airport: 

  1. How you are getting to the airport
  2. Why you are going there e.g going on holiday, visiting a relative
  3. Where to get help if needed
  4. Checking-in bags, suitcases, etc.(conveyor belt)
  5. Going through security and the possibility of being searched
  6. Finding the boarding gates and piers and things you can do while you are waiting (shopping, using the internet, looking at aircraft, getting something to eat)
  7. Waiting to board the aircraft
  8. Boarding the aircraft
  9. It is important to capture in the story how the airport will be experienced - e.g noise, crowds,  queuing etc.

Planning your trip and at the airport

  • Plan your trip a number of weeks in advance
  • Place symbols to represent your trip on the individual’s calendar. Talk about the trip in the weeks/days leading up to the trip
  • Picture symbols for PECS® books to help support your child with more difficult situations e.g. wait
  • Prepare a scrapbook of pictures to represent the holiday that is being taken
  • Holiday Scrapbook should contain pictures of the airport, airplanes and of the location the individual will be travelling to. This scrapbook can potentially help by:
    1. Preparing the individual for the trip. For example, acts as a conversation focus for the individual with others prior to the trip.
    2. Acts as a visual support at the airport, helping the individual to keep focused while moving through the airport. Showing pictures of the airport’s services and outlets.
    3. Motivate the individual to keep to the schedule and the rules that are established for moving through the airport. For example, the individual can stop at various times while travelling through the airport to look at pictures of the trip they are taking and some of the possible outings that you will be doing as a family when they arrive at the destination.

Travelling through the airport

  • Bring back-pack with items for the individual
  • Snack, (remember that you can not bring fluids through security unless they are in containers of 100ml or less, food & beverage facilities are available Airside once you pass through security)
  • Fidget toys, iPod, portable DVD player, book, magazine, favourite small toy, Nintendo (remember to check what you can bring. Make sure that a favourite toy can not be mistaken for knife/gun)
  • Leave plenty of time to get through the airport especially during holiday season
  • If you require assistance at any stage with your journey through Dublin Airport, assistance can be provided from Dublin Airport Customer Service Agents wearing pink t-shirts
  • OCS (reduced mobility service provider) can if needed assist you in your journey throughout the airport, they offer additional assistance with travelling through the airport from arrival at the airport right through to boarding of the aircraft. It is strongly advisable that this service is booked in advance through the airline/handling agent as there can on occasion be long delays if only requested when you arrive at the airport
  • There are a number of internet stations that might be of interest to your child that will help break up the journey through the airport
  • Pack sweets for airplane take-off (stop ears blocking)
  • Ensure all visual supports are packed for trip