Posts Tagged ‘special needs air travel’

Special Needs and Air Travel

November 19, 2012 Leave a comment

As we enter the holiday season, click here to read an excellent article on traveling by plane with your special needs child. Features include a social story on flying and list of autism-friendly airlines.

Monday Minutes: Guns, Security, Flotation Devices and Snacks, aka Air Travel With James

Our wonderful (and rare) visit with family includes air travel since we are not willing to brave the 8+ hours on a train or in a car with the little ones yet, who are true New Yorkers and ask to be unbuckled within 30 minutes of every trip. Ironically, James would probably be easier to take in the car than trying to get through airport security (and onto the actual plane). Over the years, he’s overcome quite a bit of anxiety regarding take off and landing, and now even allows our window to be “open” to see outside on the plane. However, there are always those unexpected snags.

Like when we were passing through the (ridiculously slow and long) security line for Delta and James randomly blurts out, “Good thing we didn’t pack any guns!” “Shhhh! What are you talking about?!!” I admonished, horrified. But by then I was already being escorted out of line, wearing the baby, where my hands were swabbed for gun residue. Thanks, James.

On the plane ride home, my 20-month old rode as “Infant in Lap,” a designation we will milk until the day he turns two. Apparently there was an issue with how many oxygen masks and flotation devices were available at my assigned seat because as we taxied down the runway the flight attendants came over and told me I had to move. Though this was certainly unusual, Ryan and I switched seats without issue. A few minutes after take off, the flight attendant came back with an infant flotation device sealed in a plastic bag and spoke quietly to Ryan for a few minutes, presumably about how to use it in case of emergency. Again, a first for us but nothing we felt particularly alarmed about.

James, who is pleasant enough but still a little nervous about flying, obviously didn’t understand the whole discretion thing that was happening- as the attendant walked away, James asked anxiously (and loudly):

So that’s for when the plane goes into the water?

It’s just in case.

Like if the plane crashes?

Shhhh – the plane isn’t going to crash.

Two minutes later.

So when does the plane go into the water?

It’s not – please be quiet.

But the lady said.

She gave us that in case, James. In case. 

—we crash into the water.

Yes, but we won’t. Lower your voice, please.

(whispering) Look, here comes the snack cart! Can I get Sprite?

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