Airline company trains 24k cabin crew, ground staff to treat passengers with hidden disabilities

MANILA, Philippines — There is only one thing that persons with hidden disabilities want when they travel — and that is to be treated like regular passengers.

But with airports and planes getting overcrowded with passengers these days, sometimes ground staff and cabin crew fail to recognize the telltale signs of persons with hidden disabilities and therefore approach “incidents” without taking these disabilities into consideration.

Recognizing this, Emirates has rolled out specialized training to more than 24,000 global cabin crew and ground staff to enhance support services for travelers with hidden disabilities that include autism. They have thus completed Emirates’ Introduction to Autism and Hidden Disabilities training, which was first launched in 2022 and covers a range of topics from the United Arab Emirates' National Policy for People of Determination, recognizing autism, and practical tips on how to assist passengers with hidden disabilities, to responding with empathy, and information on the official support systems to help passengers in the airport.

Persons with hidden disabilities need to be treated with understanding and empathy, especially when they travel, so that they will be comfortable as they spend long hours on board the aircraft, when they transfer from one airport to another, and when they finally reach their destination. This is why, apart from making its cabin crew and ground staff complete training on hidden disabilities, Emirates has also collaborated particularly with Dubai Airport to come up with a useful travel planner and autism friendly route to make the pre-boarding experience more seamless, and implemented additional thoughtful measures to ensure passenger comfort onboard.

RELATED: Traveling with an autistic child? Know what you're entitled to in a flight

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