In celebration of World Children’s Day, Cebu Pacific partnered with the Autism Society Philippines (ASP) for a project that aims to familiarize persons with autism and their families with air travel.
The activity, called “Autism Angels Take Flight”, was conducted alongside sensitivity training for some Cebu Pacific employees, so they may have a better understanding of the needs of families traveling with a person with autism.
“Cebu Pacific believes in inclusivity, diversity, and equality, that is why we support the ASP. This is also in sync with the 2022 World Children’s Day theme “Choose Kind” which aims to raise awareness that kindness matters to everyone,” said Candice Iyog, Cebu Pacific Vice President for Marketing and Customer Experience.
Children on the spectrum normally face challenges when taking a plane ride. It takes a lot of preparation since any changes in routine, unfamiliar surroundings, hypersensitivity to noise, bright lights, and large crowds can be overwhelming for these children, causing a sensory overload that can trigger uncontrollable meltdowns.
“Over the ASP’s 33-year history, one of the things that we had to contend with is the fact that persons on the autism spectrum often have problems with access to transportation. It is very important for them to receive sensitivity exposure to air travel, including the process of going through an airport. The opportunity to ride an aircraft before the actual trip allows them to gain familiarity with a unique environment. We are very happy that we have partners like Cebu Pacific who have been very welcoming and very accommodating,” said Mona Magno – Veluz, ASP National President.
More than 50 Persons with Autism (PWA) from different Metro Manila ASP chapters and their families joined the activity. For the event, a mock airport with a check-in area and boarding gate counter was set up for the group. Then, they were led to the Cebu Pacific plane for an in-flight tour, short orientation, and fun games. At the end of the activity, the kids were given loot bags that contained Universal Robina snacks and other Cebu Pacific merchandise items, and in-flight meals.