LATAM Airlines Receives Autism Double-Checked Certification

LATAM Airlines announced that more than 11,000 employees have completed required training programs and achieved the Autism Double-Checked certification, demonstrating the commitment to understanding and serving the needs of passengers with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The training was done in collaboration with U.S.-based Autism Double-Checked, a private organization dedicated to providing education and training to the travel industry to better serve individuals with ASD while traveling. LATAM Airlines is the first airline group from South America to receive the Autism Double-Checked certification.

“Individuals with a range of disabilities face particular challenges when it comes to common situations at airports, such as navigating through loud noises and crowds. We want to ensure that our daily operations are inclusive of all our passengers. We therefore joined forces with Autism Double-Checked and Sunflower to generate changes in LATAM Airlines that will allow for a better travel experience for everyone,” said Ignacio Gallardo, strategic planning managing director of LATAM Airlines Group.

In every American gateway that LATAM Airlines operates, public-facing airline personnel have completed the two-part Autism Double-Checked training and certification program. The first part of the training consists of learning about ASD and its impacts on daily life generally. The second part consists of job-specific training, in which each employee learns important protocols that pertain to their daily roles. LATAM Airlines personnel that completed this mandatory training were flight attendants, ground service crew, sales and call center staff and managers or administrators.

“We are pleased with LATAM Airlines’s inclusivity of passengers with special needs and their commitment to creating a better environment and experience for autistic passengers,” said Alan Day, co-founder of Autism Double-Checked. “It takes specialized training to understand and address the specific needs of travelers with autism, and we’re proud of the work LATAM Airlines has done to achieve this important certification.”

The completion of the recent training is in tandem with other inclusivity initiatives that LATAM Airlines has already been implementing in U.S. airports—including John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York and Miami International Airport—for years, such as streamlining the check-in and boarding process, as well as ensuring that language used in LATAM’s internal communications and manuals are empathic and inclusive.

The group added that it is in the initial stages of implementing the “Sunflower Program” in its South American operations. The purpose of this program is to provide a method of identifying passengers with invisible disabilities in a discreet manner, by providing a free and voluntary only lanyard at check-in so that airline employees can easily identify their need for special assistance. Some of these disabilities include low vision, hearing loss and autism.

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