7 things to consider when planning for a flight with your ASD child.

Which flight


Try to plan as far in advance as possible.

Flights are priced based upon availability. Availability decreases as time goes by. This is even more important when trying to utilize frequent flier miles or other award travel.

Consider which dates will work best for you.

If you have some flexibility in the matter, mid-week flights may be less crowded, and more affordable, than weekend flights.

If flying to a resort, check out their rates according to the day of the week.  You may be lucky enough to find more affordable room rates to go alongside the less expensive airfares.

If flying to a port city in order to board a cruise, plan to fly the day before the cruise. Flying involves a lot of transitions and so does boarding a cruise ship. This will help to space out those transitions. Additionally, you don’t want to risk to missing your cruise on account of flight delays on the day of departure. For similar reasons, you should consider an overnight stay at a hotel near the port, before flying home.

Try to use non-stop flights at all times.

Take-off and landing are the most stressful parts of the flight for children with ASD. Keep your trip to 1 of these in each direction, if you possibly can. Additionally, missed connections will leave you stranded at the intermediate airport and with no plan for dealing with that problem.

It is better to drive a further distance to an airport that offers you a non-stop flight than it is to drive the shorter distance to one that only offers connecting flights.

Look for small airports.

Small airports are, generally, less crowded and less noisy than big airports. If you can do so, fly from a small airport and into a small airport.

This consideration is secondary to “take non-stop flights” above.

Decide what time of day works best for your family to fly.

The first flight of the day is, usually, the one with the least delays. If, however, your child is not a “morning person”, you should consider a later flight.

If your child gets fatigued later in the day, try to avoid flights that will arrive too late for them and remember to allow for flight delays when considering this.


Try to seat your ASD child behind a family member.

If your airline allows advance seat reservation try to seat family members in 2 rows, one behind the other. Many children on the spectrum will kick the seat in front of them as part of Stimming. Family members won’t complain if this happens. Strangers might.




We take all of these factors into account when you book with our flight assistance package. In addition, you get all of the following benefits:

  • Customized planning from a Travel Professional who has personal knowledge of living with an ASD child.
  • “Mock Flight” session for flight check-in, security screening and boarding … prior to vacation (where available).
  • Customized itinerary, as above, all done for you.
  • Non-stop flights (where available).
  • Customized seating arrangements on plane (subject to availability).
  • Passenger Support Specialist arranged to assist you with airport security screening.
  • Priority Boarding Arrangements.
  • Seamless coordination with your cruise/resort stay and other arrangements on arrival.


  1. Cate Hudson says

    Helpful, thanks. Although most of it is common sense really when you are used to living with an ASD child (or two in my case, 14 yr old boy and 3yr old girl). The package sounds like a great idea and would make
    Life a lot easier. Going on holiday should be exciting and when you have a child with ASD it often isn’t, so I’ll def look at that.

    • Thanks Cate. Don’t you find that so many of the things that people like special education teachers and therapists recommend for our children boil down to “common sense”? That frequently applies to tips that we provide. It makes sense, once it has been pointed out.

  2. Another good idea, is to have a noise cancellation headphone handy if your child is sensitive to noise. We have one and it helps our son a lot.

    • Watch out for future posts that cover the actual flying. (This one only dealt with issues in planning for the flight). Noise cancelling headphones help a lot of kids. We'[re glad that they work for your son.

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