Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Travel Tips

It's getting to the time when people are starting to think about holiday travel.  This can be an especial challenge with kids with autism but there is one unexpected benefit when it comes to air travel.

Free airline tickets.

Yep, that's what I typed.  Free airline tickets.

Air Canada has a policy when it comes to passengers with special needs.  (This is often used with frail or elderly passengers but applies to children with autism as well.)  If the person requires or would benefit from having a dedicated care person on the flight to see to their needs, Air Canada will give that care person a free ticket (provided the flight is within Canada).  All the individual has to pay are the airport taxes.

Here's the useful part: the care person can be a parent.

So if you are travelling within Canada, you can get one of your tickets for free.  This makes travel a heck of a lot easier and cheaper.  For travel to the States, the discount rate varies, so it's a good idea to check with Air Canada first.

There is a form which you have to get your doctor to fill out.  It's buried in their website and not easy to find but the link will take you right there.  Here's a link to the page explaining the policy.

The family has to book the tickets before submitting the application.  You book the ticket for your child but don't buy one for yourself.  Then you submit the form to their review board and they approve the attendant ticket.  When I've done it, we've usually heard back within a few days.

I usually get my doctor to fill out the form before I book the tickets.  That way I can submit them right away as soon as I book the flight.  I just leave the booking number and flight details blank.

There aren't many financial breaks for families with autism.  This is a good one.

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