Norman Y. Mineta San José International Airport (SJC) this week announced the adoption of the Sunflower Lanyard Program in conjunction with the California State Council on Developmental Disability (SCDD) to enable airport workers to subtly identify travelers in need of an extra level of customer service.
By wearing the lanyard, travelers with invisible or less visible disabilities identify themselves as being in possible need of extra assistance or service.
That assistance could include receiving more time for check-in, security and boarding, an escort to the gate or other areas, help finding a quieter area of the airport for those travelers with sensory needs, clearer, more detailed instructions about airport processes and requirements, assistance with reading signage, and patience and understanding as the travelers adjust to airport processes.
“We understand the challenges our customers are facing in the current travel environment, and that having a disability can often compound those challenges,” said John Aitken, SJC director of aviation. “The Sunflower Lanyard program is a perfect complement to our customer service approach, allowing our staff to meet customers’ needs in a way that is discreet and empowering for the traveler.”
The Sunflower Lanyard program started at London’s Gatwick Airport (LGW) in 2016, with users wearing colorful green lanyards decorated with sunflowers. It has since been adopted by a growing number of airports around North America.