Airports are mini-cities of activity. Planes moving in and out, people running to catch flights, others being pulled over for extra security. Restaurants and shops try to keep the lines short or create enough demand for a line. For most people, airports are manageable spaces that sometimes can be exciting, and the activity and noise that comes with an airport visit is just part of the drill.
For those with sensory challenges, airports can be overwhelming and even scary. Just under 3% of children are identified as being on the autism spectrum, and some of these children find it difficult to navigate the busy airport environment. Families traveling with someone with sensory challenges can find that the airport is a real challenge, and may even choose to drive on a long trip rather than fly. Pittsburgh’s airport (PIT) addressed this reality three years ago with the opening of Presley’s Place, and this has become a model that other airports should follow.
About Presley’s Place
Presley’s Place is a room on the A concourse at Pittsburgh International Airport that is made especially for people with sensory challenges. It is open 24/7, and is an inviting, quiet, and pleasant space where families can relax before taking their next flight. With support from American Airlines, the location also includes a mock-up of a real airplane, and this too can make the ultimate experience of boarding less stressful for some.
The name comes from Presley Rudge, the son of