Raychel Armstrong

Allegiant has partnered with some amazing organizations in our communities. It’s great to work for a Company that wants to better the community and help people in need. In 2015, Allegiant partnered with an organization called Wings for Autism. Wings for Autism is an airport “rehearsal” designed for individuals with autism spectrum disorders, their families, and aviation professionals. The program is designed to alleviate some of the stress that families who have a child with autism experience when traveling by air. The program provides families with the opportunity to practice entering the airport, obtaining boarding passes, going through security, and boarding a plane. Wings for Autism also gives airport, airline, Transportation Security Administration professionals, and other personnel the opportunity to observe, interact, and deliver their services in a structured, learning environment.

In February, 2017, I was able to participate in the 2nd Annual Wings for Autism event at Asheville Regional Airport. Around 50 families participated in the event and many volunteers from the community showed up to help. Our flight crew decorated the aircraft with fun Valentine’s Day decorations to make it more fun and inviting for all the kids. We went through all the normal boarding announcements and procedures. For some of these children it was their first time ever boarding an aircraft and they needed to take their time to adjust to their surroundings. Although the plane stayed at the gate, our crew went through each phase of flight as if it was just another day. As we were deplaning we invited each family up to the cockpit so that the children could meet the pilots and learn about the plane.

I would encourage each and every one of our Flight Attendants to participate in events like this one. It was not only a great way to volunteer my time and give back to the community but helped me further understand Autism Spectrum Disorder. After leaving the airport that day I felt such compassion for these families and was honored to be able to help them out. By volunteering my time these families will be able to travel and go on vacations without the stress of it being their first time. I’m proud to work for an Airline that helps the community out in some incredible ways. In 2017 I would urge our Flight Attendants to find one way to give back to their community by volunteering their time. I’ve found there is nothing more rewarding than helping someone in need.