LAX and Alaska Airlines Help Travelers with Disabilities Learn What to Expect at the Airport and In Flight

06/22/2019 11:31 AM

Guests can learn what to expect when flying with a disability.
For Immediate Release
June 22, 2019

Frederick Badlissi

(424) 646-5260

(Los Angeles, CA) This morning, staff from Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) and Alaska Airlines welcomed more than 80 people for the "Ability to Fly" event at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). The event provides a fun, safe and easy way for those with disabilities to experience how a commercial flight works and feels before traveling for real. This is the fourth mock flight experience at LAX, and the fifth hosted by LAWA.

"Delivering exceptional guest experiences is a goal shared by LAWA and our airline partners, and we are delighted to play a role in helping passengers with disabilities experience the overall airport environment, from curb to plane, prior to taking an actual flight," said Lawrence Rolon, ADA Coordinator, LAWA. "Today's experience allows participants a stress-free way to learn how a person's disability may affect their ability to travel ahead of an actual departure."


Families this morning experienced all the major aspects of airport travel, including check-in, security screening and the aircraft boarding process. Participants also experienced K-9 units and officers from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), and the Los Angeles Airport Police Division.


Participants boarded a Toy Story 4-wrapped Boeing 737-800 provided by Alaska Airlines, which taxied to LAX’s remote gates to simulate the process of taxiing for takeoff and what it’s like to be onboard the aircraft before returning to the gate.


"We are thrilled to partner with LAWA regarding today's event, which helps both participants and volunteers break down the barriers that prevent many individuals with disabilities from seeing the world," said Ray Prentice, Director of Customer Advocacy, Alaska Airlines. "We look forward to the continued partnership."


LAWA and all of its airline, concessionaire and other partners are committed to providing equal access to every guest at LAX regardless of ability, and are collectively working to offer more innovative and constructive ways to help our guests with disabilities enjoy fuller access to LAX. In May, LAWA introduced the Aira wayfinding service from, which provides real-time navigation to blind or low vision guests using their smartphones for free within LAX.

About Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)

LAX, the fourth-busiest airport in the world and second busiest in the United States, was named a top-10 U.S. airport by SKYTRAX. LAX served more than 87.5 million passengers in 2018 and offers an average of 700 daily nonstop flights to 109 cities in the U.S. and 1,281 weekly nonstop flights to 93 markets in 47 countries on 69 commercial airlines. LAX ranks 10th in the world in air cargo tonnage processed, with more than 2.4 million tons of air cargo. LAX handled 707,883 operations (landings and takeoffs) in 2018.  

LAX generated 620,600 jobs in Southern California, with labor income of $37.3 billion and economic output (business revenues) of more than $126.6 billion, according to an economic study based on 2014 operations. This activity added $6.2 billion to local and state revenues and $8.7 billion in federal tax revenues. The study also reported that LAX’s ongoing capital improvement program creates an additional 121,640 annual jobs with labor income of $7.6 billion and economic output of $20.3 billion; $966 million in state and local taxes; and $1.6 billion in federal tax revenues.


LAX was honored as having the “Best Overall Customer Service Program” by Airports Council International-North America; named the “Best Airport for Breastfeeding Moms” by Mamava; selected for the Top 10 “Best of the U.S.’s Big Airports” (Wall Street Journal) and “Most Pet-Friendly Airports in the U.S. (Mental Floss); named the second-most improved airport in the U.S. by JD Power; received an “Innovation Award” from the L.A. Better Business Challenge for its Central Utility Plant; and named  a “Business Leader in Air Quality” by the South Coast Air Quality Management District.

LAX is also the second-most popular airport in the world to appear on Instagram, according to LAX is part of a system of two Southern California airports – along with Van Nuys general aviation – that are owned and operated by Los Angeles World Airports, a proprietary department of the City of Los Angeles that receives no funding from the City’s general fund.   

As a covered entity under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the City of Los Angeles does not discriminate on the basis of disability and, upon request, will provide reasonable accommodation to ensure equal access to its programs, services, and activities.  Alternative formats in large print, braille, audio, and other forms (if possible) will be provided upon request.

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