Austin airport introduces program for passengers with non-visible disabilities

Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) is launching a new service for passengers with non-visible disabilities.

Passengers can now take part in the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Program which aims to raise awareness and support people with non-visible disabilities including autism, anxiety disorders, dementia, Chron’s disease and more.

As part of the program, passengers or their companions can order a sunflower lanyard to wear at AUS. The lanyard works as a discreet visual cue to let airport staff know that the wearer may need a little more time, support or assistance.

The HD Sunflower Lanyard Program is an internationally recognized program that launched in 2016 in the United Kingdom. Over ninety airports throughout North America including AUS are involved in the program in order to support a universal approach to identifying and providing services to passengers with non-visible disabilities.

"We know that airports and air travel can be stressful and at times a daunting experience for individuals, especially those who may have a non-visible disability," said Ramonika Carr, Guest Services Division Manager of AUS. She added, through this program, AUS hopes "to support the growth and confidence of individuals with non-visible disabilities while they navigate our airport." 

Passengers can request a lanyard to be picked up at the airport or mailed to them ahead of their trip by contacting the AUS Guest Services team via email at or by calling them at 512-530-2414. 

In-person pick-ups should be requested 48 hours ahead of their trip; mailed lanyards should be requested at least 7 business days ahead. 

The HD Sunflower Program is one of many new AUS For All services the airport provides to its passengers who have accessibility or mobility needs, or non-visible disabilities, including the recently opened Mobility Lounge, Mobility Assistance Zone and a mobility tram pilot program.