Mom praises crew on flight to Lubbock for treatment of special needs daughter

Dan McIntire, Lauren's brother (Source: Angela Fairman, mother)
Dan McIntire, Lauren's brother (Source: Angela Fairman, mother)

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - A mother took to Facebook to praise the American Airlines crew on her flight to Lubbock for how they handled her special needs daughter during her first flying experience.

Angela Fairman said she was traveling from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Lubbock on June 1 with her children, 8-year-old Lauren McIntire and 10-year-old Dan McIntire, on the group's first-ever flight to attend her father-in-law's memorial service. The family also had a layover in Dallas/Fort Worth.

According to her mom, Lauren has severe, non-verbal autism, intellectual and visual disabilities, dyspraxia (a developmental coordination disorder), speech and language impairments, and hypotonia (a physical impairment). Angela said she called the airports, Transportation Security Administration and American Airlines to make sure they were aware of Lauren's disabilities and special needs stroller and to ensure their experience would go smoothly.

However, she said she was not expecting the special attention they received.

In a Facebook post, Angela said she was "so incredibly happy and impressed with [the] American Airlines service." Angela said when she reminded the customer service representative about Lauren's needs, they were already aware and knew her by name, saying, "Yes, we are all ready for Lauren."

Angela said there were no problems with the stroller, and every flight attendant gave Lauren special attention. Lauren and her brother, Dan, were also able to visit the cockpit and take a picture with the pilots.

"I am so incredibly thankful for the great experience that American Airlines gave us for our first ever flight. You made things so much easier and we were all able to enjoy our first plane ride," Angela said. "Thank you so much again and I hope our return home on Saturday is just as great. I will always fly American Airlines!"

American Airlines commented on Angela's post with the caption: "It was a pleasure to have you and your lovely family travel with us. We look forward to the next adventure together."

Angela said the flight crew told her they were spending the night in Lubbock, so they had no problem spending extra time with her children and showing them the cockpit.

Lauren was also wearing a shirt they had bought specifically for this trip that said "Be patient with me, I have Autism" including a heart with puzzle pieces on the inside, the primary symbol for Autism. Angela said they bought this shirt to notify people to have a little more patience with her.

Angela said the passengers on the flight were just as attentive to Lauren. She said they were very nice and patient, and when they landed in Lubbock Lauren did not want to wait on the plane, so the other passengers let her get off first.

Lauren recently turned 8-years-old on May 28.

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