Memphis International Airport (MEM) has launched a Hidden Disabilities Sunflower lanyard program to assist travelers with hidden disabilities.
The lanyards, which are free for passengers, allow those with hidden disabilities to discreetly indicate they might need additional assistance from employees, such as extra time needed at check-in or security, escorting to gates, or assistance with reading signage or other airport procedures. No documentation is required for those requesting the sunflower lanyard. Program participation is voluntary, and passengers do not need to disclose the nature of their disability. Airport employees received training for the new program in August and September.
The Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Lanyard Program was started in London’s Gatwick Airport in 2016. It is now recognized by most airports in the UK as well as a growing number of U.S. airports.
While the lanyard program is designed to provide additional convenience for passengers, it does not guarantee fast tracking through security or any preferential treatment. Passengers are still required to arrange special assistance with their airlines and TSA Cares.
“MEM is excited to join the growing number of airports who are participating in this excellent program,” said Scott Brockman, President and CEO of the Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority. “The sunflower lanyard allows passengers to discreetly inform us of their need for additional assistance, increase their level of comfort, and receive a higher level of customer service from airport staff.”
Passengers can email MEMSunflowerlanyards@flymemphis.com and include their name, mailing address, phone number and the number of lanyards they are requesting. Please allow 7-10 days for delivery. Lanyards are also available at the airline ticketing counters.