SFO Introduces Mobile App to Help Travelers with Autism

Social development Diversity

The San Francisco International Airport (SFO) introduced a new initiative to support travelers with cognitive special needs such as autism. Partnering with Canadian company Magnusmode, the Airport unveiled MagnusCards®, a mobile app which leverages technology to empower and aid people as they engage in a variety of everyday activities.

The MagnusCards® app offers digital “Card Decks”, customized for SFO, which provide step-by-step instructions that take users through the activities associated with air travel, such as check-in, security screening and aircraft boarding. This allows travelers with cognitive special needs to become familiar with the various steps in advance, in the hope of making the air travel experience easier and more enjoyable. SFO is the first airport in California, and only the second in the United States, to offer MagnusCards®.

“We are proud to partner with Magnusmode to bring this groundbreaking mobile app to SFO,” said Airport Director Ivar C. Satero. “Our goal is to provide an exceptional airport, in service to our communities, and we continue to develop programs to achieve this vision, including our popular Ready Set Fly program, which provides a real-world experience of air travel to individuals and families with autism and developmental disabilities. The addition of MagnusCards® at SFO demonstrates our commitment to make the airport experience easier and more accessible for all travelers.”

“MagnusCards® is an innovative and easy way to build an accessible traveler experience that all airports can adopt,” said Nadia Hamilton, Founder and President of Magnusmode. “We look forward to continuing our support of more accessible travel at San Francisco International Airport and at other airports around the world.”

Since 2015, SFO has been hosting the Ready Set Fly program for individuals and families with autism and developmental disabilities. The event, developed in partnership with The Arc San Francisco, provides guidance and specialized support to families as they participate in an air travel practice. The MagnusCards® mobile app is free both Apple and Android devices. To download, search using MagnusCards®, then create a login to get started.