I'm not really sure what the poster was looking for in those examples. Security and general policies dictate what they can and cannot do with luggage and missed connections. He missed his flight and had to stay overnight somewhere he was accustomed to which I understand is much more stressful to someone with autism, but how is the staff supposed to know he can't understand the standard directions unless he states what he's not understanding?
I agree completely. This man had a chance to sit down and write an article to raise awareness of the issues he had when flying. It was presumably under favorable conditions when he was calm, in control of the situation, with plenty of time to organize his thoughts, proofread, and edit them, and yet I still have no idea what he expected the airline to do!
No wonder the airline didn't know what to do with him!
In the first case, he had a delayed flight that almost
caused him to miss his connection and was unhappy when the employee he spoke to offered him transportation to his gate. What was he asking the employee to do in the first place? He had not yet missed his flight, so getting him to the gate ASAP (e.g. by having someone drive him there on a cart) seems like the ideal solution. There's no need to discuss his "options" if there's still time to get him on his flight. The longer he stood there talking to the employee and resisting her offer of transportation, the more likely it was that he would miss his connection.
In the second case, someone made a mistake. Either someone gave him incorrect information or luggage handler screwed up. Either way, it would be unfortunate and frustrating and stressful for anyone. However, once the mistake has been made, there's only so much they can do beyond telling him where his bag will be (at the baggage claim) and apologizing for the error. He clearly feels that the pilot dismissed his concerns, but I wonder how long this conversation went on before the pilot walked away. The author said he was "trying to explain [his] situation to [the pilot]." To what purpose? Neither making the pilot understand his plight nor "confronting" the flight attendant who gave the erroneous information was going to make his bag reappear. If he wanted some kind of help until he got his bag back or compensation for the inconvenience or a quiet place to calm himself down, then the information desks inside the airport seem like a more appropriate place to ask about that.
I don't understand how his suggestions of "one staff person in each airport trained in accommodating the individual with autism, or perhaps a quiet, secluded area for persons who are in sensory overload, or additional information in writing that would be more tangible" would have improved either of the described situations. In the first case, waiting for that staff person or sitting in the quiet area would likely have caused him to actually
miss his flight, making the situation worse. In the second case, I suppose the pilot could have called the designated autism-assistance person or directed him to the quiet room if
he explained that's what he needed. It still would have required him to explain what specific and practical help he required (something he seems to have trouble articulating, even when calm) and it would not have gotten his bag back.