When Pittsburgh International Airport opened Presley’s Place in 2019, it set a new global standard for sensory rooms and amenities focused on travelers with sensory sensitivities at airports.
The space, inspired by and named for an airport worker’s son who has autism, has become a blueprint for similar spaces around the world, particularly in transportation hubs like airports and train stations. Nearly 2,000 guests have passed through its doors, a number that would be even higher if not for the COVID-19 pandemic.
From families to firsthand accounts from those with sensory sensitivities, the response to Presley’s Place has been overwhelmingly positive.
“We had the opportunity to utilize the sensory room at the Pittsburgh airport as we traveled with our adult daughter who has severe autism. I cannot applaud you enough for implementing this fantastic space,” said passenger Stephanie Gonzalez. “It was calming, soothing and relaxing for our daughter, which led to a seamless boarding process and uneventful flight.
“This quiet refuge was key to putting her in the right mood for travel, which is typically stressful for her and subsequently for our entire family. Thank you for your attention to inclusivity and for making travel a lot easier for families impacted by autism.”
“I am so impressed with the care and thought that they have put into this. I’ve never seen a specific autism, sensory-friendly area before,” said a passenger who did not wish to be identified. “This is what compassion and understanding looks like. This is what being seen feels like. Thank you so much for seeing me. For seeing us and saying that you care and that we matter.”
Click below to learn more about Presley’s Place.