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Hidden Disabilities

Sunflower Symbol

The sunflower symbol draws attention to hidden disabilities.
This helps everyone at the airport – personnel and fellow passengers – to be aware that people wearing a sunflower symbol at the airport may need assistance, more time or a little patience.
At Hamburg Airport, the sunflower symbol is issued either as a lanyard or as a badge.

Sunflower: Support for passengers with hidden disabilities

For people with hidden disabilities, it can be a huge challenge to get around in crowded locations, such as an airport. To provide them with more confidence and safety when travelling, the airport provides lanyards and badges with the sunflower image – an internationally recognised symbol for hidden disabilities. 

This is available to anyone who is experiencing permanent or temporary disability, whether physical, mental or psychological. Hidden disabilities include dementia, autism and epilepsy as well as acute pain (e.g. after an operation) and anxiety disorders. The sunflower symbol allows a person to discreetly inform those around them of hidden disabilities. This helps everyone at the airport – personnel and fellow passengers – to be aware that the person may need more time, patience and possibly assistance. 

The lanyards and/or badges are issued at Hamburg Airport, free of charge and without any documentation

  • at the Hamburg Welcome Center (publicly accessible area) or
  • at the information counter on the Passenger Pier (security-controlled area).

FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

In 2016, London’s Gatwick Airport introduced the sunflower lanyard as a symbol for hidden disabilities. The sunflower gives people with a “hidden” disability the chance to make the invisible visible. This provides a feeling of safety and confidence, making the time spent at the airport easier and more pleasant.

Because of a surge in demand, the company “Hidden Disabilities Sunflower” was established in the UK. Over just a few years, the symbol has become internationally recognised, and it is used in many areas of life. The company continues its global efforts to increase awareness of hidden disabilities and to improve the integration of people with disabilities.

Yes, this is possible. No documentary evidence is required to receive a sunflower lanyard or badge. They are made available to all people with “hidden” disabilities, to provide them with more patience and understanding in public spaces, for example airports.

The sunflower is an internationally recognised symbol for hidden disabilities. Airports all over the world are participating in the programme. A list of all participating airports is available online at Airports around the world - For you (hdsunflower.com). It makes no difference whatsoever which airport you got your sunflower symbol from. As long as the sunflower is worn so as to be clearly visible, passengers at one of the “Hidden Disabilities Sunflower” airports will be assisted by specially trained personnel.

No, no proof is required. A wide variety of illnesses and symptoms may constitute a hidden disability, making everyday life difficult. This includes, for example, dementia, autism and epilepsy, but also both chronic and acute pain as well as anxiety disorders and Long Covid. If you have the feeling that you need more patience and support at the airport or in other areas of life, you can communicate this discreetly with the sunflower symbol.

Hamburg Airport Welcome Center
For visitors
Hamburg Welcome Center (before the security checkpoint)
For arriving passengers and visitors - airport information for information about the airport, your journey or your stay in Hamburg.
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