May 10

Ways to Communicate Your Special Needs to a TSA Officer

TSA logo imageWe are all unique individuals coming from a diverse multicultural society. We have different beliefs, concerns and ways of doing things. Many of us deal with disabilities both visible and invisible.

TSA has been working with many organizations, companies and individuals through coalitions to learn how to improve their workforce to respectfully communicate and handle passengers going through the security procedures at various airports across our country.

One of the ways TSA can help with understanding your special needs, is through a  program called “TSA CARES”. Passengers can get assistance through their entire travels or partial assistance, from a “TSA Support Specialist”. You can request one by calling their hotline 1-855-787-2227. You can also visit their website: http://www.tsa.gov/traveler-information/screening-passengers-requiring-special-assistance. A TSA officer will be assigned and meet you at the curbside of an airport and assist you in all areas of travel, including taking you personally through the security screening process to boarding, getting you into your assigned seat on the plane which you will be traveling.

TSA also has a “Notification Card” you can fill-in online and print out, that  describes your special needs. When you arrive at the security screening area, you can hand the card to a TSA officer. This allow you to communicate your needs discreetly. http://www.tsa.gov/sites/default/files/publications/disability_notification_cards.pdf

One of the best ways to help TSA keep us safe during air travel is to communicate your special needs to them. Ask them to help you if you do not understand something or are unable to conform to a certain request. Remember they are there to help and keep us all safe of which I am very thankful.

TSA procedures will differ at airports so don’t be surprised or upset. It really is for our safety.

For information for passengers traveling with Disabilities and Medical Conditions: http://www.tsa.gov/traveler-information/travelers-disabilities-and-medical-conditions

TSA officers really appreciate to hear they are doing a great job. When Ellie and I fly we always thank them for keeping us safe during our travels.

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