While accompanying my aging father on a recent flight from Phoenix AZ to Seattle WA, I witnessed the chaos at the TSA security screening. As he patiently waited in line while leaning on his walker he prepared for the inevitable pat-down search. After removing his suspenders, emptying all pockets, removing shoes and jacket, he was stopped for additional searching. This happens to many senior travelers who continue to travel despite their needs for walkers and wheelchairs. In my quest to help the aging travelers, I learned that TSA offers additional resources to assist them through a TSA Help Line.
The TSA Help Line was designed to assist travelers with medical conditions and disabilities. Travelers are encouraged to call 72 hours prior to traveling to get the most current screening information (1-855-787-2227). When a traveler calls TSA Cares, a representative will provide screening information pertinent to the passenger’s disabilities or medical needs. Some passengers are directed to a TSA disability expert. When TSA is notified 72 hours prior to travel, passengers may request that TSA Cares coordinates checkpoint support with a TSA Customer Service Manager, located at the airport.
TSA Cares helpline hours of operation – Monday through Friday 9:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. EST, closed during all federal holidays. Travelers can also contact TSA Cares by email: TSA-ContactCenter@dhs.gov.
TSA strives to maintain dignity, respect and courtesy for all passengers who pass through screening checkpoints. The primary goal of TSA is to provide the optimum level of security and customer service for all airline travelers. Current policies and protocol are strictly followed. At this time testing at four airports is underway to determine the feasibility of modifying screening regulations for passengers age 75 and over. Read more. TSA continues to research methods to uphold high security standards as well as respecting the needs of travelers with special needs.
For more information on specific medical conditions and disabilities – TSA air travel
Learn more about another TSA program designed to enhance aviation security while focusing on pre-screening travelers who volunteer to join in the process. TSA Pre-Check is currently joining with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and select U.S. air carriers in this pre-flight screening initiative.
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