Families with special needs may now have an easier time navigating airport security screenings. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) recently rolled out a new toll free hotline called TSA Cares. Travelers with special medical conditions are encouraged to speak to a representative who will provide them with information about what to expect when going through the screening process as it relates to their special needs. When necessary, TSA disability experts will personally speak to the passenger or caregiver, or provide security checkpoint support at the airport. Calls should be placed 72 hours ahead of flight time so that TSA Cares will be able to coordinate further support with a TSA Customer Service Manager at the airport should the need arise.
The TSA website also offers a list of guidelines for parents traveling with children with special needs. These include asking a security officer for assistance with placing carry on items on the X-ray belt during screening, knowing that at no time will the child be removed from his or her mobility aid, and informing security officers if the child may become upset or overwhelmed as a result of their condition during the screening process. The full list of guidelines can be found here.
The TSA Cares helpline can by reached by calling 1-855-787-2227, Monday through Friday, 9 am to 9 pm EST.