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TSA Says It Can Help Travelers with Special Needs

March 17, 2015
Source: Disability Scoop

ORLANDO, Fla. — At Orlando International Airport alone, nearly 130,000 travelers went through security checkpoints this past weekend as spring break begins in earnest.

Transportation Security Administration managers said Monday that they want passengers to know that help is available if they have special needs.

The federal agency, which checks people for contraband before they board a plane, is encouraging people to check with officers by phone or before they reach the scanning equipment if they need aid.

“We can make it very smooth for people,” said Jerry Henderson, who runs TSA at Orlando International. “It can all be arranged.”

The key, Henderson said, is to get in touch with TSA as early as possible. He recommended calling the agency at 855-787-2227 or approaching an officer at the line to talk about concerns.

Last year at Orlando International, the agency handled 1,370 assistance requests, said TSA spokeswoman Sari Koshetz.

Some typical queries, she said, are:

  • Can I carry special foods onboard the plane? Yes, but they must be placed in the bin and not left in the carry-on bags. No doctor note is required.
  • Can I get help with my child with autism, who is easily upset by lines? TSA can move the family to the front of the line.
  • I have a medical condition that I do not want to publicly discuss and I would prefer not to go through the advanced imaging monitor. They can put in a written request to an officer by downloading a blue card from the TSA website.
  • I wear a hearing aid. Do I have to take it off? No.
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