Airport travel resources for people with disabilities

airplane-file0001305960191Here’s a quick reminder that if you’re flying this Christmas, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has ways you can get help navigating airport checkpoints. The TSA’s Passenger Support Specialists Program trains select Transportation Security Officers, Lead TSOs and Supervisors to take on the extra responsibility of helping passengers who may be in need of extra help at security checkpoints. From the Transportation Security Administration website:

More than 2,600 Passenger Support Specialists at airports across the country assist passengers who require additional assistance with security checkpoint screening.

Passenger Support Specialists receive specialized disability training provided by TSA’s Office of Civil Rights and Liberties, Ombudsman and Traveler Engagement. Training for Passenger Support Specialists include how to assist with individuals with special needs, how to communicate with passengers by listening and explaining, and disability etiquette and disability civil rights.

The site encourages travelers who need special accommodations or are concerned about checkpoint screening to ask a checkpoint officer or supervisor for a Passenger Support Specialist to provide on-the-spot assistance.

Travelers can request a Passenger Support specialist ahead of time, too, by calling the TSA Cares hotline at 855.787.2227. Many of you won’t be traveling until next week or so, but since TSA recommends you call approximately 72 hours ahead of travel to give them a chance to coordinate checkpoint support with a TSA Customer Service Manager at the airport, I thought it best to publish this now…happy trails!


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