Can I bring my white cane through security?

I got a helpful comment to the blog post I wrote about the Transportation Security Administration’s Passenger Support Specialists program. The man who commented is blind, and he said I might benefit from using my talking iPhone to go to TSA’s mobile site before I head to the airport later this month.

I gave it a try, and … Eureka! I found an extremely helpful option there right off the bat: the TSA offers a Can I bring my … through the security checkpoint? feature where you can type in names of items to learn what you can and can’t take through security when you fly. The results let you know if the item can be carried-on, put in checked baggage, or if it’s not allowed for plane travel at all.

For me, I might type in stuff like “metal dog food bowl,” and “Braille slate and stylus” to see if I can carry them through the checkpoint or whether I have to check them in a bag. For now, let’s try “folded white cane.”

Okay, here’s what came up:

Some mobility aids may require specialized screening. To expedite your travel, notify the Transportation Security Officer of your need for special assistance at the beginning of the checkpoint screening process. At any time during the screening process, you may ask for a private screening area.

The response went on to say that even if an item is generally permitted, it may be subject to additional screening. In the end it might not be allowed through the checkpoint anyway if it “triggers an alarm during the screening process, appears to have been tampered with, or poses other security concerns.” The site said the final decision on whether to allow any items on the plane rests with TSA and suggest you notify the security officer of your medical condition or need for special assistance at the beginning of the checkpoint process.

The TSA Contact Center (TCC) recently extended its hours, and representatives are now available Monday to Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. Eastern time, and weekends and federal holidays, 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern time. The TSA encourages passengers to contact the TCC with questions about TSA procedures, upcoming travel or to provide feedback or voice concerns. I may have to give them a call. When I typed in “metal dog food bowl” no such items were found. I tried “bowl” and while it didn’t answer my question about metal dog food bowls, I did learn I couldn’t bring a bowling ball along in my carry-on bag if I wanted to. The response said “sports equipment that can be used as a bludgeon are prohibited in the cabin of the plane.”


Comments may not reflect Easterseals' policies or positions.

  1. Pharmd319 Says:

    Definitely pent topic matter, appreciate it for selective information. efaeceddebaa