TSA Cares Toll Free Helpline for Travelers with Disabilities and Medical Needs

By | January 15, 2012

We’ve often been critical of TSA policies, but feel it’s important as well to recognize when they take positive steps.  One such step is the launch last month of TSA Cares.  Passengers with disabilities or medical needs may now call TSA Cares, toll free, at 1-855-787-2227 M-F 9am-9pm,excluding Federal Holidays ,with questions about screening procedures.  The TSA recommends calling 72 hours in advance.

TSA Screener with Checkpoint Friendly Laptop Case

While this is a good first step, we’d like to see some enhancements

Increased hours: The hotline should be open whenever TSA checkpoints are open.

Reduction of advance time: 72 hours prior to flight is a long time. The helpline should be optimized to help people who need help now.

Open it to everyone: Why is this available only to people with medical needs or disabilities?  Clear answers to what’s allowed and what the procedures are are sorely lacking. Can I bring a cupcake on board? Let everyone call with questions and get clear, authoritative answers.

We look forward to further efforts by the TSA to rationalize and humanize the screening process.