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Disability Air Travel: Information for Seniors & Disabled

  • Synopsis: Information and accessibility tips on air travel for persons with disabilities including US TSA security screening and permitted items.

Main Document

Travel by air for people with health issues, handicaps, disabilities or special needs, can be challenging. The following air travel tips will help make your flight and trip, whether domestic or international, easier, cheaper and safer.

When making your travel reservations, request any carts, wheelchair services or any other transportation you'll need. Fully describe your limitations and needs. Get your airline ticket and boarding pass well ahead of time so you don't have to wait in any lines. You'll be able to arrange travel at a discount, get better travel deals, and avoid last minute travel headaches.

Talk with your airline representative or travel agent regarding the type of restrooms that are on the airplane. Call your airport and find out as much information as possible about the restrooms and handicapped parking at the airport.

You'll need to find out how you'll be boarding the airplane at each of the airports involved in your trip. You may need another type of airplane or alternative route so you'll have Jetways, or jet bridges, into the plane from the airport and not have to worry about stairs.

Air Travel Tips:

United States TSA Security Screening for Persons with Disability:

The United States TSA has established a program for screening of persons with disabilities and their associated equipment, mobility aids, and devices. All disability-related equipment, aids, and devices continue to be allowed through security checkpoints once cleared through screening.

NOTE: Carry your health insurance information with you on the plane. Know what you'll do if you encounter a health problem or medical emergency on your trip. Get travel insurance to ensure less costly medical assistance. These emergency bills may not be covered under your health insurance policy. It'll ease your mind to have this back-up travel insurance and prevent costly emergency medical charges on your trip. Emergency medical costs can run considerably higher than standard medical fees.

Quick Facts: Assistive Devices Allowed on Flights

Disability-related items permitted through the security checkpoint include:

  • Casts
  • Crutches
  • Wheelchairs
  • Support braces
  • Service animals
  • Ostomy supplies
  • Orthopedic shoes
  • Prosthetic devices
  • Support appliances
  • Baby apnea monitors
  • Augmentation devices
  • Exterior medical devices
  • Assistive/adaptive equipment
  • CPAP machines & respirators
  • Canes
  • Walkers
  • Scooters
  • Hearing aids
  • Slate and stylus
  • Cochlear implants
  • Braille note takers
  • Tools for prosthetic devices
  • Personal supplemental oxygen
  • CO2 personal oxygen concentrators
  • Medications and associated supplies
  • Tools for wheelchair disassembly/reassembly
  • All diabetes related medication, equipment, and supplies
  • Any other disability-related equipment and associated supplies

Latest Air Travel Publications

  1. Training to Improve Access to Air Travel for People with Disabilities
    U.S. Department of Transportation releases new training materials for airlines and passengers with disabilities on areas receiving greatest number of air travel disability complaints.
  2. Agreement Reached on Providing Accessible Bathrooms on Single-aisle Aircraft
    Individuals with disabilities will finally have access to lavatories on more flights.
  3. Making Air Travel More Accessible for Passengers with Hidden Disabilities - CAA Guidelines
    New CAA guidance sets out how UK airports should support people with hidden disabilities, helping improve travel for those with conditions including dementia, autism, mental health problems, hearing loss and visual impairment.
  4. New Rule Requires US Airlines to Report Wheelchair and Scooter Transport and Damage
    U.S. Department of Transport final rule may relieve some air travel challenges for passengers with disabilities.
  5. Expanding Choices for Travelers with Disabilities - Detroit Metro Airport
    Detroit Metropolitan Airport will be offering more options to travelers with disabilities when they are picked up or dropped off at the airport.

Full List of Air Travel Documents (17 Items)


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