Traversing through airport security has become much more demanding, complicated and time consuming for travelers since September 11th. After 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center, the Transportation Security Administration was created to develop and handle policies affecting the safety of passengers. Staff and rules were immediately implemented and continue today.
As a result, current airport screening procedures are much more extensive. Passengers typically wait in long checkpoint lines, they are required to take off their shoes, belts, and coats and unload laptops and other particulars of their baggage all before they are allowed to proceed to their gate. Additionally, many airports have launched intricate screening procedures-all in the name of safety and security.
However, for individuals with disabilities, special needs or medical conditions, going through these same processes is much more difficult and arduous.
Fortunately, the Transportation Security Administration, or TSA, is providing specially-trained individuals to help disabled passengers get through the ever increasing and multifaceted screening process.
Introducing passenger screening specialists
Specifically, the TSA is introducing “passenger screening specialists” to be exclusively available to help individuals with disabilities. These skilled individuals receive hours of instructional training provided by the TSA Office of Civil Rights and Liberties as well as specific outside disability groups. The staff learn ways to assist those with special needs, ways to communicate effectively and courteously, ways to listen and disability etiquette.
Today, over 2600 staff members have been trained and are now available at airports all across the country to help handicapped passengers. According to the TSA, passenger screening specialists are present during business hours at each security checkpoint if assistance is needed.
A TSA spokesman recommends that passengers with disabilities, medical conditions or those needing extra assistance take proactive measure to help mitigate any problems that arise with flying. They recommend passengers arrive particularly early for their departure and request the assistance of a specialist immediately in order to help provide a smooth transition through the security line.
The initiative was launched in an effort to streamline screening processes for all passengers and help resolve prior inefficient screening methods.
Passengers with special needs can request a specialist prior to their departure as well as additional information and assistance via the TSA Cares (855) 787-2227 hotline.