Thursday, December 22, 2011

TSA Cares Helpline Starting Today

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced the launch of TSA Cares today, a new helpline number designed to assist  passengers with disabilities and medical conditions to call before they fly.  Starting today, travelers can call the toll free helpline number for TSA Cares before traveling if they have questions about screening policies, procedures or what to expect when they arrive at the airport security checkpoint. This line is available not only to passengers with disabilities and medical conditions, but also to their family members and travel companions who can speak to a knowledgeable representative from the TSA Cares helpline to answer questions about airport security prior to travel.

In most cases, the TSA Cares representative can provide information that will be specific to the passenger’s disability or medical condition. If a caller’s concerns cannot be easily addressed, the passenger may be referred to disability experts at TSA. TSA recommends that passengers call approximately 72 hours ahead of travel so that TSA Cares has the opportunity to coordinate checkpoint support with a TSA Customer Service Manager located at the airport when necessary.

Already, we have been able to assist one family with a child who has autism and other disabilities. The parents contacted the TSA Cares helpline because they were concerned that their child might have challenges with the screening process and may need additional support.  TSA Cares representatives worked with disability experts at TSA to connect them with the Customer Support Manager at their airport.  Local TSA airport staff contacted the family and arranged to have TSA personnel meet them to facilitate their checkpoint screening.

Since our inception, TSA has provided information to all travelers through its TSA Contact Center and Customer Service Managers in airports nationwide. TSA Cares will serve as an additional, dedicated resource for passengers with disabilities, medical conditions or other circumstances or their loved ones who want to prepare for the screening process prior to flying.

TSA established this new helpline because we are committed to treating each passenger the way they deserve to be treated - with dignity and respect.

TSA works regularly with a broad coalition of disability and medical condition advocacy groups to help understand their needs and adapt screening procedures accordingly. We hold quarterly meetings with this coalition to inform them about current training and screening procedures used in airports. We also recently hosted a teleconference with members of these groups to announce the long-standing plans to implement TSA Cares for travelers and inform them of the upcoming launch.

TSA Cares Helpline: 1-855-787-2227: The line is open Monday through Friday 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. EST, excluding federal holidays. After hours, travelers can find information about traveling with disabilities and medical needs on TSA’s website. To learn more click here.

All travelers can contact TSA using Talk To TSA, a web-based tool that allows passengers to reach out to an airport Customer Support Manager directly, and the TSA Contact Center, 1-866-289-9673 or, where travelers can ask questions, provide suggestions and file complaints. All travelers may ask to speak to a TSA supervisor if they have questions about security procedures during the screening process. 

If you’d like to comment on an unrelated topic you can do so in our OffTopic Comments post. You can also view our blog post archives or search our blog to find a related topic to comment in. If you have a travel related issue or question that needs an immediate answer, you can contact a Customer Support Manager at the airport you traveled, or will be traveling through by using Talk to TSA.