Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Travel&Dining > Travel Safety/Security > Checkpoints and Borders Policy Debate
Reload this Page >

TSA now has a toll free helpline for travelers with disabilities and medical needs

TSA now has a toll free helpline for travelers with disabilities and medical needs

Old Dec 23, 11, 12:57 pm
  #1  
Moderator: Smoking Lounge; FlyerTalk Evangelist
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: SFO, CDG, PBI
Programs: Lifetime (for now) Gold MM, HH Gold, Giving Tootsie Pops to UA employees, & a retired hockey goalie
Posts: 28,412
TSA now has a toll free helpline for travelers with disabilities and medical needs

http://www.tsa.gov/press/releases/2011/1222.shtm

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced the launch of TSA Cares today, a new helpline number designed to assist travelers with disabilities and medical conditions, prior to getting to the airport. Travelers may call TSA Cares toll free at 1-855-787-2227 prior to traveling with questions about screening policies, procedures and what to expect at the security checkpoint......
...When a passenger with a disability or medical condition calls TSA Cares, a representative will provide assistance, either with information about screening that is relevant to the passengerís specific disability or medical condition, or 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....
So what pray tell is a "disability expert"?

...All travelers may ask to speak to a TSA supervisor if questions about screening procedures arise while at the security checkpoint....
Which still means that a pax could be subject to a TSO potentially* practicing medicine without a license


*I say "potentially" as their may be (n.b. may be) a TSO out there who is also an MD
goalie is offline  
Old Dec 23, 11, 1:02 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: ONT
Programs: AA Gold, WN A-, UA S, HH ♦, IHG Spire, Hertz Prez O, TSA Disparager
Posts: 2,156
Now Pistole can tell Congress he's proactive and takes assaults by his clerks serious.
Michael El is offline  
Old Dec 23, 11, 1:37 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 3,657
Originally Posted by Michael El View Post
Now Pistole can tell Congress he's proactive and takes assaults by his clerks serious.
Or simply blame passengers with disabilities for their own problems at screening if they didn't call the magic hotline ahead of time ...
jkhuggins is offline  
Old Dec 23, 11, 1:45 pm
  #4  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Finally back in Boston after escaping from New York
Posts: 13,516
Originally Posted by jkhuggins View Post
Or simply blame passengers with disabilities for their own problems at screening if they didn't call the magic hotline ahead of time ...
Unfortunately, this is the most likely outcome. Those who don't travel often are unlikely to know that this line exists, meaning that they will get to the airport and run into the same issues.

While I applaud the fact that they are willing to discuss the issues ahead of time with the airport itself, I'm dubious about whether it will do any good.

Mike
mikeef is offline  
Old Dec 23, 11, 2:54 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: California. USA
Posts: 1,404
Originally Posted by mikeef View Post
Unfortunately, this is the most likely outcome. Those who don't travel often are unlikely to know that this line exists, meaning that they will get to the airport and run into the same issues.

While I applaud the fact that they are willing to discuss the issues ahead of time with the airport itself, I'm dubious about whether it will do any good.

Mike
It might help some. All depending the disability and the TSO screener at the airport.
It will not help a person with memory loss. And not people who doesnt have a computer.

My mom doesnt have a computer at all.
tanja is offline  
Old Dec 23, 11, 2:55 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: California. USA
Posts: 1,404
Originally Posted by goalie View Post
http://www.tsa.gov/press/releases/2011/1222.shtm



So what pray tell is a "disability expert"?

Which still means that a pax could be subject to a TSO potentially* practicing medicine without a license


*I say "potentially" as their may be (n.b. may be) a TSO out there who is also an MD
Somehow I dont trust this at all. Hope I am wrong.
tanja is offline  
Old Dec 23, 11, 3:56 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Kansas City
Posts: 175
Originally Posted by goalie View Post
http://www.tsa.gov/press/releases/2011/1222.shtm



So what pray tell is a "disability expert"?
My guess is someone as competent as those who are trained to detect micro-expressions. (BDO's)
Rondall is offline  
Old Dec 23, 11, 7:40 pm
  #8  
Suspended
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 4,952
Nadine Hays allegedly called the TSA prior to arriving at the airport with her mother and her mother's applesauce. We all know how that turned out.
doober is offline  
Old Dec 23, 11, 10:40 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: SYD (usually), GVA (occasionally)
Programs: QF PS, EK-Gold, Security Theatre Critic
Posts: 4,605
Originally Posted by jkhuggins View Post
Or simply blame passengers with disabilities for their own problems at screening if they didn't call the magic hotline ahead of time ...
Or claim that the passenger misunderstood what the hotline told them. Or that the hotline person was wrong. Or that the policy has changed since yesterday. Or that they don't do it that way at airport XXX. Or...
RadioGirl is online now  
Old Dec 23, 11, 11:01 pm
  #10  
In Memoriam
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Easton, CT, USA
Programs: ua prem exec, Former hilton diamond
Posts: 31,801
So if the old ladies called the hotline they would have been told they would not be strip searched, because the TSA doesn't strip search people.

Yet when they got to Kennedy, they would have been strip searched.

Yeah, that's helpful.
cordelli is offline  
Old Dec 24, 11, 2:17 am
  #11  
Ari
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Chicago
Posts: 11,011
'TSA Cares' is a terrible name for the line-- it is extremely patronizing and doesn't describe the service the line is supposed to provide. But the dumb choice of name comes as no shock.

This whole state of affairs is sad-- that we need a phone number for a disabled person to call before going to the airport so that the airport workers can be told in advance to treat the person with dignity.
Ari is online now  
Old Dec 24, 11, 6:04 am
  #12  
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Greensboro
Programs: TSA
Posts: 2,215
Actually, if used correctly, this is a step forward. If we can get follow through on the information (as I read it, they call the hotline, speak to someone, and if special needs are in play, they contact the airport directly to coordinate), and get those in this chain of information to do what they are supposed to do, it stands a chance of helping a great many passengers that have a disability. I would love to be the local contact point for things like this, it would give me the chance to interface with the STSOs and TSMs at the checkpoints to make certain they are able to preplan for specific situations, as well as making certain that there is a better awareness in general of how to better assist passengers with disabilities. I would actually like to see someone designated at each airport to be a POC for passengers with disabilities. Take that person, train them, have them make contact with the same groups that help TSA to make policy, and develop better programs to teach the TSOs how to help more in the process, instead of simply focusing on getting the screening done (which seems to be the case in many of the complaints I have heard). I have always found that simply asking a person what we can do to help first, then beginning to explain what screening needs to be done has almost always resulted in better communication. I like it, and if it is utilized in the spirit it has been developed, I think it can be a great step forward towards helping our passengers.
gsoltso is offline  
Old Dec 24, 11, 6:20 am
  #13  
Suspended
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 4,952
Those are all very big IFs, West. And it would mean that the TSA would have to be <drum roll, please>, CONSISTENT.
doober is offline  
Old Dec 24, 11, 6:45 am
  #14  
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Nashville, TN
Programs: WN Nothing and spending the half million points from too many flights, Hilton Diamond
Posts: 8,016
Originally Posted by gsoltso View Post
Actually, if used correctly, this is a step forward. If we can get follow through on the information (as I read it, they call the hotline, speak to someone, and if special needs are in play, they contact the airport directly to coordinate), and get those in this chain of information to do what they are supposed to do, it stands a chance of helping a great many passengers that have a disability. I would love to be the local contact point for things like this, it would give me the chance to interface with the STSOs and TSMs at the checkpoints to make certain they are able to preplan for specific situations, as well as making certain that there is a better awareness in general of how to better assist passengers with disabilities. I would actually like to see someone designated at each airport to be a POC for passengers with disabilities. Take that person, train them, have them make contact with the same groups that help TSA to make policy, and develop better programs to teach the TSOs how to help more in the process, instead of simply focusing on getting the screening done (which seems to be the case in many of the complaints I have heard). I have always found that simply asking a person what we can do to help first, then beginning to explain what screening needs to be done has almost always resulted in better communication. I like it, and if it is utilized in the spirit it has been developed, I think it can be a great step forward towards helping our passengers.
There will be those, like yourself, that see the value in this and would try to make it work in their airport. Kudos to you and the others that make it work correctly.

Nonetheless, the people on this forum have some really good ideas about what the TSA could do, we discuss specific things they should do, we speculate about what they would do in certain situations, but it in the end it is the things they actually do that generate the most conversation.
InkUnderNails is offline  
Old Dec 24, 11, 7:33 am
  #15  
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Greensboro
Programs: TSA
Posts: 2,215
Originally Posted by InkUnderNails View Post
There will be those, like yourself, that see the value in this and would try to make it work in their airport. Kudos to you and the others that make it work correctly.

Nonetheless, the people on this forum have some really good ideas about what the TSA could do, we discuss specific things they should do, we speculate about what they would do in certain situations, but it in the end it is the things they actually do that generate the most conversation.
I can find no fault in what you say, it is all true. Most of the conversation here is generated by someone doing the wrong thing, or doing the right thing the wrong way. There is also a lot of disagreement over policy, but the vast majority of discussion is over interactions between TSA personnel and passengers. This is an opportunity to have an impact not only on a specific subset of passengers, but on the TSOs themselves. If you use this system and it becomes a repetitive action (oh god, here comes West AGAIN!), then the TSOs begin to adjust how they do things in general - in a sense, this is a chance to reinforce "good" behavior. If I have worked with a group, and I know they are pretty good at what they do, then most situations can be handled with a simple discussion with the STSO and voila, as stress-free of a situation as we can make for that passenger. Conversely, if I have worked with a group and I am not truly happy with how they are treating the specific subset of passengers (and by extension, ALL passengers), then I have some recourse with mangement to help encourage "good" behavior. If this is done the right way, it can have a lasting impact on the workforce in general, and can even generate better passenger treatment across the board. All positive change has to start somewhere, and this is a good opportunity for TSA as a whole.
gsoltso is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: