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7 Must Know Tips for Passengers with Disabilities- Part 1

Aug 18, 2007
When traveling through airport security it is important for all passengers to be comfortable with the screening process. Passengers with disabilities should go directly to the boarding pass identification checker, bypassing the line at security checkpoint. The checker will direct the passenger to the lane that is recognized for people with disabilities or special needs. Ask if the lane is not clearly marked or noticeable.

This lane allows the passenger extra time if needed to go through the screening process without additional stress. Screeners can and will assist passengers with disabilities once the passenger arrives for the screening process. Screeners should always ask permission before touching or helping you. They can offer a hand, arm or shoulder to assist the passenger through the walk-through metal detector. They also can assist with loading and unloading your carry-on baggage.

A passenger should never feel rushed. Most airports have porters in front of the airports to assist all passengers with their luggage. A porter also has a dual function of assisting passengers to and from the gate and throughout the airport when necessary. A person who requires additional assistance throughout the screening process should contact the airlines ahead of time and arrange porter service.

Always consult your doctor prior to traveling for the best screening process for you and inform the screener how you want to be screened. Screeners should always inform the passenger of the process whether they are in primary or secondary screening. A private screening should be offered before the process begins. You may request a private screening at any time. Two screeners of the same gender as you should be present during private screening. Whether you are in private screening or not, always ask the screener to change his or her gloves before they touch you or your personal items. This will reduce the amount of germs picked up from other people's baggage.

Liquids, gels and creams that are used for medical conditions or devices are automatically exempt from the 3-1-1 rule. 3 ounces or less, one zip-top bag and 1 bag per person. If your liquid medication is over 3 ounces, place those items in a separate plastic zip-top bag and hand it over for inspection. Only take enough medication in your carry-on baggage for the flight. Place all additional liquid medication in your checked baggage.

All medication must be clearly marked with a manufacturers or pharmacy label. Normally, medication is x-rayed; however, you can request a physical inspection if your doctor recommends it. Always use a plastic bag and pack your medication separate from other carry-on items. To avoid contamination or damage, you will be asked to handle and repack your medication throughout the visual inspection process. Any medication that cannot be visually cleared must be x-rayed to allow you into the sterile area of the airport.

7 Must Know Tips for Passengers with Disabilities

1. You will be screened in your wheelchair or scooter if you cannot stand or walk.

2. Ask the screener to assist you with taking off or putting on your shoes. Shoehorns should be available.

3. Companions or a family member should make suggestions on the best way to screen a person with a disability or may accompany and assist you through the screening process.

4. Contact the airlines in advance for their procedures in handling additional medical aids, such as an oxygen supplier or a wheelchair.

5. Discreetly discuss with the screener what your physical limitations or capabilities are before you start a hand-wanding or pat-down procedure.

6. Medical supplies, equipment, mobile aids, and/or assistive devices are exempt from the one carry-on plus one personal item rule.

7. If you have a medical device implant inside or outside your body, always check with your doctor prior to traveling for the best and safest way to be screened at checkpoint. Ask if it is safe for you to walk through the metal detector or to be hand-wanded. If it is determined that you cannot walk through the metal detector, then quietly ask for a full-body pat-down.
About the Author
Natalia Ippolito, a former airport screener and author of: I MIGHT AS WELL BE NAKED: How to Survive Airport Screening With Your Clothes On.

Receive her FREE Tip of The Week, Sample Chapter Ultimate Packing List or Unknown Violations and Fines Report at http://www.airportbook.com
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