Making Air Travel a little easier
I have been flying with a service dog for the past 17 years. This means planning my time around the flight schedule and TSA check points.
Recently an agent handed me a card and suggested I call TSA Cares before my next flight. This would make my time going through the check points easier, and shorter, she assured me.
I pocketed the card and thought about it. One of the most frustrating aspects of flying with a service dog is how long it takes to get through security.
Waiting to find someone who will hand check the dog, trying to communicate about when and how TSA can check his equipment all while watching your bags and trying to make your flight on time can be a real headache.
I have had to wait while they called a supervisor from another terminal because nobody in my terminal would touch the service dog. I have had them try to separate me from my service dog – which is not legal. I even had a woman say they needed a man to check my service dog because he was a male dog! Seriously!
While many TSA employees do try to be respectful, too many have cut me off mid-sentence telling me while they try to figure out how they are going to clear me, the dog and our equipment – how about talking with me and listening to what I can and cannot do to participant in being checked.
So I called. A live person took information about my next trip – flight times, airports and most importantly my needs. What did I need to make this process less stressful and so I could feel respected and make my flight on time. When I arrived at the TSA checkpoint, I was welcomed by the TSA Cares representative and walked through the process with no delays. They asked me questions and worked with me to check me and my dog in a respectful and complete way. No waiting for someone who was willing to check my dog or getting frustrated because no one listened to what I could or could not do.
I have learned that TSA Cares offers lots of different service to help people with a variety of special need make it through the check point feeling respected and welcomed.
I encourage you to check out this service and see if it will help your TSA experience the next time you fly.
TSA Care 800-787-2227