Tips for flying with special needs


1. Let reservation agents, gate agents and flight attendants know that you or someone you are traveling with has special needs. 

2. Book early to get the seats you want. Seats in the front of the aircraft are quieter and you can exit sooner.  

3. When booking, consider putting the child with special needs in the center seat if traveling with two adults, or the window seat. Or, have one adult sit in front of the child in case the child kicks the seat.  

4. Check in with the gate agent when you arrive.  

5. Board last to lessen the time spent on the plane.  

6. If you’re traveling with another adult, have the other adult board first to set up a “nesting area” (iPad, blanket, snacks, etc.).  

7. Bring something new and exciting to give to your child once they get on the plane.  

8. For possible pressurization issues, have the child keep talking to you, swallow water, chew gum or use a rubber oral sensory chewing tool while taking off and descending to landing.  

9. During takeoff and landing, the engines will be loud. For sensitivity to loud noises, use noise-canceling headphones or soft earplugs.  

10. Call the TSA Cares help line (1-855-787-2227) 72 hours before traveling to ask for a passenger support specialist who can provide on-the-spot assistance during the security screening process.  

For more information on traveling with disabilities and medical conditions, visit www.tsa.gov/travel/special-procedures


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Travel

New TripAdvisor warnings on sexual assault draw criticism

For Kristie Love, reporting a rape by a security guard at a Mexican resort was like yelling into the wind. She kept repeating her story, she said, but the words had little effect.  The resort, the Iberostar Paraiso Maya in Playa del Carmen, quickly turned matters stemming from the Oct. 19, 2010, incident over to its insurance company, which emailed...
12 restaurants worth traveling across the world to see
12 restaurants worth traveling across the world to see

If there's a clichéd concept for food travel, it's the bucket restaurant list. The idea, popularly thought to have come from the 2007 film "The Bucket List," might be only about 10 years old. But it feels as if it's been kicking around much longer and is overused enough to have inspired listicles as random and useless as a roundup...
While flying, keep a handle on your suitcase with a luggage tag

Hey you - you with the nondescript black suitcase! Don't let your luggage leave your home tagless. It could be making a one-way trip.  Luggage tags set your property apart from the masses of indistinguishable bags that spin around on airport conveyor belts. And your bag is far more likely to get lost or picked up by the wrong passenger in its...
Do new rules on Cuba travel mean no rum in cocktails for American travelers?
Do new rules on Cuba travel mean no rum in cocktails for American travelers?

An updated U.S. list of Cuban companies that Americans are prohibited from doing business with because of their links to the Cuban military includes two Cuban rum brands — Ron Varadero and Ron Caney — as well as the soft drink brands Tropicola, Cachito, Jupina and Nahita.  But does that mean that U.S. travelers to Cuba really have...
Hotels that help you say Hola or Bonjour (and more)
Hotels that help you say Hola or Bonjour (and more)

Learning the local language is a great way to get a sense of place, and some hotels today have programs for their guests to do just that. And these aren’t your high-school foreign language classes: Travelers can immerse themselves in the dialect of their destination in fun and engaging ways.  There’s no better way to learn a new language...
More Stories