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

From peppers to pork pies, the most interesting food festivals of the year

There are plenty of tasty reasons to let your appetite determine your destination this year. From festivals celebrating familiar foods to those where you can try more unusual ones, and events where both culinary world superstars and lesser-known chefs cook for the crowds, traveling in the coming year promises to be a palate-pleasing proposition. ...
Aloha, partner: Riding the Hawaiian range

Concho wants to gallop. I can tell. He's a horse, after all, a headstrong one, and rippling green hills spread in every direction. Every so often, a break in the clouds reveals the barren summit of Mauna Kea to the south. But galloping is still a little ways outside my skill set, so with a twinge of guilt I pull the reins to keep my mount at a slow...
The 5 best lakes in Georgia
The 5 best lakes in Georgia

Lake vacations are the best. They have all the spirit refreshing ambiance of a beach sunset without any dangerous sea monsters, salt water nausea or months spent vacuuming sand out of everything you own. Best of all, they are right around the corner. So if you're as sold as I am on getting some quality lake time in this year, refer to this somewhat...
No ocean, no problem: 7 refreshing lake beaches near Atlanta
No ocean, no problem: 7 refreshing lake beaches near Atlanta

Warm sand, cool lakes, smack dab in the middle of Georgia? Yes, that's a real thing. Lake beaches abound near Atlanta —from tiny secluded spots on Lake Lanier to the outsized spread that's part of Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain. Don Carter State Park Gainesville On the northern edge of Atlanta, Don Carter State Park is positioned...
Great castles of the United States

Think only Europe has the lock on castles, coats-of-arm and other royal trappings? Pish-posh — the United States has its castles, too. And visitors may tour the grounds, enjoy a sumptuous repast and, in some cases, overnight in guest rooms that will make you feel like royalty.  — The Kentucky Castle, Versailles, KY   Kentucky...
More Stories