What To Expect At Airport Security As A Wheelchair User

Content via Magee Rehabilitation Hospital
Magee Rehabilitation Hospital

Let’s face it … getting through airport security is generally nobody’s idea of fun regardless of whether you are walking or rolling through. But here’s some advice from well-traveled wheelchair user Mark Chilutti on what to expect when it comes to airport security.

Pre-Airport Preparation – Before arriving at the airport, you will want to check out the TSA’s webpage for people with disabilities and medical conditions. There you can filter by disability and find out information on what to expect during the screening process.

The Screening Process – Look for a special line for disabled passengers. “The agents usually direct you towards it,” shares Mark, “and it is really helpful as you do not need to try to weave your way through the long and winding lines.”


airport terminal

An agent will then explain what will happen during screening. (If you would prefer a private screening, now is the time to say so.) You will want to communicate your specific needs – and even briefly mention tasks you cannot perform (for example, letting them know you are unable to remove your shoes will be helpful information as they have alternate ways to check your shoes without taking them off).

Tell the agent if you have medically necessary liquids as these will need to be screened separately. Any service animals will also undergo a separate screening.

Lastly, be sure to communicate any medical devices you have such as catheters, leg bags, and ostomies so that when the agent performs the pat down, they will be aware of any sensitive areas.

“If you follow the rules, and are upfront about any special issues or concerns, it should be a relatively quick process.”

It doesn't take him longer than 20 minutes.

Share this post with someone who may be traveling with a wheelchair. It could be really helpful!

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