May 16, 2023
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) can be frustrating and bewildering to travelers. Whether you're a first-time flyer or a seasoned veteran, reviewing TSA regulations and policies is always a good idea. We've compiled a quick guide to zip you through the TSA line!
1. Packing Dos and Dont's
Can I take my ThermApparel Cooling Vest on the plane with me? The TSA guidelines don't say anything specific about cooling vests except for "The final decision rests with the TSA officer on whether an item is allowed through the checkpoint."
We have heard from customers that they have been able to take their ThermApparel Cooling Vest on the plane while wearing it and/or in their carry-on-luggage, and we have heard from other customers that they have not been able to get through security with their UnderCool Cooling Vest or have it in their carry-on-luggage but everyone has been able to put it in their checked luggage.
The TSA has an easy visual guide on what is and is not allowed on luggage. Firearms and other flammable objects are never allowed on flights but other seemingly innocuous items may raise a red flag for security reasons. Familiarize yourself with the list to avoid mailing things back home.
Save yourself a headache and double-check everything before you leave for the airport. One simple thing in your rush to get things ready for traveling can make all the difference in your TSA experience. The TSA's Travel Checklist helps to make sure you have everything ready!
2. Tips for traveling with your UnderCool Cooling Vest.
- Unless you need the cooling vest on the plane to keep yourself cool, put it in your checked luggage.
- Always travel with the cooling packs in their frozen, solid state. All TSA agents will raise a red flag if they see strange-looking pockets of liquid.
- Pack your ThermApparel Cooling Vests in the ThermApparel Cooler Bag. It will keep them compact and safe from damage.
3. Take 2 sets of your medical paperwork.
Carry 2 sets of your medical paperwork. Place 1 set in your carry on and 1 set in your checked luggage. (TIP: safe location is the front pocket of the ThermApparel Cooler Bag)
- Medical Note from your doctor stating why you need a cooling vest
- ThermApparel Safety Data Sheet
- TSA Notification Card (see #4)
4. Familiarize yourself with TSA exceptions
The TSA has special procedures and exceptions for children, seniors, and individuals with medical conditions. The TSA recommends you turn in a TSA Notification Card stating your medical condition to a TSA officer to receive alternative screening methods. It never hurts to call ahead to ask questions about these alternative methods so you know what to expect.
- TSA’s toll-free helpline or online form, called TSA Cares, enables travelers or families of passengers with disabilities and medical conditions to call 1-855-787-2227 with any questions about screening policies, procedures, and what to expect at the security checkpoint 72 hours prior to traveling. If you need in-flight assistance or wheelchair assistance from the curb to the flight, please contact your airline. The helpline is staffed on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. ET and from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekends and holidays. Injured service members and veterans including individuals associated with the Wounded Warrior Program may contact TSA Cares to help facilitate the screening process. By asking questions on the helpline, travelers arrive at the airport knowing the screening process and procedures that they will experience, thus reducing the anxiety about the unknown.
- The TSA Contact Center is a customer call center that is available to answer questions by e-mail or toll-free phone at 1-866-289-9673. Staff is available from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekends/holidays; and an automated service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
- Passenger Support Specialists are highly trained TSA officers at airports who have special training in successfully engaging with, and screening, individuals who have disabilities or medical conditions, or who travel with medical devices. Travelers requiring accommodations to the screening process, or who are concerned about the security screening process at the airport may ask for a Passenger Support Specialist or a Supervisory TSA Officer who can provide on-the-spot assistance.
- The TSA website has an entire section devoted to traveling with disabilities, medical conditions, and medical devices. The link provides a host of information via a drop-down menu that allows viewers of the web page to select detailed information on the specific situation with which they have a question. Situations include traveling with medications; Alzheimer’s, dementia, aphasia or a brain injury; autism or intellectual disabilities, blind or low vision; deaf or hard of hearing; use of external medical devices; implants and use of internal medical devices; mobility disabilities, aids, and devices; prostheses, casts, braces or support appliances; recent use of radioactive medication and materials; respiratory equipment; and use of service dogs and animals.
- A helpful interactive Twitter account, @AskTSA, allows individuals to tweet a question about the screening process for medical devices and for medical conditions, from traveling with a temporary condition (e.g., a cast on a broken arm or leg) to traveling through a checkpoint wearing an ostomy pouch beneath one’s clothing. Travelers with questions about the screening process can contact a TSA employee for live assistance 365 days a year via Twitter. Tweet questions and comments to @AskTSA from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekends/holidays. Or, the traveler may send the question to TSA via Facebook Messenger.
5. Familiarize yourself with airline-accessible travel services
Call your departing and arriving airport to find out what guidelines they may have. Upon arrival, some of your checked medical equipment may be offloaded at a special baggage claim. Also, ask about in-flight assistance or wheelchair assistance from curb to flight.
You may also need to contact your airline (by phone or web) to find out how they handle medical devices that are carried on board or checked in.
Air Canada Accessible Travel Services - 1-800-667-4732
Alaska Airlines Accessible Travel Services - 1-800-503-0101
American Airlines Accessible Travel Services - 1-800-237-7976
Delta Airlines Accessible Travel Services - 404-209-3434
Emirates Accessible Travel Services - 1-888-320-1576
Hawaiian Airlines Accessible Travel Services - 1-800-367-5320
Southwest Airlines Accessible Travel Services - 1-800-435-9792
United Airlines Accessible Travel Services - 1-800-228-2744
6. Know your rights
The Airline Passengers with Disabilities Bill of Rights describes the fundamental rights of air travelers with disabilities under the Air Carrier Access Act and its implementing regulation, 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 382.
7. Discover Sunflower-friendly places
What is the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower? It is a simple tool for you to voluntarily share that you have a disability or condition that may not be immediately apparent – and that you may need a helping hand, understanding, or more time in shops, at work, on transport, or in public spaces. Search for places that support people with invisible disabilities.
Traveling to a Disney Park?
Check out this blog for ADA tips for visiting Disney Parks.
Do you have a Cooling Plan?
Check out this blog. ThermApparel was able to set up an individualized Cooling Plan and Timeline for a Father of the Bride to be able to keep his heat sensitivity under control and enjoy his daughter's wedding!
If you need help putting together a Cooling Plan and Timeline for your wedding, event or vacation call 855-232-7233 and talk to Julia. This is a free service from ThermApparel. We want to make sure you enjoy your event or vacation and not worry about how to survive it.
ThermApparel Cooling Vest of Choice for Travel
ThermApparel is a small business making big waves in the heat sensitivity world by designing the first lightweight, comfortable and invisible cooling vest, UnderCool. Check us out online, on our blog, or on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Instagram.
Please let us know if you have any other questions or ideas in the comments below, we will follow up. You can always reach us via:
Live Chat - www.thermapparel.com | Email - email@example.com | Phone - 855-232-7233 | Address: ThermApparel LLC. 125 Tech Park Dr. Rochester, NY 14620
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