top of page
  • Writer's picturethefamilyvacationenthusiast

A Look into the TSA Cares Program for Passenger Assistance through Airport Security

Understanding the TSA Cares Program 

The TSA Cares program is a special assistance initiative provided by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) in the United States. It aims to assist travelers with disabilities, medical conditions, or other special circumstances to navigate through security checkpoints at airports smoothly and comfortably.

Under the TSA Cares program, passengers can request assistance or accommodations before arriving at the airport. This assistance can include help with navigating security procedures, screening processes, and accessing necessary accommodations or services. Additionally, TSA Cares offers specialized training to TSA officers to ensure they are equipped to provide appropriate assistance to passengers with mobility issues, special medical equipment, cultural sensitivities, or cognitive impairments.

Services Offered by TSA Cares

One of the key benefits of the TSA Cares Program is its provision of dedicated assistance to travelers before they even set foot in the airport. By contacting the TSA Cares helpline at least 72 hours prior to your scheduled departure, families can receive personalized support and guidance tailored to their specific requirements. This may include:

Pre-Travel Assistance: Travelers can contact TSA Cares in advance of their trip to inform them of any special needs or concerns they may have regarding the security screening process. This can include mobility issues, medical conditions, or the need for assistance with screening procedures.

Dedicated Helpline: The program offers a dedicated helpline where travelers can speak with TSA representatives who are trained to provide assistance and answer questions related to security screening. This helpline can be especially helpful for individuals who may require additional accommodations or have specific concerns about the screening process.

Airport Assistance: TSA Cares can coordinate with airport personnel to provide assistance to travelers with disabilities or special needs upon arrival at the airport. This assistance may include escorting travelers through security checkpoints, providing additional time or space for screening procedures, or offering support during the screening process.

Education and Awareness: In addition to providing direct assistance to travelers, TSA Cares also works to raise awareness and educate both travelers and TSA staff about the needs of individuals with disabilities or medical conditions. This includes training TSA personnel to be sensitive to the needs of all travelers and to provide appropriate accommodations during the screening process.

How to Utilize TSA Cares:

To utilize the TSA Cares program, follow these steps:

Visit the TSA Cares Website: Go to the TSA Cares website ( to access information and resources about the program.

Review Guidance Documents: On the TSA Cares website, you can find guidance documents and resources that provide information on how the program works, what services are available, and how to request assistance.

You can also find guides that can make your security experience more seamless whether additional assistance is needed or not. Parents may find their 'Traveling with Children' section very helpful as they plan their carry on bags with baby formula, snacks, or liquid medicines to support your little ones.

Submit a Form Online: The TSA Cares website provides an online form that you can fill out to request assistance or accommodations. Be sure to submit the form at least 72 hours before your scheduled flight to allow sufficient time for processing.

Provide Necessary Information: When filling out the form, provide details about your specific needs, including any disabilities or medical conditions you have, as well as any assistance or accommodations you require during the screening process.

Contact the Dedicated Helpline: If you have questions or need assistance with the TSA Cares program, you can contact the dedicated helpline at 1-855-787-2227. Trained representatives are available to provide assistance and answer any questions you may have.

Coordinate with TSA Officers: On the day of your travel, coordinate with TSA officers at the airport to receive assistance and accommodations as needed. Be sure to arrive early to allow ample time for the screening process.

Airport Security Screening Process:

Understanding the airport security screening process is essential for a smooth and hassle-free travel experience. While specific procedures may vary slightly from one airport to another, the basic steps typically include:

Check-in: Upon arrival at the airport, proceed to the check-in counter to obtain boarding passes and check any luggage that you won't be carrying onto the plane.

Security checkpoint: After check-in, head to the security checkpoint, where all passengers are required to undergo screening. This process typically involves:

1. Presentation of identification and boarding passes.

2. Removal of jackets, belts, and shoes.

3. Placement of carry-on items, such as laptops and liquids, in bins for X-ray scanning.

4. Walk-through or pat-down metal detector screening.

Expedited screening programs such as TSA Precheck may allow some of these processes to be expedited. Enrollment in this program is separate from the TSA Cares Program.

Additional screening: In some cases, travelers may be selected for additional screening based on random selection or security concerns. This may involve a more thorough inspection of carry-on items or a pat-down search by TSA personnel.

Boarding: Once you have successfully passed through security screening, proceed to your gate for boarding. Be sure to arrive well in advance of your flight's departure time to allow for any unexpected delays or last-minute preparations.

Traveling to destinations close and far should be an exciting and enriching experience for everyone involved, regardless of any special needs or disabilities. With the support of the TSA Cares Program and a solid understanding of the airport security screening process, families can embark on their journeys with confidence, knowing that they will receive the assistance and accommodation they need every step of the way. So pack your bags, gather your loved ones, and get ready to explore the world together—it's time to make unforgettable memories that will last a lifetime. Safe travels!


bottom of page