Due to the recent security measures that have been put in place at our nation’s airports, many amputees are concerned about the enhanced screening process; some are so uncomfortable that they will not travel by plane at all. The subject article (link below), published in the O&P Business News, describes the newest procedures and how they affect amputees.
The Amputee Coalition of America is working with the TSA to educate their screeners and develop reasonable guidelines for screening travelers with prosthetic limbs. In the meantime, the following suggestions should make the process easier for you:
1. Pack your prosthetic supplies in a bag separate from other articles in your suitcase, along with your prosthetist’s business card. Label the bag, “prosthetic supplies.” Take the bag of supplies out of your suitcase (like you would a laptop) and place in a plastic bin to be x-rayed.
2. If you have a specialized prosthetic device such as a vacuum system or microprocessor knee, it would be helpful to have information describing it in your carry-on bag or purse. This could be information downloaded from a website or your prosthetic provider. Also, print information on screening procedure for amputee’s from TSA’s website so you know your rights: link
3. You do NOT have to remove your shoes when going through the metal detector. Advise the TSA screener that you have a prosthetic leg and it’s difficult to remove your shoes and/or dangerous to walk without them.
4. Be as cooperative, polite and helpful as you can to the TSA screener.
5. Don’t be afraid to ask for a supervisor if you feel the screener has asked you to do something inappropriate.