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Traveling With A Broken Arm? TSA Is Here To Help

Ann Thompson
In this role playing episode at CVG, a TSA passenger support specialist helps the traveler navigate security.

Getting through security at the airport can be stressful, even more so if you have a disability. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) wants travelers to know they have a helping hand in its TSA Cares program.

At the Cincinnati Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG), TSA Cares is underutilized, with only 10 requests a day. In a recent role-playing demonstration, TSA showed how it would aid a person fitted with an arm sling and leg boot. 

"She's got a sling on; couldn't go through the AIT machine like a regular passenger," explains TSA Spokesman Mark Howell. "We're tailoring it for her and had her go through the metal detector instead." 

Here's how you can take part in the program, according to Howell:

  • 72 hours before your flight, notify the TSA you have a disability and/or medical condition by calling 1-855-787-2227 weekdays 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. ET
  • At the airport security checkpoint, ask for a passenger support specialist (PSS). That person will help you get through the screening process
  • If you are unable to go through the full-body scanner, the PSS will take you aside and screen you a different way
  • Alert the PSS to any oversize medications and that person will check them

Howell says while it's better to call ahead, you can still get the same assistance at the airport even if you do not.

With more than 30 years of journalism experience in the Greater Cincinnati market, Ann Thompson brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her reporting. She has reported for WKRC, WCKY, WHIO-TV, Metro Networks and CBS/ABC Radio. Her work has been recognized by the Associated Press and the Society of Professional Journalists. In 2019 and 2011 A-P named her “Best Reporter” for large market radio in Ohio. She has won awards from the Association of Women in Communications and the Alliance for Women in Media. Ann reports regularly on science and technology in Focus on Technology.