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TSA’s Notification Card Means Nothing

TSA has a notification card for people with disabilities so they can “discreetly communicate information about their needs to an officer’.

TSA Notification Card

This does not exempt you from any extra screening.  It’s more or a “hey FYI guys, I can’t stand on my own / I will set off the metal detector / etc”.

My father has something he needs to communicate–that his knee contains metal and will set off the alarm system.

So he travels with a notification card and medical documentation because he figures it will be better for TSA to know that he’s about to set things off with his knee.

However, he’s found in using this card that all it does is seem to annoy TSA agents.

Some of them wouldn’t look at it and some of them were not so kind about it.

One agent laughed at him and asked why he bothers pulling that out if it doesn’t do anything.

My father figured the original purpose of it is to alert the agents ahead of time that he’s about to set off the metal detector.  They see that heads up as an inconvenience, but the website on metal devices suggests he give the agents a heads-up.

Whether he’s on the scanner or in a metal detector, something weird is going to show up on his knee.  But what do you think–should he just give up on alerting them ahead of time and wait for things to alarm?  Or would some agents appreciate knowing this ahead of time?

About Jeanne Marie Hoffman

Former bartender, still a geek. One equal part each cookies, liberty, football, music, travel, libations. Stir vigorously. +Jeanne Marie Hoffman Jeanne on Twitter

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One comment

  1. The TSA has an office in Washington that has to do with disability civil rights. I am not sure how helpful they would be or not…

    If he flys out of a couple of airports frequently, I would have him make contact with the TSA office in those airports. The agency, like other large entitys, may try to discourage this, I don’t know if they do… But this might be the best way.

    I would say it would be most effective if he can go and meet with a manager at the local airport TSA office in person.

    You may have to scout around the airport to find out where the TSA office is etc. I’m not sure how readily available this information is made available to the public. Like the airlines, the TSA might prefer that you call some anonymous 800 number where they will just give you scripted answers.

    You or your dad also needs the right personality for this, or to recruit someone. A lot of people might feel nervous or anxious to look around the airport for some back office, and to knock on the mysterious door and ask to speak with someone or make an appointment.

    hat all being said, I would imagine the TSA might be a little more amenable to this than some of the airlines who again just try to shove all communications through the largely useless public facing official channels.

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