Flying with Hearing Aids

Jan 5, 2011 by

Travel is an important aspect of our lives. Whether for business or vacation, traveling can be as stressful as it is enjoyable. And for more than 20 million people in the U.S. with hearing loss, travel can be especially difficult.

Travel does not have to be avoided because of hearing loss. If you wear a hearing aid, there are many things that you can do to help make your travels safe, comfortable, and enjoyable. Do not worry about the rules surrounding boarding airplanes with hearing aids anymore.  The Transportation Security Administrations’ regulations allow people with any level of hearing loss to wear their hearing aids on planes.

Hearing aids are no longer an inconvenience at check points, passing through metal detectors and even inside the plane. The only requirement is that hearing aids must be turned off during take off and landing. Besides this fact, there is no other issue related to wearing your hearing aids when you traveling. All hearing aids and devices will be allowed through security checkpoints once cleared through screening.

The Transportation Security Administration has provided some travel guidelines that you can follow to assure a safe and pleasant experience when you travel wearing your hearing aids.

  • It is not necessary to remove hearing aids at security checkpoints.
  • It is best if you wear your hearing device while going through the metal detector.
  • According to Otolaryngologist and Otolaryngology surgeons, hearing devices such as hearing aids are not affected by X-ray inspection, the walk-through metal detector, or the hand-held metal detector.
  • If the screening process is unclear to you, ask the Security Officer to write the information down.
  • If you can read lips or are hard of hearing, ask the Security Officer to look directly at you and repeat the information slowly.
  • If you need to communicate with the Security Officer, inform her/him of your disability and the way in which you can communicate. TSA Security Officers are trained to provide whatever assistance they can to persons with hearing disabilities.
  • If you are concerned or uncomfortable with going through the walk-thorough metal detector, you can ask for a full body pat-down of your person and a visual and physical inspection of the exterior component while it remains on your body.

So, for your next trip plan ahead, inform your fellow travelers, transportation hosts, and airport staff that you are hearing-impaired and you will be traveling wearing your hearing aids. Therefore, they will be prepared to provide you with all the attention and details that you deserve. This also will ensure you to have a more enjoyable trip through today’s hectic airport experience.