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Monday, July 16, 2012

If "TSA customer service" isn't an oxymoron, I don't know what is

This isn't a political blog, but sometimes my virulent hatred for a particular government bureaucracy seeps through. Case in point: the Transportation Security Administration. I cannot think of a better example of all that is wrong with government and central planning.

Given that the TSA has made theft, humiliation, and sexual assault a routine part of airline travel, you can imagine my amusement when I ran across the following on the TSA web site:
TSA strives to provide the highest level of security while ensuring that all passengers are treated with dignity and respect. To that end, TSA launched TSA Cares, a new helpline number designed to assist travelers with disabilities and medical conditions.

Travelers may call TSA Cares toll free at 1-855-787-2227 prior to traveling with questions about screening policies, procedures and what to expect at the security checkpoint. TSA Cares will serve as an additional, dedicated resource specifically for passengers with disabilities, medical conditions or other circumstances or their loved ones who want to prepare for the screening process prior to flying.

The hours of operation for the TSA Cares helpline are Monday through Friday 8 a.m. – 11 p.m. EST and weekends and Holidays 9 a.m. – 8 p.m. EST. Travelers who are deaf or hard of hearing can use a relay service to contact TSA Cares or can e-mail

All travelers can contact TSA using Talk To TSA, a web-based tool that allows passengers to reach out to an airport Customer Service Manager directly, and the TSA Contact Center, 1-866-289-9673 and, where travelers can ask questions, provide suggestions and file complaints.

How It Works
  • When a passenger with a disability or medical condition calls TSA Cares, a representative will provide assistance, either with information about screening that is relevant to the passenger's specific disability or medical condition, or the passenger may be referred to disability experts at TSA.
  • TSA recommends that passengers call approximately 72 hours ahead of travel so that TSA Cares has the opportunity to coordinate checkpoint support with a TSA Customer Service Manager located at the airport when necessary.
  • Every person and item must be screened before entering the secure area of an airport and the manner in which the screening is conducted will depend on the passenger's abilities and any specific equipment brought to the security checkpoint.
  • All travelers may ask to speak to a TSA supervisor if questions about screening procedures arise while at the security checkpoint.
For more information, click here to read TSA's press release on TSA Cares.
Sure, the TSA can be a pain in the backside (literally), but at least it cares.

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