Sunday, April 25

Airport Travel with a Cochlear Implant

We recently return from our first family vacation that involved air travel! We went to Disney World to celebrate Drew's Sisters' 5th Birthday, and this meant that the kids flew on an airplane for the first time.

I did a little bit of research prior to the flight, mostly revolving around the security process as it related to Drew's cochlear implants. I was worried that Drew would beep going through security, and I was a little worried about taking all of Drew's spare equipment with me on the airplane (would TSA search my bags with such unfamiliar equipment stashed throughout my bags?). I found that many cochlear implant recipients walk right through the metal detectors, reporting a bit of a buzzing sound in their ears, but no other complications. I also learned that most travel with their back up accessories in their carry on luggage. And I certainly carried Drew's medical cards with me, which we were given at the time of his surgery.

As we approached the security check point on our outbound flight, TSA ushered Drew and I to a separate screening area. After I walked through the metal detector, as I have hundreds of times before, Drew and I were moved to a secure area where he was "patted down". He never walked through the metal detectors. I thought it was very cautionary on TSA's part, and I was very impressed by their professionalism. The screener said that he didn't want any damage to Drew's equipment, so they hand screen all cochlear implant travelers.

The exactly same thing happened on our flight home. Again, I was screened through the metal detector, and then Drew was brought to a secure location with me where he was again "patted down". The TSA agent was very professional again, explaining to Drew exactly what he was going to do. We loved our "special" screening in Orlando, as we were moved to a separate line and spared from a very long security line!

Overall, our security clearing process was a piece of cake, and just one additional little thing that is so normal in this little boys life.


leah said...

I never thought about CI's and airport security screenings... it sounds like the airport personnel had it down to a science! Nolan's hearing aids don't set off the metal detectors, so we've been able to go through the standard process.

Monkey and Bean said...

Glad it went well. We have never had any trouble at all with travelling. I am glad others are having the same experience.

So far the only metal detectors my daughter sets off are the ones at Kohl's for some reason! I avoid that place now!

PS. I am a little jealous of your trip to Disney. I am trying to convince my husband we need to go!

Anonymous said...

We have traveled all over the world with our son who also has bilateral implants and we just walk on through security like all of the other passengers. This causes the least fuss (and embarrassment for our son) and seems to work 99% of the time. One time the screener thought the CIs were bluetooth headsets, but when I explained what they were, she seemed satisfied.

Alex said...

It's very interesting and cool article!

Nasir DZ said...

Every time I travel by airplane and never forget to take my Motorcycle Ear Plugs