Resources for Smooth Holiday Travel

December 9, 2015

Travel by airplane can be a difficult, anxiety-causing experience, especially during this busy season. Individuals with disabilities have the right to accommodations and supports to make travel a smooth experience. A review of your rights and resources can make for happier holidays!

Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Transportation shared a guide for air travelers with developmental disabilities. This guide has information to clarify legal rights and prepare for comfortable travel. Our friends at M&L Special Needs Planning posted a summary of this document. Read their input here, or access the original document here.

In addition to guides and information from official sources, you can find resources online to help you plan your trip. This article from a website dedicated to traveling for wheelchair users offers tips for navigating airports. The American Spinal Association has a list of resources for travelers with disabilities that you can find here.

Despite careful planning, sometimes things just don’t work out. This article from an accessible travel news resource offers tips on what to do when plans go awry, including how to complain effectively. If you think you have been discriminated against, you can file an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) complaint through the Department of Justice using this online form: To request a paper form or get more information, call (800) 514-0301.

As you prepare for your travel, remember that your rights are protected. To plan for accommodations during security screening and ask questions about what to expect, call the Transportation Security Administration’s TSA Cares helpline at (855) 787-2227 a few days before you take off. At the airport, ask a TSA officer for help when you need it.

Happy holidays, and safe travels!


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