Flying during the holiday season can be stressful for anyone, with or without hearing loss. However, for those who are hard of hearing, airplane travel can be particularly difficult. From checking in at your gate, to going through TSA, boarding and in-flight communication, it can be a frustrating experience.
If you are traveling this year through an airport with hearing loss, here are some tips from our audiologists who are also experts in hearing aids Omaha to help make your experience more enjoyable:
Prepare things ahead of time
The key to making it through the airport successfully is preparation. This means doing as much before your trip as possible. Sign-up through your airline to receive text notifications about your flights, this way you can be confident that any gate changes or changes in departure times will be sent to your phone and you won’t miss any speaker announcements. See if your airport has a loop system that you can sync your hearing aids to.
It’s also important to pack properly before heading off to the airport. This means not putting any important items like your hearing aids, charging case, and cleaning kit in your checked bags. Make sure you have any items on hand that you will need if any problems arise. It can be beneficial to visit with a hearing aids Omaha specialist before you go to give your hearing aids and devices a once-over and fix any existing problems.
At the airport
The most common question people have while at the airport is if they can wear their hearing aids past TSA. The answer is: yes! TSA does not make you remove any hearing aid devices and it won’t set off any alarms. Wearing your hearing aids while at the airport will help you to better understand everything that is going on around you. It is also perfectly safe to place any assistive listening devices in your carry-on and put them through the x-rays at security.
When you get to your gate, make sure to tell the gate agent that you are hard of hearing and will require additional assistance when boarding the plane. Then, the gate agent can let you know the next steps and help you to get on the plane at the right time.
On board your flight
When sitting in your seat, make sure to inform one of the on board flight attendants that you have hearing loss and may need help throughout the flight. Don’t try to keep your hearing loss a secret. If you are wearing your hearing aids, when the flight attendants tell everyone to turn off their electronic devices, this mandate does not apply to your aids. You are allowed to keep them on the entire flight. While there might be on-flight entertainment, it is a gamble on whether or not there will be live captions, so your best bet is to bring your own entertainment. Download some of your favorite movies or bring along your newest book to read on the trip.
Never forget that as a passenger with hearing loss, there are rights and benefits awarded to you through the Air Carrier Access Act.
Our audiologists and experts in hearing aids Omaha would love to help you prepare for your upcoming travels. Make an appointment with us to Hear Now, Stay Active, and Live Better!