Airport SecurityThu, 12/20/2012 - 10:46AM
If you're planning plane travel with a LVAD, I highly recommend that you call the TSA Care Help Line number 72 hours before departure. I did so for my husband recently and received the "royal treatment" as a result. Agents could not have been more helpful and respectful. Kudos to them!
The head of security at each airport called me at home the day before and gave me the name of an agent to see. They were waiting when we arrived. Put everything except the emergency pack with extra controller through the Xray machine. They hand inspected and swipe-tested the emergency pack.
The phone number is 1-855-787-2227. Website is http://www.tsa.gov/traveler-information/travelers-disabilities-and-medical-conditions
I also stopped by the airline counter ahead of time and had an agent put a note in our travel reservation that we needed to carry-on all equipment. This was helpful as well, and they waived the carry-on fees.
Don't forget to tell the boarding staff that you'd like to board as a disabled passenger. That way the overhead space is open for equipment. (We packed it into two smaller, wheeled bags for easy stowing.
All this takes some extra time, but is worth it!