Airline travel can be a soar subject to many individuals in La Verne. The stress of dealing with overbooked flights, increasingly cramped seating, stale air, lengthy delays and nothing more than a tiny bag of stale peanuts to tide you over on that trans-continental flight is enough to have anybody long for the comforts of home rather than dealing with the hassle of flying. For those with hearing loss, the situation is even less pleasant.
Strategies for Making Your Flight More Pleasant
When you are dealing with hearing loss, the stress of travel is compounded. You are faced with a litany of obstacles to overcome as you worry about missing pre-departure boarding calls, gate change announcements and in-flight communication. By employing the following strategies, your flight should be much less troublesome.
- Plan ahead of time. Make a list with everything you’ll need so you don’t forget to pack all those important items before setting out for the airport. This includes not only your hearing aids, but accessories like extra batteries and a cleaning kit. Take your devices to a La Verne audiologist for a clean-and-check before you leave to make sure they are working optimally. Print up copies of your itinerary, including hotel and rental car confirmations, in advance to assist with communication – especially if traveling to a foreign country, where a language barrier might compound your hearing impairment.
- Let the TSA agents know you’re wearing hearing aids. You won’t have to remove your hearing aids when passing through security checkpoints, but it’s a good idea to let your TSA screener know you are wearing them in order to avoid the potential for additional scrutiny. If you aren’t wearing your hearing aids, avoid setting them directly on the conveyor belt or putting them in plastic bins; doing so might cause static electricity to discharge, potentially causing damage.
- Take advantage of hearing loops. Many public facilities have been outfitted with induction loop systems to aid the hearing-impaired. These consist of wire coils that transmit electromagnetic signals directly to hearing aids and cochlear implants, allowing users to hear sounds that are clear and free of distortion, helping them hear better in busy places where poor acoustics and background noise are a concern. Places like airports, in other words! Set your hearing aids to “telecoil” mode in order to connect. Not sure if your aids are t-coil enabled? Check with the manufacturer or your La Verne
- Keep your hearing aids on the entire flight. Wearing your hearing aids throughout the flight will ensure you don’t miss important safety or flight announcements. When the flight attendant says it’s time to turn off electronic devices and stow them away, this doesn’t apply to you. Hearing aids will not interfere with in-flight communications or the airplanes electronic circuitry. And keeping them on will ensure you don’t miss any crucial in-flight announcements.
- Know your rights. Airline passengers with hearing loss have specific rights, spelled out by the Air Carrier Access Act, passed by Congress in 1986. These include the right to indicate your need for special assistance during the booking process, information that will be noted on the passenger manifest and distributed to the flight crew and gate attendants; the right to request disability seating, usually located in the front of the plane closer to the flight attendants; the right to pre-board; and the right to the same communication access as other passengers, meaning airline staff will approach you directly with any important announcements.
For more tips on traveling with hearing loss, speak to your LA Verne audiologist.