Travel Tips for Those With Hearing Loss

Flying and Traveling Tips for People With Hearing Loss

Travel is stressful for most people, but can be even more difficult for people who suffer from a hearing loss. Air travel is often necessary to reach the homes of family members, and flying is particularly challenging for those who are unable to hear important announcements or find their gates before takeoff.

Four Ways to Make Air Travel With Hearing Loss Easier

The first thing to remember is that you should remain calm. When a person is under stress, he or she usually finds it more difficult to hear and understand conversational speech, making a bad situation even worse. Luckily, our air travel tips can take some of the worry out of your trip, helping you to communicate and understand directions when:

  • Booking your flight. If you have difficulty hearing phone conversations, nearly all airlines offer online booking and modification of your chosen flights. Some airlines even include your seat and meal selections, reducing potential confusion on the day of your travel.
  • Checking your bags. Instead of straining to hear an attendant in a crowded terminal, it is usually easier to check your bags with a skycap outside. He will be careful to ticket your bags properly (since he is usually hoping for a tip), you won’t have to wait in line, and you will only have to manage your carry-on bag, boarding pass, and personal ID when you enter the terminal.
  • Going through security. You do not need to remove your hearing aids to go through the security scanner. However, it is usually a good idea to tell the TSA agent that you are wearing hearing aids. If you are having difficulty hearing or understanding the TSA agent, inform him that your hearing is impaired.
  • Receiving travel updates. Airlines use text messages and emails to keep passengers informed of any changes in flights. If you have the airline send you a text message to your cell phone, you will be able to read the message and not depend on your traveling companions or fellow passengers for alerts. If you did not request this feature when you purchased your tickets, try accessing the airline’s website on your cellphone.
  • Getting to the gate. Airline personnel use the public address system to inform passengers of changes in flight status, and even with normal hearing it can be challenging to understand these announcements. If you do not have text or email alerts, check the electronic screens around you to find your gate rather than relying on the information on your printed ticket—and when you reach the gate, check the screen to ensure that you are waiting for the correct flight.

One of the best ways to ensure smooth traveling is to be fitted with a hearing aid before you go. Our board-certified audiologists can find the perfect device for your hearing loss and lifestyle, allowing you the freedom to roam wherever you choose. Call the number on this page or fill out our contact form to make an appointment today!