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Can I Fly with Hearing Aids?

There are so many important things that occur when travelling that you just don’t want to miss. Learn everything from how to transport hearing technology through airport security to your rights when travelling with a disability.




Hi, I'm Jim Cuddy and this is Ask The Hearing Doctors. And I'm joined today by Dr. Ana Anzola, doctor of audiology with Hearing Doctors. The Washington DC area's highest-rated audiology practice with over 1500, five-star reviews. Ana as always great to see you. Great to see you, too.


So I'm getting ready to go on a trip. I'm flying. I've got my hearing aids. I probably need to make sure I've checked off a few things on the list. Where should I start?


Start by visiting your audiologist. Ensure that those hearing aids are working up to par. And maybe even get a list of other providers wherever you're going to end up. So there there are providers all over the world, so no matter where you're going to go, please ensure that you have a list of other providers. Maybe your audiologist can call them in advance just in case you may need something. Letting them know what type of hearing device you wear. If you take batteries make sure you take extra batteries with you. If it's a rechargeable product make sure that there's a way that you can maybe plug the USB port at your hotel. So just kind of let the hotel know also and alert them. You know maybe there are certain rooms that are more equipped than others.


Now what about contacting the airline and let them know?


Oh yeah, absolutely. So whether you're traveling by air or boat let everybody know who you are. Self-report that there are hearing issues or possible that you do wear the hearing devices. So besides taking your own accessories let them know that I wear hearing devices. 


Should I be concerned about going through TSA or letting them know?


And you don't um. They're all approved. It's all good. But the more comfortable you feel about letting other people know then you're gonna you'll feel comfortable that no matter who you interact with that they know that there's a possible hearing loss.


And that's something you would encourage anybody. Feel comfortable with it. This is this is what's helping you in your life. Absolutely. Take ownership of it. Yeah. And be proud of it. 


Yeah. You know there's certain seats in the airplane that are more conducive to better communication. Let them know, I want those special seats. Um don’t sit in the back where there's a lot of noise. Maybe kids are crying. It's too loud... the engines. So make sure that the flight attendants also are aware of that.


When the kids are crying I think you move from hearing aids to ear plugs that's that's that's a whole other story. And you can turn them off. Right and turn them off.


Going through the security checkpoint. There are no issues, should you let TSA know? Does that matter anymore?


No, it really doesn't matter. It's all approved. Uh for the boxes you can put them in the luggage or you can carry them with you and you can just go through the metal detectors. 


And then when it comes to you know hearing aid batteries, we always hear these things you know lithium-ion batteries can be dangerous. Is it safe to travel with lithium-ion batteries on a plane?


Yeah, yeah absolutely. So no concerns there. And you don't have to tell TSA. But if you can I would recommend to put them tuck them in into the briefcase or the luggage and you should be fine.


So you don't want to just stick them on a conveyor belt and?


No no yeah no no please. Just have them in a safe place. You can also ask them for them to pat you down and let them know I have hearing aids and I have my charger here.


And so the same thing if somebody doesn't want to wear their hearing aids going through the security checkpoint just make sure? That they are well secured in a case so that they know. Okay.


Do you have to turn your hearing aids off when they make the announcement all devices need to be turned off now as we get ready to take flight?


No this is the reason why you wear hearing devices so you can hear important information. So I do encourage the opposite. Keep them on. Don't turn them off and be able to hear critical information that somebody else might be hearing. I don't want you to miss that. 


Let's talk a little bit about patient rights. I mean can I let the airline know that I need perhaps need special services? I mean in addition to just alerting them that I have the hearing aids but maybe my hearing is such that I need other services on the other end.


Absolutely. This is why you have a right to tell them exactly what it is that you need. If you look at airports, it's very well announced. You know there are signs everywhere that if you need extra help or extra assistance. This is by law so you're entitled to get those services. Television sets you'll see closed captioning as well. Alerting important information as to hey this flight was delayed. And so the information is conveyed to anybody who hears normally or with assistance. 


You know that reminds me too, signing up for text alerts from from an airline?


That's a very good point. Um I think that that's really critical nowadays. So not only do you you could check their website for any important critical information but also you can request a text. Um especially if your flight has been delayed. 


Can you get preferential seating?


Well yes. You might have to pay a little bit more. No I'm just kidding. No, but you can because there are certain seats that are for um they're more conducive for better communication. Um so yeah. So you can ask for those. 


So they will let you they'll let you do that? 




So you could actually get a first-class seat? I don't know about the first class. This is why you need to see your audiologist you need to get your hearing checked. They said. Yeah, that's right.


Well Ana it's great information. I think this probably puts a lot of people at ease if they're getting ready to take a trip they shouldn't let the hearing loss, their hearing impairment, or the fact that they wear hearing aids get in the way. Enjoy the trip. No way, enjoy the trip. Thanks so much. Safe travels. Thank you.


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