A Tip to Make Traveling a Little Easier for Those With HD
Since her 2018 diagnosis as gene-positive for Huntington’s disease (HD), my wife, Jill, has made visiting family a priority. We drive together for shorter trips when we can because our 13-year-old dog, Baby Girl, travels with us. For the trips that are too far to drive, or when one of us is traveling alone, flying is our preferred method of travel.
But flying is stressful for Jill, especially going through airport security.
Several years ago, our daughter, Alexus, went through a process called TSA PreCheck with the U.S. Transportation Security Administration. It’s essentially a pass to get through security a little easier. People who apply are given a background check and are interviewed to make sure they aren’t a threat. PreCheck travelers also don’t need to remove shoes or laptops when going through the scanners.
Jill has been flying a lot over the past several years, so Alexus tried to persuade her to apply. But Jill said no because it was too expensive. As it was only $85, I tried to persuade my wife, but she declined again.
One morning, I woke up to get ready for work and found that Jill had texted me several times during the evening. She doesn’t sleep well, so she gets a lot done late at night. She jokes that she gets her best ideas, and her worst ones, at 3 a.m.
The texts were screenshots from Capital One, our credit card account, and from the TSA website. The first picture said that Capital One would credit the account that paid for TSA PreCheck — up to $100. The next picture said that the cost of PreCheck was $85. The last text read, “I can get this for FREE.”
Later that morning, I asked her how she found out that our credit card would essentially pay for her to apply for TSA PreCheck. She said she was feeling anxious about flying the next week, so she looked up if fees could be waived for those with a disability. Instead, she discovered an article about the various credit card companies that will pay for the PreCheck.
Jill was happy that she stumbled onto this information and wanted to share the news in this column. She knows that traveling is stressful enough, but traveling for someone who is gene-positive with HD can be anxiety-inducing, not only for the person, but also the caregiver.
Check with your credit card company or bank to see if you are eligible for this awesome benefit.
As time goes by, Jill knows that she may become too anxious to stand in long lines at the airport, so she’s hopeful that the TSA PreCheck program will help alleviate some of her worries.
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