New TSA Screening rules. They can make us go through scanners


I have faith that if someone dies because a medical device fails because of the scanner that the FDA will definitely be involved.


So … do you go through the scanner with your pump or does TSA swipe your hands with a pad and then check the pad on a machine?


i have to say you are right.


Wow, thanks for the compliment. The fact that I wasn’t really trying to persuade anyone but just sharing feels like I got way more out of this discussion then intended. Some good came out of it from the frustration that its been for me. :wink:
I realized when I had to go without my pump for two and half days what an awesome device my pump is. Moral of my story- you don’t know/value/realize what you have really, until is gone either for good or temporarily.

I did some looking around on Medtronic’s website and below is the link to Medtronic’s guidance on xrays, body scanners and the like. Just so you can compare the difference between the info you received vs. what Medtronic gives out.

I’ve never seen an Animas Pump but those descriptions seem a little vague to me. Maybe Medtronic is a bigger company so they have more literature for CYA purposes. I’m a little bewildered by the lack of guidance on a medical device. Oh well.

Here is more info from Medtronic on any x-ray machines:

I completely agree with you. You have been very luck, don’t need to test your luck anymore. Maybe go to Las Vegas for that. :smile:
I wouldn’t want you or anyone to be stuck in a tight position without your pump.

One last thing, let me be clear, I’ve had pumps replaced because of button issues, etc. I share my story the way I do because I don’t want to be the cause or part of the reason why my pump malfunctioned. This is a medical device and problems can occur, I’m trying my best to take great care with my pump. Its seems small but its very important to me.



I go through the scanner with pump and CGM on me. When I exit the scanner, I already know what should happen, so I pull the pump and the CGM out of my pockets, show both to the staff, and tell them what they are. They ask me to put the pump and the CGM back in my pockets, swipe my hands, check the pad, and let me go. They all seem to know about pumps - apparently I am not the only one doing this. Some tell me they’ve never seen a CGM before, but they’ve never questioned if I could carry it with me or not. I’ve traveled many times this year, I have had a total of zero troubles with TSA.


Thanks for the links, @busybee. I’ll follow them soon. I just wanted to comment on the relative sizes of Medtronic and Animas. Animas is part of Johnson & Johnson. J&J is three times the size of Medtronic when comparing annual revenues. I’m not sure what to make of their lack of warnings about airport x-rays and their pumps. Perhaps I just haven’t found them yet.

Over the years, I’ve tried to get a new pump when the warranty expires. I got a new Ping in 2012; it replaced the 2008 model. I saved the earlier Ping and it serves me as a backup, especially when I go on a foreign vacation. It’s been my experience that replacement pumps can be sent anywhere in the US as next-day delivery.

I’m glad Medtronic gave you a new pump even though they publish warnings about airport x-rays. It was the right thing to do.

In any case, I’ve learned form your experience. Just an fyi, the gate you walk through at airport security is not an x-ray device. It is a magnetometer that can detect a mass of metal as it passes through on a person’s body. This is the gate that I walk through with my pump in my pocket.


Ok, totally did not know Animas was part of Johnson & Johnson. Yea, they are bigger than Medtronic.
Thank you for the info on the difference between the xray and the magnetometer too. I didn’t know the differences, other than if you have metal in your pockets, it will go off. Anyhow, its all good to know.


JnJ is huge; they own One-Touch, too.


For future reference re: Animas pumps.

“While going through airport security, please keep these important things in mind. Your pump should not go through the X-ray screening that is used for carry-on or checked luggage. The new airport screening, Whole Body Imaging Technology, is also a form of X-ray. If you are chosen to go through this form of screening, you will need to disconnect from the pump at your skin site prior to the scan and request alternate methods of screening the pump other than using X-ray.”

Found here

I contacted Animas last year, to ask about carrying the Ping as a backup, not actually in use. The rep I spoke with advised not to pack the pump in checked luggage, nor in a carry on. His advice was to place it with the other D supplies & request a hand search of all of it. Since the Ping is a backup only & out of warranty, I didn’t think to ask if aby damage from x-ray is covered under warranty.


@tiaE - Thank-you posting this together with the link. Bringing a back-up pump like I did on recent foreign travel makes this even more complicated. There are different laws in place in different countries.Trying to avoid any x-ray of the pump takes a lot of perseverance and planning. Not to mention if the back-up pump gets exposed to x-ray and damaged, that’s our loss, not Animas’s.

So if I want to follow Animas’s recommendation, I’ll need to disconnect the pump I’m wearing and place it with any back up pump and ask for a hand inspection. And if I catch any attitude from the TSA agent, I just have to take it and stand my ground.

I was able to refuse the millimeter scan recently in Sydney but it added another ten minutes to my hand inspection. They told me repeatedly that I could just go through the millimeter scanner without any danger to my pump. I had to repeatedly refuse without appearing like I was being unreasonable. When pressed by crowds and trying to keep on eye on my stuff sitting unattended at the end of a conveyor belt some distance from me, I was a bit stressed trying to be diplomatic. In the meantime, just behind me in line, there was a shouting match going on between the security personnel and a traveler. Luckily, the inspecting agent assigned to me was very technocratic and professional in his manner but I didn’t like it one bit.

I know airport security is important but the civil libertarian in me sees much of this scrutiny as so much security theatre. I feel especially vulnerable when I’m on foreign soil.


I have never once in all my travels at any port been asked or required to disconnect from my medical device(s) products, and there is no way I would hand it over to anyone. This is not the usual protocol at all and again you can say “No!”. Sure, you might get delayed and be escorted to a private screening, but you can ask for a supervisor, produce your device deets, and get on your way.

So much DRAMA! I don’t want to be singled out because I am special…Diabetes and the durables and travel products are not that atypical today. There is no need for pump/cgm/supplies to keep you from going where you want. Just go and get in line in plenty of time to get through a pat down and be prepared for some possible ignorance and deal with it and then enjoy your travels.

As said before, there are folks who get much more scrutiny than someone with a visible outside device. At least we can get ours swabbed and move on!


Guy at work told me that he had to go do a hand scan at an airport because a knee replacement (I think) was setting off the detector. While he was waiting he watched an argument at the station. The TSA agent was arguing with a passenger in a wheelchair. He was telling her to STAND UP to go thru the scanner… :dizzy:


Never lose sight of the fact that the tsa is primarily a large federal jobs program to employ people who would otherwise be unemployable… When you keep your expectations grounded in that reality, you won’t have any surprises.


[quote=“Sam19, post:33, topic:50135, full:true”]
Never lose sight of the fact that the tsa is primarily a large federal jobs program to employ people who would otherwise be unemployable… When you keep your expectations grounded in that reality, you won’t have any surprises.
[/quote]Exactly and LOL!! High expectations are generally rewarded with let downs and unhappiness results even beyond getting buckled in to one’s seat.

This reminds me to recommend that diabetics travel with some form of glucose, and whatever snacks (dry stuffs) necessary to enjoy the ride.


I saw this happen last time I flew (some years ago). Poor guy in the wheelchair was crying, as he could NOT walk. I was waiting in a cubicle open for all to see the agent give me a thorough pat down. it was just awful.


I pass my pump to an agent and let them look at it, swab it,etc. while I go through the scanner thing. I had one "MOTOR ERROR* on a pump after flying and waltzing through it. I tell them “It’s $8,000 and will blow up and I’ll need you to get me a new one if it does…”


Like I said upthread, I’ve never had any problem when I have gone through, though sometimes, particularly overseas, I’ve gone for the hand-swipe check just because why take chances. The conveyor-belt x-ray scanner you put your other stuff through is a different story, as you say. Not that I’d ever detach my pump, but I don’t want my CGM receiver to go through it either.


Or as I like to call it, “security theater.”


The pre-9/11 airport security model was designed around keeping guns and knives out of aircraft cabins. Magnetometers worked well enough for this. TSA goes beyond that. Not only are they supposed to keep an ever-growing list of dangerous items out of the cabin, they are also tasked with keeping dangerous people out, too. See § 114, (h). In short, TSA was empowered to deny boarding to anyone, at their discretion, since Nov 2001.

Forcing us into scanners is just another extension of their preexisting authority. At least their procedures are easy to locate (even if individual agents disregard them). Try finding the various policies for each individual airline that you may be flying - including regional connectors. Because I not only need to abide by TSA regulations, I also need to follow the policies of the individual airlines, too. And they can be… wild.

My personal favourite was Air Canada, whose written policy allowed violins and guitars in the cabin, but not violas. Shortly after that faux pas, Air Canada denied boarding to a cellist who’d bought a seat for her instrument because she didn’t tell the airline that the second seat was for an instrument. For the non-musicians among us, there are numerous disturbing accounts of people being kicked off of flights because other passengers (or crew) object to the clothes being worn. It is only a matter of time before some overwrought traveller sees my pump and tubing and informs the cabin crew that I’ve got a weird thing on my hip; then it’ll be my turn to be thrown off the plane for disturbing passengers.

Flying has become brutish. The way I personally approach it is to wear plain, neutral colours, paste a smile on my face, apologise for everything to everyone, say thank you a lot, and hope for the best.


I travel quite extensively due to work. All these years I have never once put my pump through the X-ray machine on the conveyor belt with carry-ons, etc. but I always go through the vertical scanner (the big one that spins around you once and back). I had always interpreted “not putting my pump through the x-ray machine” as the flat one with the conveyor belt. Have I been wrong all along? :frowning:

I can’t say I have never had a problem as a result of this practice. About 3 months ago, I had my Animas Ping exchanged (still within warranty) because three times in a 2-week period it lost its prime half way through a cartridge. To be fair I can’t blame the airport vertical scanner for this, but I thought I’d put this out there to hear what you guys think.