Too true. The last flight I was on (at Thanksgiving) got halfway to the runway before we had to turn around and hustle back to the gate because someone was having a hypo.
Never leave home w/o a couple 10 pk of glucose tablets. If I were to have forgotten it I would run to snack centers located past security checkpoint.
I thought of all of you this morning on my flight out of Minneapolis. I had a 7:00am flight and was at the airport at 5:30. I am normally PreChek and my boarding pass didn’t come up that way. Therefore I made sure that I was there 90 minutes early.
The security lines were the longest that I have ever seen and I think that PreChek wasn’t even operating. My understanding is that the security risk is quite high right now. I was lucky that I am a Sky Priority passenger with Delta and was able to go to a line with no waiting.
Back to PreChek. When I am PreChek I only go through metal detectors and never declare my pump. With regular screening it is a crapshoot, but most likely a scanner.
Today I decided to go through the scanner with my pump for the first time ever. I alerted the agent and kept it in my pocket. That was a mistake. Because it was near the “groin area”, I ended up having to have a pat-down. I wasn’t unpleasant, but did whine that I thought that going through the scanner would prevent the pat-down.
A supervisor very nicely talked with me when it was over and suggested that because I said my pump company told me to avoid the scanner that I should continue to request a pat-down and avoid the scanner. Hopefully I will go back to my ideal PreChek life with my next flight. If I go through the scanner again, I will put the pump on my waistband rather than in my pocket. Or more likely I will go back to opting out of the scanner.
Ironically before I went into the scanner, the line got quite long and they sent everyone through the adjacent metal detector. But not me, because I had already mentioned my insulin pump…
Yes, the body scanner is an x-ray machine by Medtronic’s standards and I’m sure they know more about that than me, but the magnetometer isn’t- thanks @Terry4 for the info on that . Upthread I posted a link to Medtronic’s written policy. Please read below.
Glad you were able to get through OK. Your experience shows that things do not always go smoothly and without incident, even allowing plenty of time and good familiarity with the process. Traveling with our D-tech introduces another factor that can play out in many ways in the constantly changing airport security system. I would prefer to just smile and nod as I go through security but it’s not always that simple.
I’ve experienced the lost prime faults, too. I finally discovered that firmly tightening the insulin cartridge cap fixed that fault. I don’t have them anymore. That fault was a nuisance because it insisted on a full rewind and a new prime, which meant disconnecting at the site. A real PITA!
They gave me some strange explanations while troubleshooting the problem that made me seriously doubt the pump.
will they do anything when u go by Amtrak for security. ?? we might ues it to so my mom can see her mom. just so i can be ready if they do anything.
Why isn’t the burden of this new regulation placed on our pump manufacturers? They should be designing and creating pumps that can go through these scanners!
For years I had no trouble with walking through the regular scanners, and always showed them my pump A few years ago they tightened up the rules and I was asked to detach my pump and put it through the belt scanner. They explained they can no longer allow pumps to pass through the scanner as it would not pick up explosives. I explained that I would have to take my pants down to do so, and they then did a swipe; afterward they never refused swiping the pump.
The belt scanning device is not X-rays, it is a higher powered magnometer than the walk-through device, and it is the magnet that will interfere with certain pumps and cgms. If it were x-rays you would not be putting insulin through. The first whole body scanners used a form and level of radiation that would harm pumps/cgm, but supposedly have been replaced. The current whole body scanners are suppose to be ok, but in an abundance of caution I always asked for a wipe test.
In October I was returning from England through Heathrow direct to RDU (home base), and the attendant (who was very knowledgeable) told me that the whole body scanner was safe for pumps/cgm. I reasoned that pumps are more popular in Europe, and there were number of pumpers taking this flight would probably have tested this. I had plenty of syringes and insulin, so I went through. No problem with my Vibe or Dexcom.
So next time I fly I will try again going through the body scanner - but on the return trip.
BTW, several times when I have asked for wipe tests and they did the pat down the guy doing it was a pumper!
If my OmniPod and the PDM (personal diabetes manager) were not able to go through the airport security, I would find a different pump. I have never had problems with the Pod attached to my body, and I have both gone through the regular and the enhanced body scanners. The PDM, since it is wireless and put on the conveyor belt, also has never been a problem. In the past, I have occasionally had to do the touch it- swab the fingers routine, but so what? So the TSA spends 30 seconds making sure that some nut-case does not blow up my airplane. I appreciate that! Also, since I registered for and received my Pre-TSA clearance, I easily just by-pass those long TSA lines and easily walk through all of the checks. So if you are really concerned about it all, just get the Pre-TSA approval.
I’ve always have wonder why phones and computers can go through the belt scanners with no issues, but for some reason it’s a big problem with pumps and CGMs. Makes no sense to me.
Because if your phone malfunctions it can’t kill you.
Was thinking of getting a pump but with all these issues will pass. I travel a lot and if you can’t go through a scanner then will pass. This will be an issue for me as were I travel I am sure they have never had this type of experience.
I travel constantly for my job. I don’t have a pump but just for the sake of being a non-conformist have, until recently, always “opted out” of the scanner because a) I want to be a pain in their ass and b) I enjoy the free massage. I’ve been through countless tsa checkpoints with a cgm on and the protocol is the same in tsa policy as a pump. I’m convinced that having an insulin pump adds no significant burden at tsa checkpoints. Just say "I have a medical device and am opting out of the scanner. They pat me down, and send you on your way. It’s really not a big deal, thousands of insulin pumps pass through tsa every day without issue. There are lots of reasons a pump isn’t for me, but this concern doesn’t make the list for me.
I travel by plane often and just ask for a pat down. It’s not a big hassle as long as you don’t make it one. It’s pretty quick even, at least that has been my experience. My carry on stuffs cause more scrutiny, I learned how to pack my supplies so they don’t get questioned. Nothing worse than getting your carry on pulled out and having an agent touching all your medical supplies
In general most electronics are not damaged by low level x-rays or the so called Advanced Imagining Technology (AIT). The question is whether there has been testing by the manufacturer and a warranty against the damage. In the case of phones, laptops and tablets, those operating environments are expected to include this screening and manufacturers test it extensively. They essentially warrant that they will work in that environment.
In the case of pumps and CGMs, the manufacturers have not done extended testing, it is expensive and likely requires meeting additional hard FDA standards. This many pump and CGM manufacturers simply say that they don’t advise it and won’t warrant it in that environment.
Although TSA claimed to have changed their policy so that you could not “opt out” of a scan, in practice they seem to have quietly just continued allowing everyone with medical devices to opt out.
This is helpful thanks! I"m going today to get my Pre-Check done, and am hoping this will make the whole process smoother and faster overall… Will see!
Hi @Dragan1 - This sounds like you proactively present the devices and perhaps no one would have asked - is that correct?
I appreciate you sharing this. I need to prepare Caleb as he’ll likely be looping which will be the first time traveling with Medtronic.
That’s what I do when I go through a body scanner (on US airports). I do not want to look like I am hiding anything, so as soon as I exit the machine I pull my pump and Dex receiver out my pockets and tell the officer what they are. By that time, they can already see on their screen that I have something on me. Then, they swipe my hands to check for explosives, and let me go. I think I recall seeing somewhere else on TuD that lotions or such may trigger the explosive detection machine. So, best to go through with hands washed.
Internationally, most airports do not have body scanners, just metal detectors. When passing through a metal detector, I keep my pump and my Dex transmitter on me, and I do not disclose anything. I put everything else through X-ray machine. So far, my pump and Dex transmitter have never triggered a metal detector, and I’ve traveled a lot.
You may consider enrolling in TSA pre, so that you or your son do not have to go through body scanners in the US either.