TSA Scanner Voided Animas Pump Warranty

I travel more and more for work (some months 2-3 times). For years I have taken my Animas pump off, put it in my computer bag and put it through that way. After three years I had the pump replaced because the display was getting faint. The new pump worked fine but after one month of use (and three trips) it completely died. A loud alarm went off and all I got was error messages when putting in new batteries. When I called Animas they asked if it was ever exposed to X-rays. I told them how I travel and they said that I violated the warranty! So a warning to frequent travelers.
I really don't want to be patted down every time I travel. I don't mind the inspection it just slows down the process especially compared to the TSA Pre line. In searching pump websites it appears that only OmniPod says that you can go through security with it on. I'm trying that, at least to wear the weeks I travel.

I always walk through security with my pump on (Medtronic). I normally tell the officer that i am wearing a pump and they let me walk through. if there is a problem i can still unhook it and they can swab it or take a closer look. i never had any problems with that.
hope you dont have any more problems in the future.

If you are talking about walking through the scanner that is the problem. I agree that you can do it and the pump will still work but Animas (and I think Medtronic as well) say that it shouldn't be done. You are supposed to tell them you need an "alternative search" and not go through the scanner, which I don't want to do each time I travel. You are fine until something happens to your pump (related or unrelated) and then they ask you if it has been exposed to any form of radiation. If you say yes (which I did) they told me I violated the warranty.

The last time this topic came up on here someone brought up another option: Don't tell them.

Thanks for relating your experience. I've worn pumps for the last 26 years and have consistently used commercial air travel, not frequently but several times each year. I got tired of the pump causing an increased interest and search by security so I adopted the habit of disconnecting the pump and putting it through the hand carry bag x-ray. By your account, it appears that I've been lucky, since I've never had one fail like you describe.

Next time, I'll think I'll try to stay connected but remove the metal belt clip from the pump.

If putting a pump through x-ray voids the warranty, I wonder why it doesn't induce failure every time.

I have it from Medtronic right in front of me:
"The device is not interfered by electrostatic waves. the device can stay plugged on and does not need to be shut down while walking through security arches in airports."
But they mention to unplug it during X-Ray, MRT and computer tomography.
sorry for the horrible english, its more or less a quick translation from my german flyer.

Thanks for everyone's comments. I have no idea if the travel caused my pump to fail since I have also gone through security dozens of times in the last three years.
I also agree that the TSA officers usually don't care. This is really just a warranty issue.
I certainly didn't bring it up when talking to Animas technical help. However, when directly asked a question about exposure to radiation - I don't lie.
Thank you "swisschocolate". I checked the US medtronic site and it says: "Insulin pumps are designed to withstand common electromagnetic interference, including airport security systems. Taking an insulin pump through airport security is quite common. It is always a good idea to carry the Airport Information Card (located in the front pocket of your user guide) when you are traveling".
So as much as I hate the Medtronic glucose sensor maybe I will consider trying their pump again.

Going through the metal detector arch is fine, it is the Xray and microwave used in the scanners that is the problem. High levels of Xrays WILL erase memory chips. Apparently the effect is cluminative and/or luck of the draw. The reason I say it will erase memory chips is because I worked in engineering labs and when a circuit board was Xrayed to find a problem with the board, the ROM chips had been erased. Today, memory chips are much denser therefore affected by Xrays much easier.


I take my pump through the walk-through metal detector, but not through the x-ray or the body scanner (which I just went through for the first time yesterday). I always do the pat-down, except for yesterday when I wasn't given a choice, but I did take my pump off and give it to the security guy rather than have it on during the body scan thing.

X-Ray and CT use much higher amounts of x-ray radiation than the TSA scanners. And MRI uses extremely strong magnets--forget damaging the pump, it'll fly right off of you and stick to the magnet!

You can always demand a pat-down. They have tried to make it look like there is no choice, but if you complain and refuse to go through the scanner they open a door (that doesn't look like a door) and take you aside. They cannot force you to go through their scanner. I always refuse and I always will.

Again i am sorry this happened to you.
Is animas strictly against radiation? because i could imagine that these scanners where you put your luggage through use more and stronger radiation, so maybe it was just the fact that you unplugged it and let it go through the scanner instead of just carrying it through the arch that killed your pump off.
hope you find a good solution, if you hate the cgms of MM like me, you can still carry around a dexcom. i mean its 2 gadgets, but better than being angry at your CGM all the time.
take care

I don't wear a pump or a CGM, but I did do a trial of the old MM CGM a couple years ago and agree that it was barbaric. The new one, however, is supposed to be much better, so maybe worth trying if you haven't already.

I have no problem with the scanners. I don't want to wait and ask for a pat down. At this point, my Omnipod arrives in a few days and I'll consider the Medtronic if I want to go back to a tubed pump. It seems like Animas has lost me as a customer at this point.

Is there an airport card for the Animas pump, like there is for the Medtronic. All I found in my packet was a wallet card with a place to write down the rates. I will be going on a cruise in several months. In the past some of the port authority workers have been a little testy when I have dealt with them in the past with my medical supplies before I was on a pump. I doubt they will be any friendlier this time lol. It would be nice to have a card to hand them to shut up the argument about whether or not my things can be x rayed. Last time I think the guy rolled his eyes so far back in his head he saw how small minded he was haha.

Animas has other "gotchas" out there. I am starting a new thread under Animas and also under pumpers.


Animas will give you a letter. The letter, according to TSA, is worthless! They have said on several trips I have made "TSA only honors FDA laminated cards like the ones from Medtronic." I fly in and out of SAV or CHS about once a week. I have taken on a personal mission to educate TSA. They seem to welcome it.

I never disconnect my Ping and have really had no problems. I fly with CPAP and a Pump Emergency Kit in my second carry-on and have had no problems except Animas does not provide a card.

BTW, check Medtronics litigation history. This was the main reason I went Animas.

I fly international frequently and have found Canadian TSA to be the best with a pump. Last time through Vancouver they asked if I could "unhook" and hand it to the agent. I went through the scanner, sans pump, while the agent stood aside with it in her hand. At no time did they get it anywhere near the x-ray machine and after she handed it back to me she commented my pump was a "cool blue color".

The WORST airports in the US I've found are Atlanta,GA and Burbank,CA. Both airports I've been pulled aside and patted down by sullen TSA agents with an attitude from making them do their job. I had to scream to get the attention of the Atlanta TSA when they went to put my pump through the scanner after I told them it can't be exposed to xray. I guess they couldn't read the card I gave them either.

I recently gave up and started just asking for the pat down-- mainly because the new(ish) sensors at the airport I fly out of the most go off if I'm wearing my pump OR just the infusion set. However, I hate that I have to do this, and I only fly a couple of times a year. It's always a pain, I'm always worried about my stuff going through the x-ray (sometimes it just sits there while I get the pat down) I can understand not being willing to do it if you fly frequently-- there's just no good option. I feel your pain. I hope the Omnipods work better! Also, I think Animas customer service and care has gone downhill significantly since Johnson & Johnson bought the company.