TSA stopping and conducting thorough search of people with insulin pumps

The same thing I do with my mobile phone, just place it in a plastic bin and send it thought the xray machine.

Thanks Eric.

I was told never put a pump thru a scanner & I also got a card for airports explaining what it is

So strange.

I went through BWI (Baltimore-Washington International) on Thursday AM with my pump; pointed it out to the TSA agent on the other side of the scanner; he waved me through, no beep, no problem.

My carry-on bag had all my infusion sets, 20 vials of insulin and all the other D/pump stuff. Again, no problem. Could this be a TSA training issue or is it due to “alerts” that are specific to different areas?

Fair Winds,

I always wear the pump under my clothes and never mention anything. I have never been stopped this way. Before I used the pump I was once stopped for needles in my carry-on. They took my whole kit, with individual needles and an open bottle of insulin away from me and tested all of it. It was in a back room and I could not see what they were doing. It made me uncomfortable that my only supplies were out of my sight and that the kit was being gone through without me being present.

I have always just worn it and walked through the machine. I figured as quick as you walk through it, I don’t believe it could do any damage, I trust that more than the xray machine. Maybe I am wrong but it always worked for me. I am flying later this month for the first time in about a year. I’ll let you know if I get hassled.

I’ll watch for your post. I do travel every week and just make sure my pump is not visible. We won’t be able to that with the “body scanners” if they ever implement that technology on a widespread basis. Good luck on your trip.

I don’t think the problem is going through with it on, but a rep from medtronic told me not to be bolusing going through…apparently it can cause havoc with the pump.

OmniPod user here.
I just flew from Tampa to Boston and back, right after the Christmas day near-disaster when security measures were increased. No problems at all for me. Not with the pods I wore through the metal detectors, not with my PDM (the wireless controller “computer”) in the XRay, not with the extra pods or insulin vial in the XRay… nothing.
I was pleasantly surprised.

That’s really good to hear!

That’s hilarious! Yea…all of my “known associates” had to wait for me to get out of the clear glass TSA room where they all stood by and made cavity search jokes…it was a great bonding experience with my co-workers. I do have a CGM as well …I’m kind of worried about the day when they start using the body scanners…the TSA would freak if they knew how much hardware we diabetics are packing ; )

my worst exprience in all my years traveling as a diabetic pre and post pump was the day I flew from Denver to LA, it was the day of the foiled attempt in England. I had an early morning flight and just listened to a CD on the way to the airport, no news. When I got there, they mentioned something about no liquid toiletries in carryon. I had packed all that sutff in my checked bag. Then they made me throw away my drink before security. I didn’t pay much attention as I am used to them changing the rules all the time. Then came the MAJOR hassle. I alway carry one extra infusion set and bottle of insullin in my purse. It was a sealed box of insullin. They had a cow. The fact that I was wearing a pump and a medic alert bracelet was not enough. Thank God I had my medic alert card with my name printed on it. They had to call a supervisor over to approve me to go on with my insullin. It wasn’t until I landed in LA and spoke to a friend on the east coast that I understood what was going on. By the time I flew home 3 days later, they had already put Insullin on the exemption list.
I too, just wear my pump under my shirt and don’t say a flipping word to anyone!

In ten years of wearing a pump, I NEVER had an issue with the TSA…until I got a CGM. They freaked out. They just haven’t been exposed to them much. There was much rubber-glove, powder-swabbing, explosives-residue-fearing, back-away-from-the-device-please-ma’am!-ing. I was chaperoning a group of high schoolers and it was embarrassing, but I had warned the kids that diabetics can have a hard time going through security and they got to experience it firsthand. This was in April of '09, I think. I’ve flown a few times since then and had less problems, but they still approach the CGM with caution.

Like others have said, I just try to keep all the on-body hardware concealed and any handheld portions (my Navigator CGM receiver, my Omnipod PDM) sent through with (a) a doctor’s note, (b) a verbal heads-up to the guy at the scanner, and © the device manual.

You’re too funny Harvey. We always have to keep our sense of humor! Did you guys see that one diabetes humor film that was on Facebook from TuDiabetes a couple of months ago?

I just realized I never told you about my trip in January. Once again to prove there is absolutely no consistency in airport security, on my way through DIA, I kept my pump under my sweater, I went through the detector and was selected for a random pat down. I then mentioned to the woman that I was wearing an insulin pump. She lightly patted me down, did not even ask to see the pump and did not even ask where it was. Coming home, I just walked through.