TSA took insulin away from pregnant flyer!

I fly all the time and have never experienced this…Seems like these TSA screeners are really getting out of control…

http://overheadbin.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/08/05/7268740-pregnant-flier-says-tsa-confiscated-her-insulin?GT1=43001

You can’t legislate against idiots. Enough publicity and this won’t happen again. The TSA has surely suffered enough embarrassment of late. I don’t even live in the USA and I’ve heard!

However, the TSA said agents did not confiscate any insulin.“The passenger was advised that she would not be able to bring an oversized, unfrozen ice pack through the checkpoint, but that she could purchase additional ice in the concourse.”

This woman must have been very insulin resistant to need so many bottles of insulin traveling to a baby shower in Arizona.
I travel often with insulin,CGS, my pump and many other medications. Never ever have I had any problems. I feel these news stories are fake or people looking to Embarrass the TSA workers. I say to the TSA workers thank you for the help you have always given me and keep up the great job helping to keep us safe.

In a word! A jobsworth!

Training should be given regarding medications and the reason why insulin is needed and why it should never go in the hold. I am not sure why the woman was carrying an unfrozen ice block, but hey, if it is a part of her equipment I would have thought that there should not be a problem. She is highly unlikely to blow up a plane if she is pregnant and flying in it!

It is something that I have always feared and once I was travelling back to the UK with a CPAP machine and they were trying to stop me flying with it even though I had a letter - all 4 lines - explaining the need. I asked the steward if he could actually read English and he said he could - it took all of 20 minutes for him to read it! He then actually rang the hospital in Coventry, UK to confirm that I actually needed this machine!

I’ve usually been ok going through security (both at airports and other places), but I definitely feel like security guards need more training on how to deal with these situations, and how to deal with them appropriately. I actually have more trouble going through building security checkpoints, which I do a lot because I work in DC. In far too many instances, security guards have made a big deal out of my D supplies or pump, practically announcing to the world that I have D. Sometimes, when I am with coworkers, I don’t want that to be the topic of discussion.

I deal with TSA everyday at work and I can tell you they are just window dressing. If your checked bag misses the flight there is a good chance TSA is the reason, I have seen TSA send up bags 6 hours after check in. I still think the best was a pilot who was a Flight Deck Officer asking a TSA agent “So your telling me I can bring a gun in here, but not MT Dew?”.



Lets see 3 vials, 1 half full maybe close to the one month of use limit , 1 vial back up for half empty bottle, 1 vial Lantus. Three vials easy reason to have them. Also I would never check insulin in a checked bag, if you have ever been inside a cargo bin on a hot day you would understand.
Also the liquid rule has been bent for Diabetics in the past since thing such as juice can be considered some thing for treatment of hypos and a half frozen ice pack could easy have been caused by the heat of the day depending on how long of a drive to the airport th passenger had.

We recently flew round trip from Denver to Orange County, CA. Not one TSA member was the least bit concerned about my 5 yr old dtrs omnipods, insulin, syringes, frio packs (which are not frozen), etc… HOWEVER, they did swab her hands for explosives in Orange County…

I travel with 4 vials, never less. One backup of each.

I am not sure about the size of the ice pack but I have used a cooler the size of a lunch bag with two medium blue ice blocks before, no problem…

If it is made up what would be the point? But lets just say they are made up, I’ll play the conspiracy theorist, lol… and take it a step further maybe it is TSA showing how thorough they are to keep attackers at bay…Sure it may be embarrassing on the surface but you have to admit it does make them look competent…

Swabbing? Thats new…

I read about it on here. http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/28773212/detail.html It gives a little more info.

Whether or not they actually confiscated it, I have to wonder how it was packed. Vials just thrown in a bag? Yeah…I can see the TSA taking them.



For a long time the TSA website said that insulin needs to be marked with a prescription label and/or be accompanied by a doctor’s note, ESPECIALLY if there were syringes packed as well. It’s only recently been updated to say that medication does NOT have to be labeled. I would not be surprised if the TSA agent was thinking back to the ‘old rules’. (Granted, they never seemed to enforce the rule much in the past, but this lady might have gotten that ONE agent who did…) So if it wasn’t labeled with an official prescription label, etc…the TSA agent may have felt justified in confiscating it.



It doesn’t make it ok though. Another reason I just DO NOT want to fly any time soon.

Insulin should be taken out of the carry on bag and put in the plastic bags as required for any liquid. Not doing this will cause a stop and a look. I don’t think anyone should call anyone an “idiot” in this situation. There are two sides to this story as with every story. When I first saw this one, the woman wished to remain anon…and now look! I have never had issue with TSA and I carry tons of stuff in my carry on bag. One time they lectured me about my yogurt, it was over the 3oz requirement. I was allowed to bring it anyway - “this time”. I don’t know what really happened in this story, and I’m not defending the TSA but I do know that they make clear what the rules are before you go through the line. And if you get stopped and think it’s them, try to remember that maybe you got stopped because the rule doesn’t change because we are diabetics. Travel safely everyone :slight_smile:

I’ve flown 3 times across the border (Vancouver to Des Moines, Iowa, back again, and same trip to Iowa except the return was done by car). Each time, TSA was awesome to me. I had all my meds in ziploc bags with prescriptions on boxes; I was carrying 3 months’ worth of Humalog on my last trip and had ZERO problems. At YVR, I started to say “I have an insulin pump–” and the lady said “Sure, no problem”, waved me through, then as I was putting shoes and jacket back on, she started asking me about it, what it’s like to wear one and does it hurt. I carry a doctor’s letter just in case, but my experience is if you are prepared, polite and answer all questions clearly and directly, they are pretty civil in return. :o)



(Of course now that I’ve said this, I’m totally destined for a horrible experience some day…knock on wood lol!)

OMG - too bizarre! Des Moines is where I got stopped for the yogurt lecture! Running to knock on wood, we don’t need to jinx our lot!

I have never had to carry a doctor’s note when I got on a airplane…it seems the rules are not consistent

Of course no one knows whats going on…TSA seems to have all these screeners that are not properly trained and could be a serious issue for someone…I mean I fly all the time with my insulin, needles and ice packs and I would freak if someone took my insulin…

I fly a lot (at least once a month) and never have an issue with insulin. I take pens out of my pocket or bag, flag down a screener, and ask for a “hand check” (I learned to do this after I heard a TSA employee use that term). I usually don’t get further questioning, but if asked I respond “it’s insulin and it can’t go through an x-ray.” It has never been more difficult than that.

Honestly, like most things diabetes-related, the key is to act as if what you are doing is totally normal/ordinary, be very direct and matter-of-fact, and not make a big production out of it.

If you look at the other article, it was labeled and she did have a doctor’s note. She didn’t do anything wrong. She had her meds in a cooler bag or something and apparently one of the ice packs was not completely frozen so it was considered suspicious liquid. It’s her word against the agent’s whether the insulin was taken or not. But it’d be awfully easy to slip a vial in your pocket unnoticed- and those things are expensive!

I’m curious: do the Israeli security forces confiscate insulin from pregnant women?

They’ve got a pretty awesome record in the face of considerable hatred directed their way.

Maybe we could LEARN SOMETHING from them?