- advertisement -

TSA took away traveler's insulin

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by momof2here, Aug 5, 2011.

  1. momof2here

    momof2here Approved members

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2009
    Messages:
    1,377
  2. Sarah Maddie's Mom

    Sarah Maddie's Mom Approved members

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2007
    Messages:
    12,521
    Yes, I think this is a terrible story - but we've flown countless times and never, not once, had the slightest problem. And I have to assume that every day tens of thousands of people with diabetes get through security without issue.

    Do I think the TSA is a stupidly reactive agency? Yes. Do I think this one instance means much? No, it was just an isolated stupid reaction by an agency whose stupid reactive policies impact everyone, and don't, specifically, target folks traveling with insulin.
     
  3. momof2here

    momof2here Approved members

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2009
    Messages:
    1,377
    Yeah, I agree, after having some time to think about it. In a way, I am actually 'glad' that this happened, it builds alot of awareness in the TSA about this so that incidents like this will be even more rare than they already were.

    Sorry for the woman, of course.
     
  4. caspi

    caspi Approved members

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2006
    Messages:
    5,134
    I agree - we have never had any issues.
     
  5. mmc51264

    mmc51264 Approved members

    Joined:
    May 2, 2006
    Messages:
    298
    My husband has worked for TSA for almost 10 years and he is constantly educating his coworkers about diabetes AND people with D that fly (they always worry, rightfully so, about pumps). It is not agency policy, it is a screener who does not understand about the rules.
    I feel bad.
     
  6. 3kidlets

    3kidlets Approved members

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2010
    Messages:
    819
    We fly all the time. Have flown more than 15 times since my daughter was dx 15 months ago. We have never had an issue with anything relating to D. In the beginning, I use to tell them I was carrying all this stuff and show them the note. They just flagged us thru. Now I don't even tell them. I leave the stuff in my carry on and send it through. They have never pulled our stuff aside, nor has Hana's POD been an issue.
    Of course you are going to run in to stupid, uneducated folks. Not just in regards to D but with anything.
    I just skimmed thru the story, didn't read the whole thing. Did the woman ask to speak to a supervisor? I can't imagine why she left the airport allowing them to confiscate her insulin.
     
  7. wdhinn89

    wdhinn89 Approved members

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2007
    Messages:
    1,267
    Me too and completely agree. Something doesn't make sense.
     
  8. McKenna'smom

    McKenna'smom Approved members

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2010
    Messages:
    656
  9. Lisa P.

    Lisa P. Approved members

    Joined:
    May 19, 2008
    Messages:
    5,380
    Actually, the follow up story says the TSA says her insulin was not taken away but her ice packs were. :) The TSA may be correct, the woman may be, it's the job of outside investigation to determine which is so. I would think there would be video records a news organization or a law enforcement agency could inspect.
     
  10. Lisa P.

    Lisa P. Approved members

    Joined:
    May 19, 2008
    Messages:
    5,380
    I certainly can't imagine "pushing it" when you are under suspicion already. One of the reasons I don't fly except for emergencies is that once you are in the middle of being inspected you can't just say, "Nevermind, I'm not going to fly today after all." (Otherwise any person who is a real threat could just walk off as soon as the search began). So once you are in the process of having your supplies confiscated you are already feeling pretty much in the control of others. You would certainly risk missing a flight if you demanded to speak to a supervisor who might not be able to get to you, and you might feel you were risking being tagged as a "difficult" passenger, maybe even a hazard.

    My perception might well be unfounded, but it is one shared by many Americans, so I think it's perfectly reasonable that she left the airport without making any demands.

    I don't see what she gains by making this claim falsely, I'm not seeing big bucks suing a federal agency (I don't think it's even legal to do so) over a bottle of insulin that she was able to replace later. She might be confused or mentally ill, of course. It seems much more likely the agent made a mistake and the agency is unwilling to address that.
     
  11. Lisa P.

    Lisa P. Approved members

    Joined:
    May 19, 2008
    Messages:
    5,380

    I personally believe that like many public jobs -- TSA, school teachers, social workers, police officers -- many good and noble people are doing their best to protect and serve, making sacrifices in a difficult position. The system being difficult makes it that much more impressive that some good folks hang in there to do the right thing in a hard spot.


    Personally, my problems with TSA are with the institution, or more accurately with the power and direction that we have given the institution.
    :cwds:
     
  12. wdhinn89

    wdhinn89 Approved members

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2007
    Messages:
    1,267
    I would absolutely insist on speaking to a supervisor. There is no way I would have let that happen, we are not talking about a bottle of water here!
     
  13. Lisa P.

    Lisa P. Approved members

    Joined:
    May 19, 2008
    Messages:
    5,380
    I completely believe you!


    But I'm sure you'll believe me that if this happened to me I might not. I'm a very pushy broad, but I've seen enough of how people can react when you question their authority to know that when I am in their power it is sometimes hazardous to push it. Not always, not even frequently, but sometimes, and when you've got a kid to protect it sometimes makes you cautious.
     
  14. 3kidlets

    3kidlets Approved members

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2010
    Messages:
    819
    The first time we traveled after Hana was dx, I pulled out all the D supplies with the letter and handed them to the person explaining I didn't want the insulin to go thru the X-ray. The agent started to tell me that it wasn't a problem. I said yes it is and I asked to speak to the supervisor who promptly came over. I explained. He said it was no problem at all for them to hand inspect and that is what they did. They were very accommodating and reasonable. I have since stopped pulling everything out and I send everything through the X-ray in my carry on. I realized that I was just opening myself up to scrutiny by calling attention to it.
    However, I think it is a far jump to think that because you ask to speak with someone about an issue that you are going to be labeled a hazard. There are people who are power hungry in every position, however, on a daily basis it isn't an issue. Of course because of the fast news cycle and the age we live in, you hear about the crazies.
    But like I stated before, I would never hesitate to call them out on it if they tried to take away my or my child's medication.
     
  15. Lisa P.

    Lisa P. Approved members

    Joined:
    May 19, 2008
    Messages:
    5,380
    No, seriously, I believe that most or all the time it might be completely appropriate and useful to demand to see a supervisor, and I believe you would do so.

    I'm just saying the fact that the woman in the story did not demand to get her insulin back before leaving the airport is not really evidence that there's something wrong with her story, that she's in error or lying or etc., because many folks in her situation would have the perception (accurate or not) that it would be unwise to call further attention to themselves.

    I'm not arguing whether she should or shouldn't have, I'm just saying that it doesn't say her story is fishy just because she didn't. Reasonable people who have had experiences different than yours might calculate their actions differently. :)
     
  16. hawkeyegirl

    hawkeyegirl Approved members

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2007
    Messages:
    13,157
    I suspect it was the original reporting that was not accurate, as opposed to there being an actual dispute over whether the insulin was taken or not. ETA: Ah, well, it does look like there is a dispute over that. Oh well.

    I would no more stop flying because of an isolated horror story about the TSA every now and then than I would stop driving because an over-enthusiastic police officer might pull me over and get excited about the fact that there's an empty syringe on my car floor. I honestly don't think there's widespread TSA abuse. They virtually always get it right, and I'm not going to rearrange my entire life on the off chance that they might confiscate an ice pack or question me about a bottle of insulin.
     
  17. wilf

    wilf Approved members

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2007
    Messages:
    9,652
    Here's a recent example of the sort of craziness that can result at borders/customs:
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manit...roine-oil-senior-border-manitoba.html?ref=rss

    I would never challenge border/customs officers unless I was travelling alone.
     
  18. Ashti

    Ashti Approved members

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2007
    Messages:
    224
    Frozen peas instead of icepacks

    For our flight out west this summer instead of drawing attention to ourselves with Ice Packs and requiring the supervisor's ok like happened once, I put a zipped bag of frozen peas in with the insulin - and no one noticed or commented.

    Shirla:cwds:
     
  19. 3kidlets

    3kidlets Approved members

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2010
    Messages:
    819
    Oh my gosh. I love this. How crazy that an ice pack raises suspicions but a pack of frozen peas on a plane, now that's no problem at all! LOL:)
     
  20. Lisa P.

    Lisa P. Approved members

    Joined:
    May 19, 2008
    Messages:
    5,380
    A lot of how this subject will be approached by people has to do with previous experiences. Some of these things, you don't believe them until they happen to you. I lived on that other border for awhile, while again I respect the boarder patrol officers that put their lives on the line (particularly now with criminal drug activity being so horrific), when a person who has had a bad day thinks he has the power to make you do what he says, it's sometimes not a good idea to poke him with a stick. . .:(
     

Share This Page

- advertisement -

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice