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Beware: TSA agents can be real jerks

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by KRenee, Jan 12, 2013.

  1. KRenee

    KRenee Approved members

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    Denver airport has full body scanners only. DD, traveling alone, requested a pat down and TSA agent tries to bully her to go through the scanner, says doctor and pump manufacturer are wrong. DD stands firm, so all carry on is searched, after going through xray, and glove tested. DD given pat-down. Something (pump supplies?) tests positive so 2 more pat-downs and carry on searched again. DD, crying, is worried about missing flight and TSA agent tells her to stop crying and bitching. NICE!

    Took 45 minutes.

    According to Diabetes Mine in Feb 2011, ADA and TSA agreed to: No more excessive screening of all carry-on baggage because you use an insulin pump.

    Not all TSA agents got the memo or care to follow the rules.

    Is there anyone to complain to? or is it just a too-big, over-bloated government run outfit that doesn't really care?

    So mad!!
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2013
  2. selketine

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  3. Danielle2008

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    I'm sorry to hear about your DD'd experience:( . That should have NOT happened.

    I haven't had any bad luck through DIA myself. However, I must admit...I don't mention my pump. I just walk through the scanner.
     
  4. KRenee

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    Do you go through the back scatter machine with your pump?
     
  5. funnygrl

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    I know your question wasn't directed on me, but I have gone through one several times with my medtronic pump without issue.
     
  6. obtainedmist

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    We go through DIA all the time. Molly now says that she would like to "opt out" of the full body scanner and have a pat down instead. Anyone is legally allowed to "opt out" and that might keep the whole "you can go through with your pump" at bay. Some TSA people are nicer than others, but most are put out to have to call someone for a pat down. FWIW, Molly used to go through the full body scanner (unbeknownst to us :rolleyes:) and her pump began to malfunction last year by not alerting to low cartridge...replaced it...realized she was going through the scanner and called Animas who said the pump needed to be replaced again!
     
  7. obtainedmist

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    For some reason, Medtronic doesn't mind...but Animas does!
     
  8. funnygrl

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    Yeah, I'm sure all of the pumps are electronically a bit different.
     
  9. Ti'sMom

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    We use Medtronic and were told under no circumstances to let the pump go through. The Cgm should be turned off as well. Either way I would report the issue to the proper authorities.
     
  10. obtainedmist

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    Good to know!:)
     
  11. valerie k

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    my dads pump went through more xrays and cat scans I care to think about. Never had an issue with it, matt would still be using it except we upgraded to the 723 from his 522. Its our backup pump tho.

    However, I would not want a pat down by any stranger period. I would disconnect and walk through the scanner, which is an option for both the animas and minimed pump users. Disconnect and hand them the pump, have them visually inspect and get it on the other side.

    Its also a guarentee that if you set off an alarm, they are going to go through everything with a fine tooth comb. I set off an alarm with my carry on once by having a tupperware container full of change set it off, my carry on was searched extensively.
     
  12. hawkeyegirl

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    Were you carrying the tupperware container of change through the metal detector? :confused:

    To the OP, I'm sorry your daughter had a bad experience. We fly all the time, and have had nothing but good luck with the TSA. If there are just metal detectors, I don't even tell them about his pump and just send him through. Where there is the full body scan, I tell them, and frankly, they've never patted him down. They usually just do the explosive scan on the pump and send him on his way, but that is probably due to his age.
     
  13. Sarah Maddie's Mom

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    We've flown about a dozen times internationally and twice as much nationally and never had a problem. Sounds like you just ran into one bad apple. Sorry your daughter was made to feel upset.
     
  14. KRenee

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    Thanks everyone. Just beware the first time your kids fly alone. I really get the feeling that they were bullying a young girl and doing everything they could to inconvenience her...just for asking for a pat-down to protect her pump.
     
  15. Megnyc

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    Sorry. I hate the airports with only full body scanners. I have to say I have flown probably 250-300 times mostly internationally with diabetes and never had a huge problem. Usually I just say something like, "Hi, I'm wearing a medical device that can't go through the full body scanner." And just repeat "Sorry I can't go through the scanner, please call someone over to do the pat-down" if they question me.

    My only problem was a few weeks ago at Newark. It wasn't a problem as much as somewhat entertaining. The lady doing the pat-down could not grasp the fact that while my insulin pump was on my waist it connected to my back where the infusion site was. She kept exclaiming, "Wow! It has two pieces. Why?" She was incredibly confused but eventually just had me touch the infusion site then swabbed my hands.
     
  16. valerie k

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    No, *I* didnt set the alarm off, my bag did, and it was searched inside and out even tho it was obvious when they opened it that the problem was the container of change. I used to carry it around in my kid bag becouse I have three kids, used to be we couldnt pass up a vending machine to save our souls and they would gravitate to them like a person to a slot machine in a casino.:rolleyes:

    ken says I should have to register my purse as a lethal weapon now becouse of the weight of it with all the change I keep in it (old habit) It sure can pack a punch when I start swinging that bad boy around.
     
  17. swellman

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    ^^^^

    Flown dozens and dozens of times - no issues. In fact, we get juice boxes through ALL the time. Maybe a wand here and there and maybe a swab but the only inconvenience is a 5 minute delay if that. We just don't announce unless there's a question.
     
  18. Beach bum

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    Same here. Never any real problems.
    As for the pat down, TSA changed the rules, kids under 12 would don't receive pat downs. However, if there is an issue it seems that they can receive a modified pat down...
    http://www.tsa.gov/traveler-information/pat-downs

    I would report the agent, but did she get his/her name? If not, give as much info as possible and request they look at the tapes. In addition, was it a male or female agent who did the inspection? I am under the impression that it must be a same sex agent along with a witness when doing the pat dow...
     
  19. Flutterby

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    So sorry your daughter had to deal with that. Sounds like a gumpy bad apple, thats for sure. We don't fly much. But when we did, we were OK taking all pump supplies through (including juice boxes.. they couldn't take them because they were hers), however there was tubes of creams (EMLA for one) that she so wanted to take because it was over the specified amount, but couldn't because it was a prescription.. she told me over and over she really wanted to toss it.. thanks lady, you want to toss a 4 year old's medication, just because! Everyone else was fine..at that time they didn't have body scanners. The medtronic pumps are ok going through the metal detector but should never go through a body scanner, ever, just like it should never go in an MRI machine.. the magnets make the pump malfunction.
     
  20. hawkeyegirl

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    Oh. I guess I'm not understanding why your bag went through a metal detector.

    The only time any of our luggage has encountered any interest from the TSA is when my son packed a bunch of Beyblades in his. (They are small metal tops.) The bag with his juice, syringes, sites, etc. went completely unnoticed.
     

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