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Where to find current TSA policies?

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by slpmom2, Dec 21, 2010.

  1. slpmom2

    slpmom2 Approved members

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    We flew cross-country the other day, and my dd was stopped when the TSA agent saw her pump. She asked what it was, and my dd told her it's an insulin pump. The agent then told us that dd had to be patted down (even though she went through the scanner without setting off any alarms), and that ALL of our carryon bags - the whole family's! - had to be hand searched (even though they'd all gone through the xray just fine). When my older dd started to put her sweatshirt into her backpack, the agent told her to stop doing anything to the bags or they'd have to go through extra screening. WHAT?! I thought about asking to talk with a supervisor, but figured it would take too long and I didn't know what kind of ridiculous rules the TSA had come out with recently. When I commented to the agent that we'd never had any issue with this before, she said, "I can't help it if other airports aren't following the rules. I don't make the rules; I just implement them."

    In the end, after patting down my dd and taking our hand luggage, someone else told the agent that the rule had changed, and they no longer had to search all of our bags.

    What is up with this? Has anyone else had this experience? And is there somewhere I can find a current written TSA policy that I can carry with me when we fly home next week in case we run into something ridiculous like this again?

    I do have to say, though, that I was very proud of how my dd handled being treated like a potential threat.
     
  2. CAGrandma

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  3. mmgirls

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    I think Animas has it on there site too.
     
  4. Lisa P.

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    Thank you for posting.
    It's very helpful for trying to explain to family members why we are reluctant to fly with a pumping four year old. They "get it", but personal examples illustrate that we're not making mountains out of molehills.
    Good on your kids for handling that well.
     
  5. tom_ethansdad

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    It would seem that the agent might have been a little over-zealous. See http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/specialneeds/editorial_1374.shtm#3

    Specifically it says:

    This to me seems to imply that it is fine to have the pump screened via the walk-through scanner unless you prefer not to have it scanned.
     
  6. NeurosurgeryNP

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    I just flew last week - on the way to Florida I told them I had a pump (apparently it is an instant search if they know) (although my MM pump never sets off the metal detector). I got searched - patted down, but not my bags. On the way home, I hid it in my bra, said nothing, although I had all of my pump supplies in my carry on along with a cooler with my insulin and ice packs, and no pat down, no search, no questions.
     
  7. Traci

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    Yes, we experienced an over-zealous TSA agent in San Diego who was insistent that he was going to take my 7 yr old to a room alone and search him. Ummm...not until my jail cell door swings closed! Not gonna happen. After trying to be polite repeatedly, I lost it and told the numerous agents who had gathered around that they could strip him and search him right there in public but that no man was taking my child off alone! Someone finally took the agent aside and talked to him, all four of my kids were crying, everyone was looking...so another agent pats my sons arms and legs (umm...he was wearing shorts and a short sleeved shirt) and motioned us on through. All that nonsense for absolutely NOTHING. They never looked at the pump...it could have been a handgun. Yeah, security. :rolleyes:
     
  8. Gaia

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    Someone posted this on FB yesterday and it answered alot of questions for me. Especially since Joey is moving to CO w/ my brother and sister in law in a few weeks.(long story)

    Well, except for what about the refridgerated insulin - is a cooler going to be enough or will they allow it to be put in the fridge on the plane? Hope it helps. Theres also a link for a card you can carry.

    http://diabetesstopshere.org/2010/1...=leaving-on-a-jet-plane&utm_campaign=DSH_BLOG
     
  9. NeurosurgeryNP

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    I take a lunch cooler with blue ice packs for my insulin on the plane - no issues with getting it through TSA.
     
  10. Caldercup

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    The TSA site has info on carrying meds. Just make sure to keep a copy of your prescription with you, and the box or container for the insulin that states it needs to be kept cold. With that, you have what you need in case they question the ice packs. (I also keep a printout of what the TSA website says in the cooler with me.)
     
  11. hdm42

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    They won't put anything in the fridge on the plane, they're not allowed to. They will give you extra ice if you need it, though. When we used to travel back and forth to Australia, I always had the insulin in a cooler bag and carried extra ziploc bags and filled them with ice when the ice packs wore out.
     
  12. skimom

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    We travel with a letter from the doctor indicating that each child is diabetic and must be able to travel with snacks,etc, cooler bags and inserts etc and that they use a pump .We also called ahead and asked for current policy so we knew what to expect. We ask for a pat down and hand bag check as we enter security. THey ask me to supervise my daughter's pat down ( which is done by a female agent ) and they swab any bottles of liquids ( for what - not sure) When I flew two weeks ago it probably delayed us by 3 minutes compared to other passengers. Wearing my cowboy boots through the metal detector was far more exciting and time consuming than traveling with diabetic children. Go prepared and well ahead of time. We have never had problems as we are up front from the get go. I would rather they check every last stitch in each of our bags and have us arrive safely on the other end ...the security is there for a reason-
     
  13. mmc51264

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    It seems you all have it covered. DH works for TSA and is CONSTANTLY educating his colleagues about diabetes related issues. If anyone has any questions, I'll try to get him come on here and answer them. It should not be an issue at all to fly with a pump and they should never take a child (or anyone else for that matter) to search them. You shouldn't need a doctor letter or a prescription or anything else.
    I get frustrated when I read about bad experiences-it really should be a non-issue.
     
  14. Connie(BC)Type 1

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    ditto .
     
  15. hawkeyegirl

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    We've flown many times with Jack's pump and supplies. No one has ever taken the slightest interest in any of it. I've stopped even telling them that he wears a pump or that we're carrying supplies.
     
  16. BKKT10

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    We never had any problems with security when my CWD was on MDI- I just made sure that we went through the Family/Medical line and I alerted the TSA agents that I was carrying diabetic supplies.

    This November was the first time that we flew with K pumping. I carried her through the metal detector leaving Boston and we alarmed. I told them she was wearing an insulin pump but we still had to have full body searches.

    On our way home from Orlando, my daughter walked through the scanner herself and alarmed. They did a full body search, again. On a 2 year old.

    That all being said, I would rather them be safe then sorry. Yes, it was a minor annoyance, but if it keeps us safe, then so be it!
     
  17. slpmom2

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    Thanks for all of the replies, everyone - I would have been back sooner but for some reason didn't get notifications that there were more posts.

    I knew about the TSA website with the explanation of what you're allowed to carry; I was more interested in any updated rules about who needs to be hand searched. In all of this, nobody every questioned our carrying any of our supplies, nor did I need to show the letter that we carry from her endo.

    On our trip back yesterday, she wore a shirt that covered her pump (this whole thing started on our flight out when the agent saw her pump clipped to her pants). Nobody saw it, she didn't set off the metal detector (never does), and nobody questioned our supplies. I didn't mention D at all, and that was the end of it. I'm thinking this is going to have to be our new approach.

    Of course, my older (non-D) dd was a little less than thrilled when they hand searched her backpack because I'd put a yogurt in there, hoping they'd let us get it through security. Now that I think about it, though, maybe I could have justified it as a D food supply? It was, after all, for my child with D. Didn't occur to me at the time -oh well.

    On a related note - I called MM to ask about taking the pump through the new scanners, and they recommended not doing so until they know more about how the pump may be affected.

    Anyway, I appreciate your responses!
     

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