i will be traveling in Feb. first time through the airport and TSA with all the gear (pump, insulin, ect) two weeks worth and backup.

i'm sure others have gone though this.

looking for tips, suggestions, checklists, rants, and so on

Tags: TSA, Xrays, flying, scanner, security

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US or Overseas? --big difference. Go to the TSA website and read up about the rules. Print them out for reference, bring them with you as documentation and understand them. I carry a letter from my doctor saying I need all the gear. In years of business travel in the US and Europe, only needed it once, but was super glad I had that documentation.

Understand your pump, CGM and the TSA equipment. With the new scanners, I always request (and totally cringe at) the pat down. TSA hates when you request it and will try to intimidate you to by pass it... A lot of the machinery uses Xray which is not recommended for some of our equipment. Check the website of your pump manufacturer and believe what they tell you about the equipment.

In my hundreds of flights, the TSA folks are unknowledgeable, but usually OK. Just know what you need to know and have documentation. Assert your rights.

Oh, and it is not horrible by any means. Most imes I waltz right through. But I have found it wise to be prepared.

within the US, i'm sure it's not a "horrible" thing to go through.
i'm more concerned about what i need to have with me as far as documentation

and is this a time consuming process?
switching flights?

Agree with Spock, my experience has been similar. Most airlines will allow you to take an extra carry-on for medical supplies. Useful with all the pump gear especially! Check the specific airline's site first.

DON'T remove your pump and hand it over to anyone... you don't have to!

Biggest tip - have fun!!

Don't worry about it. Thousands of people fly every day with insulin and pumps. Occasionally you encounter an ignorant TSA flunkie, but I've actually been pretty pleasantly surprised for the most part. Like others have said, do not let them tell you it is ok to take your pump through the scanner... Some of them are a little bit pushy about it because they want to keep the line moving, but they can't make you. Just say you are opting out of any imaging scanner and do the patdown. I don't like it either but its unfortunately what we have to do... and its really not that bad. I fly all the time and can tell you its not something to be stressed about.

I recently had a bad experience in Las Vegas. In all my years of travel with all of my supplies I have never, until this time, had a TSA agent try to intimidate me and convince me that I should and could go through the scanner. They created a lot of commotion and were very ugly with me and my husband. They just didn't want to do the pat down, plain and simple. Definitely bring a copy of their own rules with you.
And finally when the female TSA agent came over to do my pat down and swab my pump, she wanted to hold the pump while she swabbed it, with the same gloves on that I had seen her have on with the person she had just been touching. Gross! They made me take out all of my supplies, open all of my pump gear, stating because I requested a pat down and hand inspection of my pump that they had to do that for all of my carry on. B*******!
Other than this one experience with ignorant people, I had never had a problem flying. Definately, if flying overseas, have a letter from your doc as well.

HA! Las Vegas, figures that would be where i'm flying into/outof

1. Carry a note from your doc specifying what supplies you have to carry (needles, infusion sets, snacks, etc)

2. DO NOT REMOVE YOUR PUMP OR LET ANYONE HANDLE IT. Even if someone tells you to remove it, do not. It's a medical device and should not be removed. In the event that you get seperated from your pump, you have no basal insulin in your system.

3. Do not go through the body scanners. No matter what the TSA agents tell you, it is not clear whether these devices damage pumps. Better be safe than sorry.  If a TSA agent insists you go through, ask for their supervisor. Politely stand your ground.

4. Be polite, but firm.

5. Be organized. Have all your D stuff clearly marked,  with prescription labels affixed to insulin.

6. Print this from TSA's website and carry it with you - http://www.tsa.gov/traveler-information/passengers-diabetes

7. Your pump should have come with an information card about not exposing it to x-rays. Take that with you and have it ready.

8. If you are traveling with a loaner pump, make sure that it doesn't go through the x-ray machine. Request that it be hand-screened.

I have traveled quite a bit and generally don't run into too many issues.  I've had the occasional TSA agent who insists my pump can go through the body scanner, and I just firmly (but politely) insist that, for my safety, it cannot.  I once had to remind a TSA agent that she was not a medical professional or medical device manufacturer and should therefore not be dispensing medical advice. Once I got her supervisor over to our lane, things were fine. 

and since it will be a week in Death Valley
should i get something like this

I used the frio pump cooler for my 2 week camping trip around the grand circle. It worked well keeping my pump cool. Just make sure you follow the directions for the soaking time otherwise it may get to filled up with water and limit the amount of room inside the actual case sleeve. Definately have a plan for the heat, we got to Valley of Fire State Park at the end of our journey before returning to Las Vegas and it was 102 in the shade.

I traveled a few months ago and I carried 10 vials of insulin with me on the return trip (long story!!) and I didn't even take them out of my carry-on luggage. I just let it go through the scanner. No questions were asked.

On my last flight to LA, my friend wearing her insulin pump was stopped and frisked...which took a few extra minutes.

TSA is very familiar with pumps and equipment. Just plan for a few extra minutes for the frisk.




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