Hello, my boyfriend and I are thinking of taking a trip in April. I have read some other post which go back and forth on if it is ok to go through the metal dector or not. can the PDM go through the scanner? do I need to say something. I am having a slight panic attack here lol.
I have flown numerous times with the PDM and have had no problems with the scanner. I always tell the TSA that I'm wearing a pump and the swipe me for gunpowder and have never had a problem.
I've traveled some and do not tell TSA that I am wearing the pump or cgm. I did set it off once and then I told them, but otherwise I just skate through. I put the pdm and my cgm in my bag that goes through the luggage scanner and have had no issues.
When I did set it off they took me to a private area where they swabbed it and checked for explosives (? I think? I really have no idea what they do!)
I have been all over the world with my OmniPod. You can go through the scanners, put your PDM in your bag, be sure to wear the pod in a location that you don't have to disrobe for TSA to check it out ( made that mistake once, had to go to a back room so I could take off my pants and show them! that was embarrassing!)
Sometimes they swipe for GSR (gunpowder) and other explosives and sometimes they don't even notice. I normally do not say anything, and normally don't even set off the metal detector, and have never had an issue wearing the pod on extended flights.
Caring a large quantity of pods (I'm talking, 2+ months worth) can raise suspicion because of all the little batteries and motors in your bag, so be sure to have a dr's note in case they are confused...
Never had to show my note except for when a flight was overfilled and they tried to separate me from my carryon, then I let them know that me and my bag stayed together, showed them my note and they moved me to a bulkhead seat where there was room to store my bag nearby...
I have fly way too much for work. I have never been stopped going through a metal detector, but I always declare my pod when I step into a scanner. Just say "I have an insulin pump" and they will have you pat your pod and then they wipe your hands and you will be on your way. They have only found my CGM once so I don't say anything about it.
Be careful of where you wear your pod. Having someone constantly bumping a pod on your arm for a two hour flight or having it pressed into your lower back can get aggravating. Keep your PDM within reach, not in an overhead bin so you can quickly silence a screaming pod or acknowledge an alarm.
Also don't forget to keep all your extra supplies in a quart size ziplock bag and set it out on top of all you other stuff before you push it through. I keep a few insulin syringes, insulin, one spare pod and everything I need to change a pod in that bag. My extra pods stay in my carry on.
I bring a small 'kids' padded cooler in addition to my personal item (with a strap if possible so you don't draw attention to it...but if they ask, it is medical). I keep some glucose tabs, my pdm, fruit, insulin, extra pod, cgm, phone in the cooler. According to TSA regs, diabetes supplies don't count towards a bag (kind of like crutches :-)) Sometimes I also wear a spi-belt for my id and my dexcom. Anyway, this way you can keep one eye on one small bag...if you end up in a seat without much room.
The full body scans haven't been picking up my dexcom or pod lately...at first they did. Also, some of the airports have a 'medical lane' at security....usually for wheelchairs, small children...but they will also take you.
But as an answer to your question, :-) I send my pdm through the scanner all of the time and it is fine afterwards. Like Stress says, the pod may light up and maybe it won't. Keep it somewhere accessible, just in case.
We also have another discussion about highs when flying and lows when landing, that I started...and it received some insightful comments as to why. You might want to read it.LINK
I did read it :)
No worries! :) Like you, I was really panicked the first couple of times I flew with my OmniPod but it really was no big deal.
I wore my pod right near my belt line so that I could just lift the hem of my shirt and show them - I placed my PDM with all my supplies and extra pods in a large ziploc inside my backpack with snacks to treat lows and other non-diabetes related items and sent the backpack through the xray machine with no problem. I've never been questioned about any of my supplies.
Because I tend to be a nervous nellie but did not want to go to the hassle of getting a letter from my doc about my pump, I printed out from the internet the OmniPod and Dexcom information with pictures. I figured if TSA had never seen one, I could at least show them it was legit an insulin pump. I never needed this information.
If I'm going through a metal detector, I don't say anything about the pump or cgm unless I set it off. If I'm going through the full body scanner, I will say "I have an insulin pump" and they asked me to touch it with my hands then they rub a swab across your hands and run the swab through a machine. The whole thing takes a couple of minutes max and you're on your way. The scanner has never picked up my Dexcom sensor so I don't mention it.
Thank you everyone who replied. The reason I got a little worried was that a girl in my area with a metronic pump, who swears that putting her pump through the metal detector broke her pump... the airport reportedly paid for her to get a replacement.
So it had me freaking out, as I had to pay out of pocket for my omnipod. I can`t really afford for things to mess up.
The regular metal detector generally wont detect the pod . The full body scanner does detect the pod. Ive gone thru both without any problem.
I've never gone through the full body scanner with a pod. What does TSA do when they detect the pod?
When I went through the full body scanner, I knew they would see it so I showed it by raising the hem of my shirt slightly (pod was right above my waistband of my pants) and I said "insulin pump".
When I passed through to the other side of the full body scanner, the TSA agent had a cotton type swab that they held with a tong type device. They ran it over the palms of both hands and then they put it in some machine. After a few seconds they turned around and said "ok you're good to go".
One TSA agent in the Las Vegas airport also attempted to do a half hearted "pat down" after I came out of the scanner but she accidentally touched my pod in the process and jumped back and apologized profusely. She was afraid she broke it. Here I was, consoling a scared TSA agent. :)
Funny thing is the scanner either didn't detect my Dexcom sensor on my arm or they missed it. They didn't swab it and I didn't mention it. And this happened several times in different airports so I don't know what's up with that.
That's basically what they do if you elect not to go through the scanner in the first place. They will also do the extended pat down but I figure if I can't just walk through and be on my way, I might as well save myself the trouble of walking through in the first place.
If you are carrying an infant, they won't even make you walk through the full body scanner in the first place and will only swab you if you are using something like an Ergo or Snugli, medical device or no medical device.