Air Travel with Pump

By Type1Lou Latest Reply 2012-05-22 09:36:27 -0500
Started 2012-05-09 14:51:30 -0500

The recent TSA snafu at Salt Lake City ( has me leery of traveling to my grandson's college graduation. I've been in touch with my pump provider, Medtronics, and the TSA in Tampa to forestall any problems related to the upcoming flight. Perhaps it was a function of her young age and accepting the authority of the TSA agent without asking for a supervisor, but young Ms Barry should not have been instructed to go through a body scanner which damaged her pump. I've armed myself with printouts from Medtronics and TSA in hopes of averting a similar problem. Going through a metal detector is OK and will not harm my pump but body scanners and X-rays may cause serious malfunctions. Our flight leaves at 6 am but I've warned my husband that we need to arrive with extra time in case it takes longer for me to get through security. We pumpers are advised to notify the TSA agent of our condition and equipment before any screening begins…I'll make sure to do that too. Here's hoping for smooth flying!

13 replies

Type1Lou 2012-05-22 09:36:27 -0500 Report

TSA in Tampa gets a raspberry while TSA in Baltimore gets a thumbs up! Here's my update on air travel with the pump. I just returned from grandson's graduation and brief but wonderful visit with family. At the security check in Tampa, two TSA agents (one man, one woman) tried to convince me that it would be okay for me to go through the body scanner with my pump…even after I explained that the manufacturer said not to. I had to repeat "NO" quite forcefully severql times and politely but firmly insist that I go through a pat-down instead. (I can see, now, why Sarah Barry might have been convinced to submit.) The pat-down itself and hand-swab was no big deal and after a little bit more than a 5-minute delay, we were on our way to the gate. When leaving from Baltimore, the TSA agent was more than accommodating when I advised I was wearing a pump. ( As in Tampa, I offered to remove the pump while I went through the body scanner but she sent me through a metal detector wearing my pump instead—-metal detectors are OK.) I did have my hands swabbed there as well, but no pat-down. I actually got through security before my husband that time. I'm impressed with grandson who graduated Magna cum laude with double major in math and physics! Hope he lands a job soon… I'm glad the "Barry incident in Salt Lake gave me a heads up as to what I might expect in traveling with the pump. I think TSA still needs to educate their reps…at least in Tampa!

Young1s 2012-05-10 17:03:23 -0500 Report

This young lady's experience, while bad, has left you and other pump users in a better position of planning ahead. Sounds like you've got a good one. Have a safe trip and a great time.

Type1Lou 2012-05-10 19:07:50 -0500 Report

You're right Patricia. I may not have given it as much thought if the Savannah Barry episode hadn't happened.

pixsidust 2012-05-10 12:21:37 -0500 Report

Let us know how it all went…the end result of your good planning.
It will help all of us to be informed. Thanks and happy traveling

Type1Lou 2012-05-10 16:53:18 -0500 Report

Thanks Christie. Just heard that grandson has an honors reception on Sunday evening before graduation and his younger sister has a ballet performance. I'll probably do the girl-thing and go to the ballet with my daughter-in-law and let my husband and stepson go to the honors reception.

Harlen 2012-05-10 10:52:16 -0500 Report

I just take it off and send it thru the X-ray and I never have a prob
They dont even take my water from me lol
Have a great time

Type1Lou 2012-05-10 16:55:18 -0500 Report

Thanks Harlen. Medtronics advises not to let the go through the Xray or the body scanners…metal detectors are OK, so I'll ask for a manual inspection, just to be on the safe side. Also taking along Novolog and Lantus pens in case something does go wrong.

Harlen 2012-05-10 18:45:03 -0500 Report

I have ben on 34 flights in the last three years and haventhad any prob
You may have a new pump and that one may not take it as well .
Good to bring pens just in case.
It always pays to cove your self .
Have fun and let us know how much fun you had

jayabee52 2012-05-10 00:40:22 -0500 Report

praying for your smooth travel without similar complications Lou! The TSA is one reason why many folks no longer fly.

Type1Lou 2012-05-10 09:30:19 -0500 Report

Thanks James…we are about an hour away from the airport so it means we leave the house around 3:30 am to get there with a 1.5 hour window to park the car, shuttle to the airport, check in and go through security. Glad I was a girl scout so I'll be prepared…hope it's enough!

Nick1962 2012-05-09 18:51:27 -0500 Report

Best of luck and have a good time! We'll expect a full report upon your return.

Type1Lou 2012-05-09 18:56:40 -0500 Report

Thanks Nick! …hard to believe that I'm old enough to have a grandson graduating from college…seems like just yesterday that I was an undergrad myself…listening to Simon and Garfunkle brings back those memories…koo koo ka-choo!