Tampa's TSA gets a raspberry while Baltimore's TSA gets a "Thumbs up!"
I just returned from my grandson's college graduation. It was my first plane flight wearing an insulin pump. Medtronics, my pump maker, advises that their pump cannot go through X-rays or body scanners but that metal detectors will not harm it. In Tampa, I advised the first TSA gent that I was wearing an insulin pump which could not go through a body scanner. He proceeded to advise that Tampa's body scanner would cause it no harm and that I should go through it. When I insisted "No, I would not take the pump through the scanner, he again tried to convince me it was OK. When I firmly stated that I would not, he advised me to raise my concerns with the TSA rep in front of the scanner. I then re-explained to her that I was wearing a pump and she, too, tried to convince me that it was OK to submit to the body scan. After several "No's" on my part, she asked if I was opting out of the scan…well doh!…I replied "Yes". I then went through a pat-down and hand swab…both no big deal and over in about 5 minutes (but this was at 5 am in the morning…would it take longer during busier times?).
For the return flight, the TSA rep in Baltimore was very understanding. She sent me through the metal detector instead of the body scanner. I still had my hands swabbed but it was a much more pleasant experience. I even got through security before my husband.
The Sarah Barry incident on May 9 in Salt Lake City raised my awareness about what I might encounter with TSA. Based on my Tampa experience, I can see why Ms Barry was persuaded to go through the scanner..and ruined her Animas pump. I guess the lesson is that we pumpers need to be prepared and to stand our ground. and TSA has some training and communications issues.
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