TSA Inconsistent

By Type1Lou Latest Reply 2012-05-23 19:03:12 -0500
Started 2012-05-23 10:17:48 -0500

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.

5 replies

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2012-05-23 18:46:05 -0500 Report

I totally agree Tampa's TSA personnel are not the sharpest knives in the drawer. They insisted that my girlfriend check her C-pack machine. The airlines refused because it is medical equipment. They had to get a supervisor from the airlines and TSA to get it through security.

At the gate a TSA employee asked me if I wanted to volunteer for a security check. I said no. He got to the point of telling me he would snatch me out of line and check me. I am not the best person to threaten. I am not one to play with people under any circumstances especially if you threaten to snatch me. . I told him to take his best shot and attempting to grab me. I told him he can't ask for volunteers he has to ask someone to accompany him. He went totally off and so did I. A passenger told him he would be charged with assault if he touched me. He walked away and grabbed a woman out of line. Made her 7yr old remain in line. The kid was ballistic as he watched a strange man grab his mom away from him. He threw her carryon bag on the counter and tossed clothing everywhere. Finally, the airline and his supervisor arrived. Took a report from me, the woman, and made him fold her clothing and place it neatly in the bag and escorted him away.

I once applied for a job with TSA till I found out that many of their employees are part time and are not paid very well. You get what you pay for.

Baltimore can be just as bad. I have flown out of Baltimore many times as I live in Maryland. TSA made me take off my shirt (thankfully, I had on a tank top) took my shoes and made me leave my tote and purse on the belt and made me sit on the side until they figured out that I had on nothing metal and the scanner was malfunctioning. They let my girlfriend take my purse and tote off the belt.

Another time my sister and I were together. She put her car keys in the basket and noting happened. She had mace on her keys and TSA never noticed. She threw it away after she got everything back.

TSA makes flying an adventure.

Type1Lou 2012-05-23 19:00:11 -0500 Report

Thanks for sharing your experience Joyce. I guess I was lucky that the Tampa people I encountered weren't as rude as those you experienced… and the gal and guy in Baltimore couldn't have been nicer. I guess it's the luck of the draw!

jimmuel 2012-05-23 12:51:09 -0500 Report

thats ashame they arnt up to date on diabetic pumps an there scanners,well at least one airport got it right,maybee you can send a letter to the head office of the tsa an advize them to look into diabetic pumps an there scanners,what will happen to the pumps an the user life it affects

Type1Lou 2012-05-23 19:01:25 -0500 Report

Yep! I would have thought that after the Salt Lake City incident on May 9 that some sort of communication memo would have gone out…but Tampa sure didn't get the message!

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