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Re: [IPk] Re: Airport horror - flying to the US, any advice please
A lot of it depends on which airline you fly with, which airports you're
going through, and what the security men had for breakfast that day.
I flew from Manchester to Philadelphia to Baltimore in March (and back
again) and had no problems at all. They frisked me at the Xray machine, found
my pump, I said "it's an insulin pump" and they said "fine". My needles etc
were all in my hand luggage, which was Xrayed and noone batted an eyelid.
I took with me a doctor's letter saying I had diabetes, but didn't have
things in original containers with labels on.
I think if your ticket says Dr that will help a lot. Mine did too (I am an
academic Dr not a medical one) but I've noticed that especially in the US
they treat you with a lot more respect if they think you're a Dr (they always
assume you're a medical one), so I always use my Dr title when travelling to
and in the US.
I always have far more problems getting my laptop through security than my
pump! They always make me take it out of the bag, turn it on, open up all the
bits that open up, and spend ages examining it. Maybe that's the answer - to
detract their attention from the pump!
On Tuesday 09 April 2002 09:48, you wrote:
> All this talk of airport horrors has got me extremely worried, since I
> am scheduled to travel to the USA for a conference in June.
> I have travelled since 11 September - a short trip to England in
> February when I had no problems whatsoever. I live in Israel, and
> although security was extremely tight here (as you can imagine), and
> again in Heathrow, my pump did not set off alarms, and when I was
> asked, before my hand baggage was x-rayed, whether it might contain
> anything that looked like weapons or needles, I simply said yes that
> I'm diabetic, carry spare syringes and other equipment, and also told
> them that I had an insulin pump which might set off the alarm as I
> walked through. I also did have a doctor's letter with me just in case,
> but no one wanted to see it this time.
> However now I am worried about flying to the US, particularly since I
> am going to the west coast, with a stopover on the way, and so will
> need to go through security several times. Has anyone had any
> experience of this?
> It also occurs to me that travelling from and to Israel, even though I
> will enter the US on my British passport, I may be viewed with extra
> suspicion - and although I am going to a medical conference, and it
> very nicely says Dr Freedman on my ticket, I am not a physician but a
> physicist, so that is unlikely to help.
> I will have the doctor's letter of course, but I had heard that they
> also want to see prescriptions or the supplies in the original boxes
> labelled with the name of the patient - I would not generally take the
> original box, indeed the pump cartridges and needles have never come in
> a box, and none of the supplies I get on prescription have any labels
> on whatsoever - is this likely to cause problems? if I know in
> advance, I could persuade the pharmacist to put on labels on insulin
> and pump supplies etc next time I need new supplies.
> Any other helpful ideas - even the remote possibility of being
> separated from my supplies for these long flights is nightmarish,
> before I even start thinking of all my previous (pre-DM) experiences of
> being stuck for several days waiting for lost baggage to turn up - that
> song (which our son used kindly to sing us each time before we
> travelled - was it Monty Python?) with the line "I'm so worried
> about....the baggage retrieval system they've got at Heathrow" is only
> too true, except that in addition one could substitute name of any
> other major airport probably.
> > Date: Sun, 7 Apr 2002 20:17:47 +0100
> > From: "Tony O'Sullivan" <email @ redacted>
> > Subject: Re: [IPk] Airport horror
> > Pat, that sounds like a terrible experience. Also a potentially
> > dangerous
> > one. I think a letter of complaint to head of security at the
> > airport,
> > copied to the BAA and Diabetes UK, would go a long way. This kind of
> > nonsense might have affected a less resourceful person, or someone of
> > an
> > arabic background with diabetes, for example, a lot more. Besides, it
> > helps
> > to re-establish a sense of balance about what happened!
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