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Re: [IPk] Re: airline advise

Hi Helen
I travel quite frequently - including Manchester to Philadelphia post-Sep
11 - and my advice is NEVER tell them anything in advance unless you are
asked a direct question. The more you make a fuss about whether you can take
XYZ the more they put you down as a security risk and the more trouble you
end up having. Illogical, because a terrrorist is hardly going to send
letters to the airline saying they're carrying dangerous weapons, but there
you go......
It is worth having a doctor's letter saying you have DM and need your stuff
etc etc, but DON'T show it to them unless they specifically ask to see it.
It just complicates things!

----- Original Message -----
From: <email @ redacted>
To: <email @ redacted>
Sent: Monday, July 22, 2002 7:32 PM
Subject: [IPk] Re: airline advise

> Hi...
> I have been abroad on airlines no problem a few times until this yr on a
> to the US. I always carry a docs letter with me explaining the need for
> diabetes supplies, medication etc etc. (I'm not on a pump, but am still
> waiting for appt.....)! I phoned the airline prior to trip to make doubly
> sure they knew I would be taking these things with me and they said to
> notify staff at the check-in at Manchester and they would put a note on my
> booking also so everyone was aware. I was travelling alone (never done
> before)! so was nervous!
> I arrived and checked in very early and the staff on the desk took my
> and photocopied it and faxed a copy through to Washington DC where I was
> connecting to Philadelphia.
> On arriving at Philly, (I was almost 'bumped' but that's another story)! I
> only had limited time to catch connecting flight. I was searched at the
> as I was going to board the plane and the security 'lady' was extremely
> to say the least. She asked me why my bag was so heavy (all my insulin
> plus other meds plus small bottles of lucozade)! and insisted she knew
> absolutely nothing about the fact I had diabetes, no letter had been fwd,
> this was totally out of order etc. etc. I showed her my letter but she
> insisted it wasn't sufficient?! She emptied my bag completely then just
> me to re pack it in a hurry! I eventually got past her and started to run
> down the corridor for the plane (a very small 'commuter' jet). I had been
> told prior to my flights that the hand luggage I had (older type flight
> was OK for both planes. I got to the gate onto the tarmac, the plane was
> ready for take-off and due to me being searched I was last to get there,
> was waiting for me. The security person shouted down to the person on the
> gate that I had to leave my bag with her as I was 'carrying sharps' and
> was a 'security and safety risk'. I tried to tell her I had to carry all
> supplies with me and I had a letter to say so, but she insisted I could
> absolutely not, take these supplies onto the plane with me. I argued a bit
> but she was extremely insistent and the plane was starting up the engines.
> suggested taking out the sharps and putting them in the hold or taking out
> insulin to keep with me, but she said, or yelled, 'NO TIME'! and took my
> from my arm and hurried me on to the plane. I was really upset. I was
> and shaken and had not been allowed to even get out my passport, my
> or even any type of ID, never mind any glucose etc in case of hypo's. I
> the hour flight in tears worrying about my stuff. At the other end I
> retrieved my bag from the tarmac.
> I have written to the airline (British Midland/United Airways) but have
had a
> letter back stating that security measures such as these were necessary
> September 11. I do understand the need for extra measures, and felt
> by most of them, but not allowing meds to be taken on board is ludicrous!
> Also, I should ensure I notify the airline in advance (I did) and carry
> 'suitable and sufficient documentation to prove my need for medication'
> (whatever that might be), also to ensure sharps are not carried on the
> I intend to write again!
> Hope this doesn't happen to anyone else, but if it does, it may be worth
> seeing what the official policy is. It's never happened to me before but
> I am worried about it happening again.
> BW Helen
> PS I was also noted as an 'extra security risk' passenger on my return
> journey and frisked and thoroughly searched at every point. I had not
> problems getting my things on board this time...I was totally insistent!
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