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After flying all over the US, a problematic Manchester airport experience.

Discussion in 'Insulin Pump Forum' started by Claire007, Nov 1, 2017.

  1. Claire007

    Claire007 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Earlier this year I flew to the US, no problems experienced at any US airports regarding my pump. I declared it prior to arriving at the full body scanner, a shout of ‘Female pat down’ or ‘Female opt out’ was shouted and a female customs officer would be called. An in depth ish pat down would then be done but still in the open space which I was asked to consent to or I could have this done in private if I’d have preferred.
    My departure from LHR I was told everybody needed to go through the scanner and that was final. I chose to remove my pump as this seemed the easiest option.
    I’ve just returned from a flight which departed from Manchester. They wouldn’t do a pat down, they insisted I was safe to go through, insisting they have staff who go through every day and wouldn’t listen. They told me I would have to wait and be taken for a full body search in a private room if I wouldn’t go through the full body scan, they were very rude and abrupt.
    Once again I chose to remove my pump as this was the easiest option. They had me worried just how intimate the search would be if I went to a private room. I felt quite humiliated.
    I went through Miami, sanfransisco, New York, Boston, key west and Atlanta all without problem, so why can’t the UK airports do the same?
    Is it worth complaining?
     
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  2. helensaramay

    helensaramay Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Yes, definitely.
    I had a similar experience at LHR. I chose to go to the private room for the pat down. Whilst it was not intimate, it was very rude: I was told I chose to have diabetes.
    I wrote an strong but polite email to the security manager at LHR (I found contact details on the internet). They replied quickly with an apology, a few clarification questions and promised to provide additional staff training in this area. I have since travelled through the same terminal and had no problems.
     
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  3. Claire007

    Claire007 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I think I will complain. I was made to feel like a criminal tbh.
     
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  4. fairylights

    fairylights Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Edinburgh Airport say this:-

    Medical Devices and Assistance
    We will never ask you to remove a diabetic pump or a stoma, however they may need to be checked, most often with the use of explosive trace detection equipment. In the interest of customer discretion, this process can be carried out in a private room.

    I never show my pump and it has never set off a metal detector and luckily for me I have never been asked to go through the body scanner at Edinburgh. Stupidly a couple of months ago I forgot to take off my money belt and set off the metal detector at Budapest, I said I couldn't go tin the scanner and they just patted me down. I showed them my pump but completely forgot about the money belt until she found it - stupid! I do leave plenty of time - just in case.
     
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  5. Claire007

    Claire007 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I’ve never been asked to go through one for a European flight until now, it seems to me they’re rolling them out so everyone has to go through. To be fair they didn’t ask me to take it off but it was that or go to a private room on my own and they were very intimidating.
     
  6. Claire007

    Claire007 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    This is from input diabetes;
    • If the security staff insist on a whole body scan (Manchester Airport have advised that if a passenger refuses, having been selected for the scan, they will not be allowed to travel) either disconnect the pump and hand it to the security staff (preferred option) or remove the batteries before going through the scanner (an option with, for example, Roche pumps).

    So it seems although the guidance says:
    Most pump manufacturers advise that insulin pumps should not be exposed to x-rays and therefore it is advisable that they should not pass through the scanning equipment for hand luggage or the whole body scanners at airports – or indeed other security checks elsewhere that use similar surveillance technology.

    Manchester airport make their own rules.
     
  7. tigger

    tigger Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Sorry to hear of your experience. I had read about Manchester and it does sound an exception. I've been through Heathrow (terminal 4) recently and agreed to a private pat down so as not to go through the scanner. It was fine and in fact they turned down my offer to show them exactly where my canula is placed.........

    Do complain. We have a PM who is type 1 so now is the time that we might have some political leverage.
     
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  8. Heathero

    Heathero Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Was told at Luton that my doctors letter was not sufficient as didn’t state pump not to go through X-ray however did allow me to hand to PDM to staff and was swabbed. Nearly had pod ripped of my leg in Portugal . Then taken to room to show as I refused to remove my trousers in public! All airports vary. Have even had insulin removed from box and scanned as liquid.
     
  9. himtoo

    himtoo Type 1 · Moderator
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    that sort of thing happened to me at Manchester

    I had my half used vial of insulin in my pump case
    my pens I had put in the liquids bag )
    I was pulled to the side and had a full body search along with an admonition that my insulin vial( about 400 units) should have been in a separate liquids bag == sort of glad they are thorough but not overly friendly.
     
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  10. Heathero

    Heathero Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Yes I always carry insulin vials and pens in cool bag and put through. As u say good for safety but can be a bit frustrating waiting in additional queues etc.
     
  11. Seacrow

    Seacrow LADA · Active Member

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    Manchester is a pain, they can't make their minds up which rules apply. One memorable trip, the flight out I was told insulin was a prescribed medicine and needed to be in the original packaging, on the way back it was a liquid and had to be without packaging in my liquids bag. They also weren't happy about the amount of insulin, but backed down when I pointed out this was essential to my continued survival.
     
  12. paulus1

    paulus1 · Well-Known Member

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    not diabetes related i was flying home from a exercises tolerance test in aberdeen. i have angina. i was in a wheel chair. they stopped me and swabbed my hands. there tests detected my spray as explosive residue. i was question and searched and made to wait for two armed police men to interview me. this was in front of a whole line of people. it felt so humiliating. i even showed them the spray.
     
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