She’s Not the First, She Won’t Be the Last.
I wouldn’t be surprised if this happens to me at some point. TSA sometimes decides it’s “policy” to pat me down and search all my stuff because I ask them to hand check my external electronic medical devices, so they don’t get ruined by the x-rays. I still walk through the metal detector, and the rest of my stuff goes through the x-rays. They don’t consistently pat me down, it depends on the airport and who’s working that day. Sometimes they argue with me about whether the devices need to be hand checked at all, instead, which is my right according to their own policies.* They’ve spent 10-15 minutes trying to force me out of an inspection that takes them 2 minutes. TSA basically likes to go on power trips, as far as I can tell. This is a perfect example of that. This poor woman.
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*It’s recommended in the manual for every one of the devices that I have them inspected. These devices are essential to my health. They literally keep me alive, and are very expensive to replace. This is what the TSA’s own website says about it:
External Medical Devices
Inform the TSA Officer
Inform the TSA officer if you have a bone growth stimulator, spinal stimulator, neurostimulator, port, feeding tube, insulin pump, ostomy or other medical device attached to your body and where it is located before the screening process begins. You may provide the officer with the TSA notification card or other medical documentation to describe your condition.
Submit the device for X-ray screening if you can safely disconnect. Consult with the manufacturer of the device to determine whether it can pass through the X-ray, metal detector or advanced imaging technology for screening.
If you cannot disconnect from the device, it may require additional screening and those in sensitive areas are subject to careful and gentle inspection.
What are the procedures if I have an internal or external medical device, such as a pacemaker or metal implant?
Advanced imaging technology can facilitate your screening and reduces the likelihood of a pat-down. Inform the TSA officer that you have an artificial knee, hip, other metal implant or a pacemaker, defibrillator or other internal medical device. You should not be screened by a walk-through metal detector if you have an internal medical device such as a pacemaker. Consult with your physician prior to flying.
If you choose to not be screened through the advanced imaging technology or you alarm the walk-through metal detector, you will undergo a pat-down screening.