I’m just back from a fairly long international trip, and thought I would share some of my experiences traveling with an insulin pump.
As I had an incredible number of connections during my flight, I had to go through Airport security a number of times. As I went through security the first time, I though I would save myself the inconvenience and take the pump off and put it through the metal detector. Despite the fear of some people that X-Rays may damage the device, the reality is that there is nothing magnetic in tha X-Ray machine, and I’ve been assured that puting the pump through it will not damage it.
After my second connection in San Francisco, I was told that taking the pump off was completely unnecesary. The officer said: “Is that an insulin pump?”… “you don’t need to take it off, the machine will not beep for it so you can go straight through with it”. So I decided to do that, after all, taking the pump off was a (very small) inconvenience and great if I could avoid it.
I left it on as I went through security in Newark. Given the temperature outside was welll bellow freezing, we had a significant amount of clothing on. We were asked to put coats and other outerware through the Xray machine. As I ended up with my Jeans and T-shirt I was asked by an officer again if that thing in my belt was an insulin pump. “Yep” I replied and then I proceeded to go through the metal detector, which as promised, did not alarm.
But thing had not ended just yet. I was then instructed to step into a flexyglass cabin for a manual inspection. As I asked what prompted the different process I was told that “We need to do an extra check because you are wearing an insulin pump”. Ten minutes later we where in our way, a bit disappointed that things did not go as smoothly as I expected.
So I made a decision. For the rest of the trip (another 6 or 7 flights) I disconnected my pump and put it in the little tray with the rest of my electronics. After all, pumps can be disconnected for up to a couple of hours, and pumps consumables don’t even show-up on the X-rays