Teenager Says TSA Screeners Are Responsible For Breaking $10K Insulin Pump

Sure, there are a lot of things the Transportation Security Administration does right. Catching gun parts in stuffed animals? Great job! But one diabetic Colorado teen is upset with the agency, blaming TSA screeners for breaking the $10,000 insulin pump she needs to survive.

According to ABC 4 News, the teen was going through security at Salt Lake City International Airport, and claims that TSA agents were abrupt, rude and were the reason her pump stopped working correctly.

The girl is a type one diabetic, and says TSA screeners weren’t prepared to deal with her medical situation.

“I went up to the lady and I said, ‘I am a type one diabetic. I wear an insulin pump. I showed her the pump. I said, what do you want me to do? I usually do a pat down — what would you recommend?’ “

She showed her doctor’s note explaining that the pump was sensitive and shouldn’t go through a body scanner. Despite that, she says she as told to go through the scanner anyway. She figured when a person in a position of authority says to do something, you better do it — and thought they knew what they were talking about.

“So, I said, ‘Are you sure I can go through with the pump? It’s not going to hurt the pump?’ And she said ‘no, no you’re fine.’ “

After she went through the body scan with the pump on, she says the device stopped working correctly. Agents made the situation worse, she claims, when they didn’t know what to do about her juice and insulin, and insisted on doing a full body pat down anyway. Which, of course, is what she had requested in the first place, but now it was too late for her pump.

The news station asked TSA about the incident, and received an email saying:

“TSA is reviewing the passenger’s screening experience and will respond directly to the family. TSA works regularly with a broad coalition of disability and medical condition advocacy groups to help understand their needs and adapt screening procedures accordingly.”

Diabetic teen upset with TSA screeners at Salt Lake City Airport [ABC 4 News]

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  1. catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

    if that’s a picture of her, that’s my pump model. which is why i choose not to fly. i have a letter from the manufacturer saying not to let the pump be scanned. and when i asked the TSA they said if i refuse to let it be xrayed or scanned when they want to, they won’t let me fly anyway.
    my primary care physician won’t even handle the pump because he’s not trained to. i had to take a class and wear a practice one for days before they would let me wear a real one with insulin. since, if you screw up an insulin pump, it can be fatal

    • eyesack is the boss of the DEFAMATION ZONE says:

      Any idea why the pump is so sensitive to the scanning devices? I would have expected these to be pretty low-tech, really, and I was under the impression the millimeter scanners (whatever they’re called) would be harmless enough to leave these alone.

      • ash says:

        I suspect that the circuit board acted as an antenna for the extremely high frequency of the scanner.

      • Necoras says:

        My guess is that any unshielded electronics going through an x-ray, while turned on, is likely to have problems. Medical devices with sensitive scanning electronics are likely even more susceptible to x-ray damage.

      • Brontide says:

        More common name for millimeter wave RF is microwave. Yes, they use a low powered microwave to create an image. Put sensitive electronics through these units and you will screw them up.

      • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

        i;m not sure, but i am also not allowed to have it near roller coasters or other things that have high powered magnetics because it has a magnetic drive.
        also, i can control it and change the settings by connecting it to my pc with an infrared dongle.
        i have no idea what the technical details are but there may be some relation. the manufacturer says that being exposed to xrays or other radiation means it could become miscalibrated and deliver a fatal dose without my knowledge
        if anyone is really curious and has some knowledge, you can get the user manual here
        http://www.animas.com/support/animas-2020-insulin-pump

        • MrEvil says:

          Probably the roller coaster restrictions are due to the excessive G-forces that could cause the pump to mis-meter the dose. Most roller coasters don’t use any high current electric motors, at least none close enough to passengers to cause inductance in sensitive electronics.

          • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

            the manufacturer specifically said the roller coaster restriction is magnetic

    • RadarOReally has got the Post-Vacation Blues says:

      My sister has flown many times with a pump, however has never been through any lines with the body scanners. You can still refuse those scanners, right? I don’t necessarily see that as a reason not to fly, just to insist you will not go through the body scanners.

      My sister now has Omni pods, so hopefully the point is moot for her. I’m definitely not blaming the OP: she thought she had to go through, and if they told her she had to go through and the pump would be fine, they should pay to replace it. Without it, some people have to take up to 7 shots a day and not be as healthy, and it’s hard to get insurance to pay for one–they would never pay for a second.

      My point is, at least the rest of us can learn from her lack of knowledge and refuse the scan.

      • RadarOReally has got the Post-Vacation Blues says:

        Sorry, I missed the part about the x-ray, catastrophegirl. My sister has never encountered that. She walks through the metal detector, shows them her pump, and she’s off. But then, we all know how consistent the TSA is…

      • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

        without my pump i have to take 10 or more shots a day. i also have gastroparesis so it can take anywhere from 6-20 hours for me to digest a meal. i can set the pump to give me the insulin for a meal over many hours as opposed to taking 4 or 5 doses per meal to match the digestion rate.
        the TSA also says they have the right to dismantle and inspect my pump if they want. i’m not cool with that

        • Kuri says:

          Odds are you would get it back in pieces, so you’re right not to let them touch it.

    • Nogard13 says:

      My cousin wears one just like this, too. She travels once a month to visit her BF and has never had an issue. She has refused the scanners every time in lieu of a pat down and has yet to encounter one TSA agent who gives her attitude about it.

      However, I know that this is a YMMV situation and it all depends on who the TSA agent is and how well trained (or nice) they are.

  2. doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:

    Already been posted by Amy Alkon.
    Same comment here: The idiot TSA agent who told/forced her to go through the scanner needs to pay for the pump. Not the TSA, the idiot agent.

    This girl has a pretty clear-cut reckless endangerment suit here against these thugs.

    • IphtashuFitz says:

      The entire TSA as an organization is at fault here, not this one agent. It’s painfully obvious that these screeners aren’t being properly trained and that there isn’t any sort of escalation path in place for the screeners to get answers when confronted with issues like this. You ask 10 different front-line TSA screeners the exact same question and you’ll get 10 different answers. Just look at some of the screening nightmares that have been reported in the news in the past few years. You’ve got things like:

      - A woman being harassed over breast milk

      - An elderly man having his colostomy bag damaged and leak all over him

      - Elderly military veterans wearing official military uniforms with insignia almost having ribbons like the Medal of Honor confiscated for being a potential weapon

      - This case involving the insulin pump

      - Children being groped, scared, etc. by TSA screeners

      - A breast cancer survivor required to show her prosthetic breast

      And so on…

      It makes me wonder what sort of training these screeners go through and what they’re told to do when they are faced with a situation they’re unfamiliar with. The rule of thumb seems to be to be as intimidating and hard-assed as possible. It’s pretty clear that there’s no standardized training of screeners, no standardized way of dealing with the unexpected, etc. And the TSA from the top levels is to blame for ALL of that.

      • RvLeshrac says:

        What’s the deal with people wanting to cite individual employees, anyway? If an individual employee does something, they usually didn’t just make that decision on their own, they made it according to specific instructions from management, or because they were threatened the last time they made a better decision.

        • Peggee has pearls and will clutch them when cashiers ask "YOU GOT A WIC CHECK MA'AM?" says:

          I can see it from both sides–on the one hand, the organization should have consistent rules and be proactive about training for situations like this, but on the other, this employee could have been trained perfectly and just wasn’t paying attention. Or they were feeling contrary just then and decided this kid was a good target.

          Unfortunately, every place has one of those. :(

    • rlmiller007 says:

      and I hope the dumbass TSA agent has to pay for the lawsuit too…

    • frankrizzo:You're locked up in here with me. says:

      These TSA jerkoffs are plain stupid. They’re idiots. They’re ignorant fucks. Can’t spell cat if you spot them the C and the A. They need to be banished to their own island, Morons Only.

      Fucking assholes. Power-drunk douche bags.

  3. Tim says:

    Blaming the OP here.

    The doctor told you not to take it through a scanner. But instead of listening to your doctor, you trust an airport screener’s advice on medical devices. Good going.

    Hey, did the doctor tell you not to swim with it? Well, as a lifeguard, I demand that you swim with it.

    • Rifter says:

      You blame the teen? For listening to someone in authority? Kids are generally trained to listen to authority. The TSA person completely screwed up here, not the teenager.

    • Darsynia says:

      Yeah, sure, I can buy that you see a TSA agent with the ability to get you fined or thrown into jail for not complying with them is EXACTLY the same level of authority as a lifeguard. Definitely the OP’s fault!

      /s

    • Lyn Torden says:

      I blame the doctor for not wording the warning strongly enough. Instead of “should not” (go through a screener) he should have said “absolutely must not, under any circumstances, go through the screener”.

      • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

        i have a pump from the same manufacturer and they sent me a letter addressed to the TSA saying not to scan it. i asked the TSA and they said ‘if we want to scan it and you say no, you don’t fly’
        so i cancelled a trip and haven’t flown since. and when delta asks me why i haven’t used my skymiles card in years, i said “because of the TSA”

        • Costner says:

          Just curious if you could get a different pump that doesn’t experience this problem – even if it is only for when you travel?

          I work with a guy who has a pump… and we have flown numerous times. I’m assuming not all pumps are that sensitive, but based upon the cost I can understand not being able to have more than one.

          I have to say though… if something is that sensitive and could potentially inject you with a lethal dose of insulin, I’m not sure I’d want to trust it. It is pretty sad that an ipod can travel through all of the airport scanners unharmed, but a life saving device can’t.

          • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

            you really can’t just switch back and forth. they all take different parts. the infusion sets, tubing, cartridges are all different. and i have to download my settings and readings for my doctor and there’s different software for each one. i picked the one i have because it’s reliable, the screen is easy to read, especially in the dark, and it’s waterproof so i can take it snorkeling. if i am going anywhere for travel i will probably go somewhere to snorkel so i’d have to take it with me anyway. and then they’d want to xray it with my carryon.
            plus they require a prescription – no doctor is going to prescribe 2 different pumps. and insurance isn’t going to pay for one more than every few years, let alone two. i had a hard enough time convincing my insurance company to pay for a different kind of test strips when i changed meters. they wanted me to use the old test strips with the new meter, even though they are incompatible proprietary technologies

    • dolemite says:

      So….just chuck that ticket she bought and don’t fly to Grandma’s funeral (or wherever she was going) is what you are saying? Because if you tell the TSA “I’m not doing that”, they tell you: “you aren’t flying.”

    • Megalomania says:

      there are just dozens of things wrong with how stupid that analogy is, but ignoring that it makes absolutely no sense, the TSA can have you arrested if you enter the screening process and then attempt to back out.

    • The Cosmic Avenger says:

      Sure, Internet Tough Guy, next time you fly, try telling the TSO to shove their wand up their ass because they aren’t the boss of you. Make sure to have a friend video your cavity search for our amusement. kthxbai.

      • Here to ruin your groove says:

        What airport still uses a wand? Instead they stroke, paw, and rub you down aggressively. I am still trying to figure out how and why I am picked for this at every airport.

    • Cerne says:

      Except you can’t refuse to be screened by the TSA.

    • quieterhue says:

      Normally I would agree, but the OP is a teenager. It’s not reasonable to expect an underage person who, correctly, respects authority to get into a confrontation with a TSA agent. The TSA agent is the adult and they should have had the good sense to abide by the doctor’s note.

      Again, I don’t blame the OP at all in this case. If anything, I slightly blame her parents for letting her travel alone, but clearly she has been through airport security in the past and was allowed to receive a pat down, so it’s not unreasonable to expect the same treatment in the future. The issue is that TSA isn’t training its agents correctly or consistently and so travelers with medical conditions are left with the anxiety of never knowing whether they will be accomodated properly.

  4. doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:
    • ktetch says:

      It’s just a shame that Broun’s a teabagging moron.

      In the next redistricting happening this next election we’ll be getting his district.
      2 years ago we had a democrat who had one of the best records for dealing with federal agencies, in 2010 we got a teabagger, one who basically cut+pastes Boehmer’s PR’s and lets his 8yo son handle his social media (http://www.ktetch.co.uk/2012/01/republican-caves-to-homophone-pressure.html)

      Most of the people I’ve spoken to in Athens (Broun’s major city, home of UGa) aren’t happy with him either, saying he’s utterly useless. But Then again, he’s another evolution denier (what does the MD he and Ron Paul claim to have mean? Medically Dumb?)

  5. dicobalt says:

    Since when do TSA rent a cops know anything about insulin pumps? Should’ve listened to your doctor or got something in writing before stepping though that scanner with it.

    • Me - now with more humidity says:

      Read the article: “She showed her doctor’s note explaining that the pump was sensitive and shouldn’t go through a body scanner.”

      • dicobalt says:

        Nice try there but “by something in writing” I meant that she get something which stated if the pump failed that the TSA would replace it for her at no charge. Something effectively stating that they are forcing her to go though the scanner with a device that is not supposed to be scanned.

        • philpm says:

          Do you seriously, honestly believe that the TSA would EVER admit to not knowing what they’re doing, even though its painfully obvious to anyone with a functioning brain stem that they don’t. No chance that the TSA would take responsibility for anything like this.

          • dicobalt says:

            Doesn’t matter, the TSA wouldn’t have done it and she wouldn’t have got on the plane and her pump wouldn’t be broken now.

            • Northern Lights says:

              You think that it’s okay that she would have been stuck far away from home and potentially face arrest for refusing to complete the screening procedure? Maybe that’s an easy choice for you, but it wouldn’t be for me and it wasn’t for her either.

            • tsukiotoshi says:

              Or she would have been arrested for refusing the screening process and trying to leave without being screened. Wasn’t there an article a few months back where that happened?

            • milk says:

              I think the point philpm was making is that no one at TSA would ever enter into such an agreement with a traveler. The gate agents certainly don’t have the authority to do so.

        • Excuse My Ambition Deficit Disorder says:

          Or she should have brought the CEO that manufactured the device, her Doctor and a lawyer…just in case. How dare she not know the TSA were going to make her do that.

          You truly are a moron and should be recommended for a high rank in the TSA.

  6. Mike says:

    The terrorists called, they said “We won!”

    • RevancheRM says:

      Exactly. The point of terrorism to is not to kill the enemy, but force a change in the targeted culture.

      See any changes from 10 Sept 2001 and 10 Sept 2005 in civil liberties? They not only won, they won by a landslide.

      • HogwartsProfessor says:

        I’ve been saying this since 9/11 but people get mad when I do. Don’t want to admit they caved, I guess.

    • RevancheRM says:

      Exactly. The point of terrorism to is not to kill the enemy, but force a change in the targeted culture.

      See any changes from 10 Sept 2001 and 10 Sept 2005 in civil liberties? They not only won, they won by a landslide.

  7. clippy2.1 says:

    Not to blame the OP, because fuck the TSA, but I have this same pump. The manufacturer sent out a letter, specifically stating not to let it get x-rayed or scanned. She had a note from her doctor. Its her life for crying out loud! When the TSA asks to scan it, say “no, I cannot do that”. If it matters, get someone who can read. I’ve flown plenty of times and honestly, never had an issue. More times than not, it never comes up. I keep it in my pocket, go through a metal detector, if its not a metal detector, I just say I need to do a pat down. I understand she did this too, but next time just kick that fucking monkey in the nuts and ask for the next person up the chain

  8. dwtomek says:

    Not a blame the op here, but can’t they make these pumps a little more robust? The ones I have seen are a simple adjustable amount-per-time style. Is this a different style?

    • Worstdaysinceyesterday says:

      I go through mine with a scanner with no problem. There are RF systems but the RF is not integral to insulin delivery in most cases.

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      there are dozens. in fact my warranty is about to expire and i am shopping for a new one. there are even more kinds now than 5 years ago. the one she is wearing, that i also wear is actually one of the tougher ones. it’s waterproof up to 12 feet for up to 24 hours. i drop it all the time.
      the problem is with the calibration.
      and considering how hard it is to get medical devices approved by the FDA i’m impressed there even are so many kinds. the software for mine hasn’t been approved for any upgrades so i still have to download my pump in windows xp

    • poehitman says:

      Yeah, you’d think they could harden them against whatever could damage them.

  9. Worstdaysinceyesterday says:

    I never ever announce that I have a pump. That is a BOHICO move for certain!

  10. dulcinea47 says:

    ” She figured when a person in a position of authority says to do something, you better do it — and thought they knew what they were talking about.”

    Oh, sad. Time to learn a hard life lesson- people don’t know what they’re talking about just b/c they act like it. In fact, people usually don’t know what they’re talking about at all and it’s better to assume they don’t.

    PS- I am not blaming the OP; you can’t really blame someone for only being 16 years old and legitimately not knowing better.

    • Northern Lights says:

      It’s not only that she ‘didn’t know better’, but it’s a situation that can be very intimidating when TSA agents can summarily decide that you’re simply not flying (and thus not going home, as this was the return flight) that day, and the airline is (probably) not required to refund her ticket in that event. And even that is the best case scenario since she could also be arrested for failure to complete the screening process after entering it.

      I don’t think that that would be an easy choice for most people, much less a 16 year old.

    • j2.718ff says:

      … and now she does know better. Too bad it took a $10K mistake (not to mention the health risks) by someone in authority for that lesson to be taught.

  11. winstonthorne says:

    Hey OP-blamers: we’re talking about a teenager here. Most teenagers will listen to the instructions of a uniformed authority figure, and know that if they don’t, the consequences could be severe. Only those of us who have been around long enough to be jaded (and who don’t have to rely on others to provide life’s necessities) typically have the self-confidence to stand up to idiot cops/TSA officers.

  12. Ben says:

    Teenagers are known for respecting authority figures!

  13. We Have a Piper Down says:

    I wish I could be the TSA’s spokesperson. I would LOVE to get taxpayer dollars for puking up the worst canned crap responses in my sleep like they do.

  14. damicatz says:

    Sounds like it’s time to file a 1983 action.

  15. ash says:

    I don’t understand the logic of this TSA employee at all. “My doctor said I should not go through the scanner because of a medical device. What should I do?” “Go through the scanner, miss!”
    What kind of facked up logic is going on here?

    • Jane_Gage says:

      Oh, the power, the sweet, all consuming power that is like a drug or candy. Enjoy jamming that needle into your belly fat sweetheart, this plane ride’s gonna leave a bad taste in your mouth from now until you go blind. /snaps rubber gloves, dusts off the GED

  16. The Cupcake Nazi says:

    I’m going to be kind of nitpicky, but the statement that she needs the pump to survive reeks of hyperbole to me. Granted, it may be very convenient, but she certainly does not NEED it to survive, there are other ways for her to get her insulin.

    • VintageLydia says:

      I’d ask catastophegirl since she stated at the top she uses the same type of pump.

    • Worstdaysinceyesterday says:

      Yes, that is too nitpicky. It is not an egregious hyperbole.

    • Velifer says:

      Yeah, get your insulin from your pancreas like everyone else does, ya dumb bitch. BLAME THAT OP, BLAME HER HAAAAARD!

      • HomerSimpson says:

        Seriously! If you didn’t have diabetes you wouldn’t have had any problem…amIright?

        /s

    • RadarOReally has got the Post-Vacation Blues says:

      Some people can control their blood glucose easily with insulin shots, some cannot. My sister was taking more than 7 shots a day when she got her pump, and was still in very poor health, and facing blindness, even though her diet was controlled and she was active and not overweight. She’s had a pump for 10 years now, and her prognosis has done a 180. This girl might not die in a day or a week, but she might actually die from having to go back on the shots, depending on her body and how it deals with glucose and insulin.

    • Happy Tinfoil Cat says:

      Yeah, like not being in your own state, having to find insulin of the type she needs, contacting a doctor to write a prescription for it, dealing with those lovelies at whatever out-of-state insurance company she has, get her prescription without being arrested for phaking it, avoiding being hassled by cops or TSA thugs for having hypo needles on her person, and measuring and self-injecting the correct dosage at the exact times she needs them, especially if shes not used to doing so having been on an automatic pump since her youth. Sure, nothing could possibly go wrong there that could endanger her life. Nope. u-huh.

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      my pump has kept me out of the hospital. when i was first diagnosed in 2007 [adult onset type 1] i was in and out of the hospital for months before they figured out i have complications that make shots a pretty ineffective method of treatment.
      but more to the specifics of this situation – any diabetic should travel with a backup system of delivery, like needles and it sounds like this girl did.
      but animas, who makes this pump, does NOT guarantee it against damage by the TSA – letting the TSA touch it voids the warranty. if her insurance wouldn’t pay for a new one, which is likely since most will only pay for one every 4 or 5 years, she could easily have been stuck out of town with a handful of needles, no local doctor to write her a prescription for needles. and going from the pump to MDI [multiple daily injections] for many people can involve spending a week in the hospital learning how to control your diabetes through alternate means.
      most importantly, according to this story and the letter i got from the manufacturer, the scanners or any xray equipment could damage the pump calibration to the point where the pump would say it’s giving you ten units of insulin but deliver 30 or more. which could easily be a fatal dose

  17. pms says:

    Don’t blame the pedophile Nazis. They are following orders.

  18. Velifer says:

    So they didn’t waterboard a guy whose ex planted a gun on their kid. That’s ONE thing they did right. Let’s not get too hasty with pats on the back.

  19. El_Fez says:

    Not that I’m blaming the OP or anything, but I would have just skipped the scanner and gone right to the Penis Grope instead. I wouldn’t trust them to Nude Scan a brick let alone my person.

    • Magical Pig says:

      If they found a penis on the OP, she has other concerns as well.

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      the TSA says they also have the right to dismantle the pump and inspect it if you don’t want it scanned or xrayed. i don’t trust them with that either. i read an article where a TSA agent opened clear, factory sealed packages of gastric tubing that a teenager needs to eat through a stomach feeding tube and thereby rendered it unsterile.

      • Kuri says:

        Don’t forget where they dismantled a wheelchair without so much as thinking about how to re-assemble it at the destination.

  20. Dave B. says:

    “and thought they knew what they were talking about”

    Well there’s your problem…

  21. Almighty Peanut says:

    That diebetical villain!

  22. Ultrarobo says:

    I am a Type I diabetic and I use a Medtronic pump with a CGM which uses RF communication to send real-time glucose readings from a transmitter to the pump. The pump pictured above is a pump by Animas (Johnson & Johnson) and it has no CGM capability although it can communicate wirelessly with a glucose meter.

    I’ve flown numerous times with it both domestically and internationally and never EVER had any issues with either TSA or pump functionality. Additionally, I’m going to cry B.S. on the $10,000 value claim. That pump does not have such a retail value. At best that device would be 3 or 4 thousand dollars (and that’s at retail – not insurance price). Although I can empathize with all Type Is out there who have to go through the security and explosives test with TSA every time they fly, I am going to call B.S. on this particular story.

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      i wear an animas 2020. that pump is either a 2020 or a Ping. in 2008 my 2020 cost my insurance company $6,700.00 at the negotiated insurance rate. i can assume the Ping costs more due to the additional features.
      i decided against medtronic due to quality issues, but i just checked american diabetes wholesale for their current “wholesale” price on a medtronic revel paradigm and they are quoting $6k. http://www.americandiabeteswholesale.com/catalog/insulin-pumps_70.htm

      • frodolives35 says:

        Would you please stop ruining peoples posts with facts and concise to the point statements. /s ;)

    • Ilovegnomes says:

      Maybe that amount accounts for the parts and labor?

    • scoosdad says:

      Yup, that’s been exactly my experience as well. Scroll down a bit for my comment with my particular experience.

      And yeah, the $10k figure is a bit exaggerated and just an inflated part of the overall hysteria surrounding this incident. All the pumps are priced in the same range for a reason. Nobody wants to sell a pump that’s about $4k more than the nearest competitors.

      Failure of a pump is not the end of the world either. What did we do when we didn’t have pumps? We used insulin and syringes, which you can obtain in most states now without a prescription if you’re on the road and find you have an issue with the pump. As much as I hate to endorse them, Walmart is selling most types of insulin now for under $25, which is less than my insurance copay for it. I buy my emergency backup syringes (and the ones I use for my diabetic dog who doesn’t have a pump of his own) online for about 14 cents apiece.

  23. oldwiz65 says:

    I am surprised that the TSA agent didn’t simply rip the pump off ; it’s obviously a terrorist device.
    /sarcasm

  24. oldwiz65 says:

    Wonder if the TSA agent could be charged with manslaughter if the girl had died? The TSA has shown again and again that they are poorly trained and do not care about passengers. They grope underage children, steal your money, break your electronics, steal your personal property, accept bribes to smuggle drugs, and all kinds of other crimes, yet they keep their jobs. dumb

  25. Kuri says:

    *Counter Strike voice* Terrorists Win.

  26. Sad Sam says:

    Can she not go through the metal detector, the post is ambiguous? I thought the deal was, for those with mental implants (and I would sorta count this as one) you go through metal detector, metal detector goes off, you show your medical card and you get secondary screening. Secondary screening is the x-ray scanner OR a pat down.

    I think the problem, if I’m understanding the post, if she was told she needed to go in x-ray machine by a person of “authority” (TSA now wears badge and uniform to look more official) the girl was 16 and didn’t understand she could say no to x-ray and opt for pat down or got scared.

    Whenever I opt out of x-ray machine, which you can opt out of, I always get push back from TSA agent, always. They start talking about the machine is safe, this isn’t the x-ray machine this is the millimeter wave machine, etc. I always have a debate and I fly quite often. I carry the TSA web site print out to show the agent or I ask for a supervisor and I leave enough time for this run around.

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      i was under the impression, from several things i’ve read about airports that have started using the scanners, that most of the metal detectors have been replaced with scanners. i haven’t seen it for myself and i don’t expect it to apply to all airports. but there may not have been a metal detector available. the TSA may also have not made that an option for her. they do seem to make up the rules as they go along when it comes to medical devices.

  27. Chaluapman says:

    I went through Kansas CIty International with my insulin pump. They made me rub the pump with my hands, then swabbed my hands to check for exposive residue. I’ve been through a dozen scanners wearing my pump, I have never had any problems, with it or the TSA. I show them while it’s hooked up, they say walk through, that’s that. I’ve been on a pump for 5 years.

  28. B Nasty says:

    Just google cis@amazon.com.

  29. crap it's jenn says:

    Sigh. My SIL is also a diabetic who wears a pump. They’re starting to become more and more common.

    A few years ago when I flew to Vegas with her, we were going through the security checkpoint and one of the TSA people said “M’am, I’m going to have to ask you to remove your pager.” This person’s co-worker smacked him on the back of the head and said “That’s an insulin pump, you dumbass.”

    Don’t count on a person who probably doesn’t even know what an insulin pump is to know what won’t harm it…

  30. mcgyver210 says:

    The only good TSA GOON is a Non Exist-ant one. I don’t fly because I will not put up with these idiots that couldn’t make any place safer with their Mafia ways.

    They are worse than the imaginary threats they claim to be protecting us from.

  31. HogwartsProfessor says:

    *sigh* Why doesn’t this fuckery just END? Just hearing this makes me tired.

    If I have to go through the scanner, I’m going to assume the pose and stick my ass out and flip off the camera. So they’ll get a naked variation of this:
    http://teenangstshow.files.wordpress.com/2008/08/sara-double-bird.jpg

    • mianne prays her parents outlive the TSA says:

      It isn’t ending because the folks who enact6edc the policies are making boatloads of money selling the scanners to taxpayers.

      It isn’t ending because we need the “terrorism” bogeyman to keep us in fearful compliance since the “commies” are no longer a viable threat. (Now even the CIA is issuing press releases aka propaganda directly to Americans rather than by proxy.)

      It isn’t ending because for all the TSA horror stories, it would be political suicide to push for the “weakening” of our national defense. Anyone really think Ron/Rand Paul have any political future?

      It isn’t ending because while there’s heavy vocal opposition, and lots of us who won’t fly; most people just grin and bear it and won’t make waves.

  32. Fisher1949 says:

    This repeated abuse of diabetics by TSA has got to stop. Just last week they molested and terrorized a 10 year old boy in Chicago who was wearing an insulin pump.

    TSA is an arrogant and abusive agency that does nothing to improve security and only adds to the already high level of misery in air travel. Just last month a TSA screener was convicted for smuggling drugs through security and four more this week in LAX. Another four were arrested in the past year and are awaiting trial. These drugs could have as easily been bombs and for all of TSA’s groping of children and strip searches of grandmothers wouldn’t have stopped an attack.

    There were a total of 91 TSA workers arrested in the last 16 months. This included 12 arrested for child sex crimes, over twenty for theft from bags and even one for murder. There were five reports of TSA screeners harassing and sexually assaulting travelers last week including three children, an elderly couple they molested and robbed them of $300 in Detroit and groping a Congressman twice in one week. How many incidents need to occur before people get the fact that this agency is broken?

    TSA has done more damage to our liberty, way of life and morality than Al Qaeda could have ever hoped to do and Pistole has been their willing accompice. Every time someone defends this sick agency they hand another victory to the terrorists. Bin laden would be so happy.

  33. scoosdad says:

    I currently use a Medtronic Paradigm 522 pump which also has the remote glucose sensor receiver built into it.

    I can say without hesitation that it’s not affected by the x-ray scanners that carry on bags go through in security even when left powered on because I travel frequently and that’s how mine passes through security. I can’t vouch for the body scanners because when I fly, I stop in the rest room briefly, disconnect the pump and put it in suspend mode (it won’t kill you for the time you’re standing in line without it being connected; you can always do a make-up bolus afterwards if it’s a lengthy wait) and drop it inside a ziplock bag and tuck it back into a pouch in my carry on luggage. That goes down the belt and through x-ray. In all my years of flying with a pump (I’ve only had the Medtronic products), only once have they stopped to remove it from my bag for a second look. Once they see or ask what it is, they put it back and I’m on my way. I’ve never experienced any kind of failure or electronics issue for following that process.

    Methinks the pump manufacturers are being a little overcautious with all the warnings and doctor’s notes. Your iPad and smart phone are probably more sensitive to the scanners and x-rays than a modern insulin pump is. They’re built like tanks for a reason. Of course as always, YMMV depending on your particular pump, but that’s been my experience with all of my pumps.

  34. Mark702 says:

    The TSA is a corrupt and massively expensive charade. It’s a physical assault and violation of our privacy, and we the taxpayers are the ones who pay for it to happen in the first place. The TSA should be abolished and dismantled. It should never have existed in the first place. We must do whatever is necessary to destroy this corrupt boondoggle agency.

  35. quieterhue says:

    This is flat out ridiculous. If a person has an obvious medical condition and a doctor’s note saying not to go through the scanner, TSA should allow them to do a pat-down instead. It should not be this difficult for TSA to accomodate people with medical conditions. Now, if this was an adult, I would have said that they should have stood their ground and demanded a pat down. However, this is a teenager traveling alone and she can’t be blamed for not wanting to get into a confrontation with TSA. That said, a confrontation should not be necessary. These are highly predictable situations that can be easily handled if TSA would implement logical, clear-cut processes across the board. There’s no reason why they can’t respect the dignity of these passengers while also ensuring the safety of other flyers. No reason at all.

  36. Harry Greek says:

    Terrorists are the worst, they are now sending diabetic teens to do their dirty work for them.