POLL ABOUT FLIGHT SECURITY SCREENING

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Which one of the following expresses your feeling about screening for airline travel

Full-body scanning is so intrusive that I will not travel and run the risk of having it done.
21
5%
I am very anxious about the possibility of having to undergo full-body scanning.
63
15%
I am somewhat anxious about the possibility of having to undergo full-body scanning.
62
15%
I am OK with the possibility of undergoing full-body scanning as long as my identity is protected.
84
21%
I an totally OK with the possibility of undergoing full-body scanning when I travel.
178
44%
 
Total votes: 408

CrustyCodger
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Re: POLL ABOUT FLIGHT SECURITY SCREENING

Post by CrustyCodger »

Not a big deal. I don't want someone who has not been screened on MY flight.
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niteseer
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Re: POLL ABOUT FLIGHT SECURITY SCREENING

Post by niteseer »

I recently flew from Pensacola to Wyoming. I made it through the metal detector part, but a beep sounded to mark me for the full pat down random search also. I spoke softly to the TSA lady, told her I had a colostomy, and would need privacy for the patdown. She got another female TSA employee for a witness, and off we went to the little side office. They never wanted my ostomy, or any of my skin revealed. The hemline of my shirt was pulled up to the top edge of my slack, as both areas were checked for contraband. For any "sensitive areas", such as my breasts, the woman used the back of her hand. (She must be better than me. I tried using the back of my hands to see if I could identify anything out of the ordinary, but the backs of my hands were not sensitive enough. Everything felt pretty much the same.) They did not touch my ostomy, did not want to see the pouch, just asked me to rub my hands over the pouch and wafer, then they ran a swab on my hands to check for any explosive gases. I told her I hoped methane doesn't count. ;) The other lady went through my carry on stuff thoroughly, but there was no problem. They thanked me for my cooperation, and ushered me on through the security line. It took about 15 minutes, most of which was waiting for a second female witness to arrive. The pat down took mabey three minutes. I was not traumatized in the least.
aka: Ellen
colostomy,hernia op x 2; bowel obst x 4;hernias again
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ChaoticBlu
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Re: POLL ABOUT FLIGHT SECURITY SCREENING

Post by ChaoticBlu »

Well, initially I was anxious thinking about a flight scenario. But I have only flown once in my life round trip, and after hearing about the new body scanners on here from those who have flown more recently, I am not too worried if I ever have to fly. As others have said, as long as everything is done proper and I am treated with dignity I guess I am ok with it. The body scanners sound like they make things a lot easier and private, so that I am ok with. I would just be worried about a pat down, but as long as it is done privately I would not object.
Ulcerative Colitis
Ileo- Nov.25, 2010 (Happy Thanksgiving <_< )
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Mara
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Re: POLL ABOUT FLIGHT SECURITY SCREENING

Post by Mara »

ChaoticBlu wrote:.... The body scanners sound like they make things a lot easier and private, so that I am ok with. I would just be worried about a pat down, but as long as it is done privately I would not object.
From what I understand of the new scanner since it shows the pouch, that often leads to a patdown - you are better off going through the old metal detector archway....I have never been stopped going through it so far in numerous flights....
And imo I would never go to a private room unless I had a friend/relative with me as a witness.....
Ileostomy due to UC - 50 odd years
Carol123
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Joined: 2011-09-09 21:36:34

Re: POLL ABOUT FLIGHT SECURITY SCREENING

Post by Carol123 »

I'm OK with the screening and not embarrassed because I think the screeners are used to seeing everything by now -- I hope. I have not traveled since my surgery but hope to do a lot of traveling in the future when I'm done with chemo.
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ChaoticBlu
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Re: POLL ABOUT FLIGHT SECURITY SCREENING

Post by ChaoticBlu »

Mara wrote: From what I understand of the new scanner since it shows the pouch, that often leads to a patdown - you are better off going through the old metal detector archway....I have never been stopped going through it so far in numerous flights....
And imo I would never go to a private room unless I had a friend/relative with me as a witness.....
Thanks for the tips Mara. :) Are you able to choose what you go through then? Is it just about going to the right line for the scanner you want. It was so long ago that I flew, I was 9 I believe.
If I had to do a pat down, I would assume there would be someone overseeing it, at I'd hope they'd both be woman personally. Bringing a friends sounds like a good way to go though. I'd have no qualms about complaining if there was misconduct though.
Ulcerative Colitis
Ileo- Nov.25, 2010 (Happy Thanksgiving <_< )
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Mara
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Re: POLL ABOUT FLIGHT SECURITY SCREENING

Post by Mara »

CB - Here is a site where you can get info about which airport/terminal has which machine in use:
http://www.tsastatus.net/index.php

You can also check the forum at flyertalk.com http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/travel-s ... urity-222/

No, you cannot choose which line you are assigned to for the most part. However, in the US, you can 'opt out' of going through the nude-o-scope and get a pat down instead.....the person who pats you down is of the same sex.....
Ileostomy due to UC - 50 odd years
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ChaoticBlu
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Re: POLL ABOUT FLIGHT SECURITY SCREENING

Post by ChaoticBlu »

Thanks for the additional info and links Mara!
Ulcerative Colitis
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vickso 70
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Re: POLL ABOUT FLIGHT SECURITY SCREENING

Post by vickso 70 »

I recently flew to Las Vegas and, before leaving, downloaded the blue card to show to TSA officers if I was to be patted down. At the airport in Las Vegas for my return flight, I was directed to an agent for pat down after going through the scanner. I should mention that I have a colostomy. Anyway, I showed the card and said "I'd like you to read this before you pat me down" She said she was "not interested" and proceeded on. She actually only patted me down in the breast and arm area, but I didn't know that's all she intended to do. I thought these cards were supposed to be read by these people. Are there laws regarding this or are we just at the mercy of these people? I just sent an e-mail to the TSA, so am looking forward to their response. Has anyone else has a similar experience?
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Mara
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Re: POLL ABOUT FLIGHT SECURITY SCREENING

Post by Mara »

If you went through the scanner, they already know that you have an ostomy bag (assuming you wear one) so what's the point of reading the card......they obviously weren't interested in that area......
Ileostomy due to UC - 50 odd years
vickso 70
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Re: POLL ABOUT FLIGHT SECURITY SCREENING

Post by vickso 70 »

Thank you for your response, Mara. I didn't realize that the scanner would show it that clearly that they wouldn't need to examine a person further. I suppose the card would be helpful if you hadn't been through the scanner and they decided to pat you down. I wonder if they would look at it then?
HaroldNW
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Joined: 2006-08-21 23:48:40

Re: POLL ABOUT FLIGHT SECURITY SCREENING

Post by HaroldNW »

I am OK with full body scanning as long as it meets the prescribed minimum x-rays that are stated within the health guidelines and that the equipment is checked on a regular scheduled basis for any malfunction or defects. That would be my only medical concern regarding the proposed equipment. Looking at it from our standpoint, we will be scanned at least twice (going and coming) if not more depending upon the travel plans.

Other matters pertain to the amount of knowledge the inspectors have when detecting an Ostomy pouch (now classified as prosthetic equipment by Medicare due to the fact that it does in fact take the place of the original organ in whole or in part). According to TSA guidelines, additional inspection is not required for Ostomates. Further, should one be asked to have their “pouch” inspected it must be done in private. TSA personnel are not allowed to ask for the “pouch” or any other portion of the pouching system to be removed. These guidelines are posted in a TSA Guidelines document. This document can be accessed via the Internet. It should be printed out and on your person during the inspection and scanning process.

I have done quite a bit of air and cruise travel since my Ileostomy. I have found that besides carrying the UOAA Ostomy identification card, I also have a detailed letter from my physician. The letter indicates that I have an Ileostomy and required to wear an Ostomy pouch. It also states that any handling of the Ostomy pouch or any other parts of the pouching system by non-qualified personnel can cause it to malfunction and cause distress to the user. It also indicates that if further inspection is required it must be done in private and in an environment that is as sterile as possible. The letter further indicates that a physician knowledgeable in Ostomy usage or other Ostomy trained and licensed personnel must be available and that removal of any portion of the pouching system is not recommended due to potential problems. Surgery dates and place as well as the surgeons’ name are also included in the letter. An indication that additional Ostomy supplies are being carried on board is also noted. The TSA document inspection guidelines can also be used in conjunction with the physicians’ letter if necessary. Do not go overboard and present all documents at one time since that could raise some degree of suspicion. It is also best to explain to TSA personnel prior to any scanning that we have an Ostomy pouch and are also carrying additional Ostomy supplies in carry on luggage. Don’t be surprised if they don’t understand what you are describing. I also have a medical document that I obtained from the hospital describing the surgical procedure. Since screenings and inspections are becoming more ridged it is best to have as much documentation available as possible.

This may be a bit of “overkill” but it shows the importance of the need for the pouch as well as the need for an appropriate inspection should one be necessary. One should also ask for the TSA supervisor or TSA director at the time this decision is made.

We must also be mindful of the inspection process and be aware of the fact that the TSA can be concerned about the fact that a false Ostomy pouch is being used for other purposes. From that standpoint we should understand these concerns and comply with reasonable and acceptable TSA requests.
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Mara
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Re: POLL ABOUT FLIGHT SECURITY SCREENING

Post by Mara »

That's all well and good but by the time you call supervisors and a physician you will have long since missed your plane.

After many flights avoiding the scanner, going to a recent one at JFK there was no choice but to go through it. At the exit I could see the officer was listening to the phone in his ear so I was waiting for an ostomy search but no, to my happy surprise, it was my jewelry under my shirt, which in the old-fashioned arch is no issue, but evidently was in the scanner - so the female officer just barely touched below my neck with the back of her gloved hand and I was on my merry way - I was quite surprised that the ostomy did not cause any question....

And I have never in numerous trips ever told any security officer about my ostomy supplies which are always in my carry-on, nor have I ever been questioned about them....
Ileostomy due to UC - 50 odd years
HaroldNW
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Re: POLL ABOUT FLIGHT SECURITY SCREENING

Post by HaroldNW »

I understand what you are saying. Yes it is true that one could miss the plane if waiting for a supervisor. However, leaving from Newark has brought about some different experiences. I had been questioned at various times at the airport as well as boarding cruise ships. I was also stopped and questioned at JFK as well when taking an international flight. All for the same reasons…..please explain what is in the carryon. I had the opportunity to discuss this with other “Ostomates” some of whom were also questioned and had further searches. I can’t explain why this happens to some and not others or why certain airports are more ridged then others. Perhaps some inspectors are more thorough then others. I was recently informed that Fort Lauderdale has become much more ridged in their scanning and personal search. I have not experienced this as yet but will be on my flight home from that airport in December.

Much of the information on my post was derived from speaking to other Ostomates after my surgery as well as contacting TSA offices and having phone conversations with TSA officials. The suggestions are the combination of inputs from both sources. Being prepared with the appropriate documents can eliminate additional searches should the need arise. Having these documents with me has helped on more recnet flights.
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Mara
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Re: POLL ABOUT FLIGHT SECURITY SCREENING

Post by Mara »

Well, my comments were only based on personal experience.....I've taken at least 15 international flights from JFK since 9/11 and many before plus a few domestic ones from LGA - don't think I've ever left from EWR.....and as I said have never been questioned about ostomy supplies - maybe I am taking less than you do as my trips are usually about 2 weeks or less and all I use are faceplates, pouches and Eakin seals plus powder so maybe that is not enough to cause any comment. Whatever....

I'm curious as to why you had phone conversations with TSA officials - were you making a complaint?

As far as others' experiences, on this board we've read of harrowing ones from one poster whose name I'm sorry to say I can't recall at this moment but I'm sure a search would come up with it. Plus another poster recently said that the TSA agent did not want to look at the printed UOAA info card.....

I think the only point is that this whole security/ostomy issue is very dependent on the agent on duty.....
Ileostomy due to UC - 50 odd years
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