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

HaroldNW
Posts: 12
Joined: 2006-08-21 23:48:40

Re: POLL ABOUT FLIGHT SECURITY SCREENING

Post by HaroldNW »

I agree…..as I indicated some agents/inspectors may be more “aggressive” then others and some TSA airport directors may also be more demanding of their agents as well. Unfortunately there is a lack of consistency between airports as well as between inspectors within each airport. Guidelines are published but then interpreted by airport personnel. I am not sure how much training is provided at the upper level as well as to those who do the screenings.

As far as contacting the TSA office, I wanted a clear understanding of what is expected and what the procedures are. I called after reading the guidelines and standards on the TSA WEB site. The TSA representative was quite helpful and pointed out what types of documents I should have available. This included a copy of the guidelines from the TSA WEB site which I printed out. I periodically check to see if any changes were made. If a “major” issue should arise, the TSA guidelines would function as a reminder to the TSA agent as to how someone with an Ostomy should be screened as well as the fact that extra supplies will be in a carryon. It was also the TSA representative that suggested informing the agent or the supervisor of the additional supplies prior to the screening of the carryon. The TSA representative was also very much aware that the lack of consistency existed.

I have no problem being asked questions or being screened/scanned as long as the guidelines are followed and the scanning equipment is checked regularly. I was involved in 911 and would sooner have more protection then less. But again, many agents and senior TSA airport officials have a tendency of “overkill”. Some are just nasty while others are very respectful and helpful as well. I never give them a hard time and I in turn expect the same.

As I mentioned in my last post, I can’t explain why you never were questioned or had additional searches due to the Ostomy pouch. I can only explain what I experienced and what other Ostomates indicated to me.
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Mara
Posts: 1283
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Re: POLL ABOUT FLIGHT SECURITY SCREENING

Post by Mara »

Not to beat this to death but I don't understand what they would find suspicious in an ostomy pouch, faceplate or Eakin seal in your carry-on - I usually have five or six sets? I don't know what supplies you have that are bringing on questions. I never carried a scissors even before 9/11, even though they are now allowed in a small size.

I guess now they are more used to seeing ostomates with pouches in the scanner so that's why I wasn't stopped....

I was only a couple of times questioned about anything in my carryon - I don't check any luggage - and it was when I forgot to take out my laptop and many years ago before digital cameras, a lead (?) bag for my film.....
Ileostomy due to UC - 50 odd years
KatiedinColorado
Posts: 23
Joined: 2005-10-01 10:15:26

Re: POLL ABOUT FLIGHT SECURITY SCREENING

Post by KatiedinColorado »

No way am I going to stop traveling just to avoid security! Given the choice, I will take the body scanner over the pat-down, just because it is faster and easier. (I always have one or the other, because of a replacement knee.) However, I have had only polite patters, and have never felt humiliated. This includes an episode in Istanbul, where I was asked to drop my pants - at two different check points - exposing my pouch to the female agent. The Turks really didn't understand, but didn't care, because it obviously wasn't explosives. The French agent at Air France said, "Oh, op-er-ay-cee-own!" Apparently the metal button on my pants was setting off the alarm, although this was not true at any other airport. I agree with the previous poster who said forget the scissors, even the kindergarten ones. I was required to throw them away in Egypt, and, although I have been allowed to keep them at other airports, I think they arouse suspicion. I am far more concerned about being separated from my carry-on and purse while being patted than I am about the patting. Happy travels!
Joyryde1486
Posts: 211
Joined: 2011-03-29 22:26:18

Re: POLL ABOUT FLIGHT SECURITY SCREENING

Post by Joyryde1486 »

I personally, have no problem with the full body scanning machines. It is the TSA employees that are rude, or just not trained well that I have a problem with. For instance, the last time I flew out of Tulsa, I was going to the conference in Reno, ( having flown several times before that, and since my ostomy surgery) I wasn't expecting any problems. I politely informed the lady on the scanning machine, who treated me with respect. It was the person who ran the Tv screen, or whatever they look at, that was rude. She insisted to the woman who scanned me that I needed to be searched, and she meant being taken somewhere and made to disrobe. I had my blue card from the UOAA website, and although I did not refuse, was shocked at the scanner's reaction, since I was also carrying.g my ostomy supplies in my carryon, and NO ONE had a problem with those. The woman who was taking me through the machine even laughed when I offered to just strip right there, I told her I didn't want any of my fellow passengers to worry about me. She then only made me pat myself down, then scan my hands for plastic explosives, which evidently satisfied the other woman. I do not mind following the rules, but I was well prepared to read them their own rules had I been made to undress. I was prepared to take video of the event on my cell phone, and send it to Fox News, or Youtube, I have heard too many hooror stories, about people who DON'T have ostomies, and a few horrible stories from those that do. Figured that even if I missed the flight, Fox would get me to Reno, LOL!!!

Joy
Stage 4 Colol-Rectal, Liver Cancer, Dec2009
Colostomy, Jul2010
ehrgerzug
Posts: 523
Joined: 2006-08-22 15:16:36

Re: POLL ABOUT FLIGHT SECURITY SCREENING

Post by ehrgerzug »

I recently traveled through two US airports and going through the scanning process. In the first one the agent stopped me to ask what was in my shirt pocket. A white rectangle was appeared on the monitor screen. I then remembered to pull out a small pocket size notebook with only a few pages left in it from my shirt, and the white rectangle on the screen disappeared. I was cleared and moved on. Afterwards I realized I had also forgotten to remove my neck security wallet (credit cards, cash) under my shirt prior to scanning.

At the second US airport I was stopped after scanning and asked what was on my chest. I had to remove the security wallet, which the agent openend, pulling out the credit cards and a separate plastic folder containing bills. Each was pulled out and inspected carefully, presumably to see nothing was placed between them.

In neither case was I questioned about my Nu-Hope hernia belt and 2 piece pouching system, nor did these show up at least symbolically as a hidden item on the monitor screen at the exit of the scanning booth, at least at the moment I had a chance to look at it.
helenHARP
Posts: 12
Joined: 2007-10-01 11:53:52

Re: POLL ABOUT FLIGHT SECURITY SCREENING

Post by helenHARP »

MY HUSBAND AND I WENT TO FLORIDA LAST YEAR AND I WENT THROUGH THE FULL BODY SCAN AFTER THE SCAN THEY TOOK ME INTO A ROOM MADE ME TOUCH MY BAG. AND THEN THEY WIPE MY HANDS WITH THIS CLOTH LADY WALKED OUT WITH THIS AND RAN IT THROUGHA SCANNER ,CAME BACK AND DID A BODY CHECK ON ME WITH HER HANDS .I ASKED HER WHAT THEY WERE DOING AND SHE TOLD ME THEY WERE CHECKING FOR CHEMICALS ON MY BAG . THIS VERY UNCONFORTABLE TO ME .THEY TOLD ME I WOULD BE SURPRISED WHAT PEOPLE PUT IN THEIR COLOSTOMY BAGS !!
mikeb
Posts: 56
Joined: 2010-06-27 23:25:42

Re: POLL ABOUT FLIGHT SECURITY SCREENING

Post by mikeb »

After dodging the full body scan for the past year at Washington Dulles I got snagged. It wasn't anything like I was expecting. I told agent I had a colostomy and she scanned and made me go over to the side and rub my bag, then tested my hands. No biggy. I didn't even get to use the comments I had all ready. I was going to say there are two ways I can prove it is a colostomy bag. 1. Hold your hands over here and let me give you a sample. 2. Let me drop my drawers and you can see that they cut my TSA agent out.
I had no problem and wouldn't worry about doing it again. Most of the TSA agents I've been around are leary about getting near it, which makes it easy getting through. But then again I'm not shy or bashful.
Rectal Ca 2/10
chemo/rad 4/10
Surgery, rectum removal, colostomy 6-16-10
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hodgepodge
Posts: 33
Joined: 2008-05-05 17:39:04

Re: POLL ABOUT FLIGHT SECURITY SCREENING

Post by hodgepodge »

I have been flying to Fiji, south east asai, Plilippenes, Taiwan, and Manila. I have an ileostomy and have yet to have a problem. I use a wheelchair so I get the pat down every time. I just tell then ahead and thay have me touch the bag and then they swab my hand. Not to much to it. I always get the front of line in security, even ahead of 1st class. Some times they give me an escort to get terminal to terminal with my bags. Always get through security in less than 3 to 4 minutes tops.
In Manila you go through security everwher; hotels, the malls, starbucks, airpots and the grocery store. This includes a pat down a bag search and going through metal detectors. Thay even have the k9 units at the door to sniff your purse, bags and bag.

In the US going city to city is worse than international. I think Phoneix sky harbor is the worst of the worst. Denver, LAX, and SFO are good with no hassle.
Darwin wants me dead
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gearhead girl
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Joined: 2012-06-06 14:53:37

Re: POLL ABOUT FLIGHT SECURITY SCREENING

Post by gearhead girl »

Well, I definitely have a story to share. I apologize in advance for the long post, but I think this story needs to be told!

First of all, thanks to the people on this forum for such good advice. I got a note from my doctor, printed off all the relevant sections from the TSA's website, and made sure all of my stuff was in my carry-on luggage (and plenty of stuff too!) Very grateful for all of that guidance from all of you, right here on this thread, that I could gather ahead of time. Quick background: I have been battling Stage IV colon cancer since January. I had neo-adjuvant chemo for six months, with two breaks for bowel obstructions, the second of which resulted in my sigmoid colostomy (still not sure whether it's permanent or not, but I'm OK with it either way). Finally, in July, things got to a point where they could remove my two main tumors; I had the surgery on July 19, and got back to chemo about a month later. I feel *great*. What we're mostly dealing with now is the mets to my liver, but I'm glad to have a break from surgery. I was feeling so good that both my husband and oncologist decided I deserved two weeks in Italy to celebrate!

Anyway, I was quite anxious leading up to the trip. But once we got to San Jose airport (they do have the X-ray scanners there), we told the first security agent of my situation, and she kindly escorted me through the whole process (X-ray, pat-down, hand swab--no big deal at all). My fears were greatly allayed, and there was no problem on any of our other stops (Seattle and Amsterdam). We also had no trouble in Bologna on the first leg of our flight home.

Then, we got to Schiphol (Amsterdam--AMS) again.

They also have X-ray scanners there. I went through, expecting the same pat-down and hand-swab I experienced in San Jose and Seattle. Instead, the female security agent outside the scanner patted me down, and then jabbed my bag very aggressively. "What's this?" she asked.

I explained that I had a prosthetic ostomy device. Her response was to tell me that they'd have to take me to the private screening area and examine it. Like--I would have to pull my pants down.

I said, "No, you won't." I handed her my doctor's note and pointed out the section in the security documents from the TSA that explained I would not, under any circumstances, be required to expose my appliance. I explained that I realized I was not in the US, but that having to expose my bag would be very traumatic. She said she'd have to get a supervisor. I said that was fine.

While we were waiting for the supervisor, my doctor's note was passed around to ALL of the security staff in the public area, who began discussing it loudly (in Dutch), and patting their stomachs in the same location as my bag. It was completely disrespectful and humiliating. And I am not a person easily humiliated. My husband finally shouted, "Do you all think you could stop discussing my wife's medical condition and violating her privacy, please?" They stared at him, but did shut up.

The supervisor finally arrived, and he was perhaps the rudest, most intolerant person I have ever met. I showed him my documents and explained my situation in detail, and also explained the procedures they employed in San Jose and Seattle, and inquired as to why things would be so different here. I also said it would be a very unpleasant experience for both me and the security agent to look at a bag full of "fecal waste." He just kept re-iterating that it was "only for your safety, Madame," and actually told my husband to "stop talking" at one point. He never looked at my doctor's note, and told me I was "misinterpreting" the TSA documents (really? I have a Master's degree in English. I think I can read and interpret pretty well!) In the same breath, he told me that he only had to do this "because the TSA requires it on all flights to the US," but that my printed TSA regulations "don't apply in the Netherlands." I told him he couldn't have it both ways. He just said, again, that "it's only for your safety, Madame," and that I would have to go to the private screening area and drop my drawers so they could see the bag.

My blood was beginning to boil at this point. So I finally said, "You want to take a look at it? Fine. Let's take a look at it." At which point I unbuttoned my jeans and displayed the top third of my bag to him, right there in the public screening area. He got all red and started to shake, and he said, "Madame. Please. Fasten your trousers. What you are doing is completely inappropriate."

I said, "No, sir. What you are asking me to do is completely inappropriate."

I was starting to get worried we'd miss our flight home, so I told him that I would agree to the private screening, but that my husband would be accompanying me. I also got his name and badge number, and told him I would either be contacting an attorney or the US government. He lamely gave me the airport's website and said "before doing any of that," I should fill in the online complaint form. Oh, yeah, OK. I'm sure they get right on that stuff! Whatever.

Anyway, I went to the private screening cubicle, and the poor girl they sent in there with me was so freaked out she wouldn't even look at me. All I did was pull my waistband forward and show her the top inch of my bag--way less than I exposed out in the public area. She didn't even look at it, and just thanked me and sent me on my way.

My husband travels to Europe for business about every other week, so he has a contact at Delta that he talks to all the time. He let her know what happened, and they were completely appalled. They asked me for a written statement, which I provided, and they are launching an inquiry with the airport authorities. They also said I never should have been asked to expose my appliance, even in the Netherlands. I am going to wait and see what happens as a result of this, and then I am planning on writing to Homeland Security and the State Department.

I'm not expecting to receive anything. My whole thought through all of this was--what about other people? I have a pretty strong character, but even I burst into tears about 15 minutes after it was all over from the humiliation. That man never saw me as a human being--just a person in the way of him accomplishing his day's work. It was really dreadful.

It will not stop me from traveling again--I loved it before my illness, and I love it even more now. But I am starting here to make this story public because it is simply not acceptable to treat a human being this way, ever. I am grateful for my colostomy because I might not be alive without it. But I don't need to be treated like a subhuman criminal because of it either.
Emily
English teacher, literature lover, and all-around warrior woman :)
cheyandashsmom
Posts: 150
Joined: 2012-08-25 14:13:15

Re: POLL ABOUT FLIGHT SECURITY SCREENING

Post by cheyandashsmom »

Gearhead-

Oh My Goodness!!! what an ordeal you went through with TSA!!! I would love to say im surprised that they would act that way, but unfortunately, im not surprised. It always seems that TSA LOVE to make things complicated!! You did what you needed to do as far as the letter from your dr and letting them know ahead of time and they still put you through the humiliation. I cant even imagine. I am so thankful when i flew to Dallas last month that i had no issues going through security. I was actually quite worried about that. And if there had been any issues i probably would have started complaint process along the same lines you have!!!

So sorry for everything you had to go through. Im not sure how long youve had your friend, but mine has been around since July and im still getting used to her!!! Im okay for the most part, but a couple issues have come up that very rudely reminded me of the changes i had to make to accommodate her!!!

Thank you for sharing your experience... for some reason im almost waiting for someone to say something about my ileostomy... at that moment ill deal with that person and deal with the humiliation later!!!

By the way... hope your trip was good!!!

Shannon
:D
Crohns 07
Fibromyalgia 2011
colon/rectum removal; perm ileo july2012
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gearhead girl
Posts: 627
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Re: POLL ABOUT FLIGHT SECURITY SCREENING

Post by gearhead girl »

Thanks! Mine's pretty new too (since April). That poor security guy didn't know what he was dealing with--eight months of aggressive chemotherapy, punctuated by two serious bowel obstructions, and two major surgeries--his silly little power trip was nothing! Tee hee!

The trip was absolutely *fabulous* otherwise. Venice, Verona, Bologna--sigh.

Incidentally, it wasn't the TSA. While I'm no fan of our extreme airport security these days, the US folks were actually quite wonderful. This was a private security firm that the airport in Amsterdam contracts with--G40, I believe they're called. Not nice people.
Emily
English teacher, literature lover, and all-around warrior woman :)
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Mara
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Re: POLL ABOUT FLIGHT SECURITY SCREENING

Post by Mara »

gearhead girl - An unfortunate episode at the Schiphol Airport for sure but at least your trip was wonderful. I am not sure why you were singled out for a patdown at any airport you went through. I travel quite a bit and have gone through the usual magnetic arches as well as the new fangled nude-o-scopes and have never been questioned about my ileostomy or given a patdown. And neither do I ever mention my ostomy to the security staff. Do you have some type of implant/port that set off the magnetometer? I hope you continue to do well and travel.
Ileostomy due to UC - 50 odd years
cheyandashsmom
Posts: 150
Joined: 2012-08-25 14:13:15

Re: POLL ABOUT FLIGHT SECURITY SCREENING

Post by cheyandashsmom »

Gearhead-

your explanation right there says it all: they were a private security company. My husband works in a federal job, and any time we come across anyone from a private agency in his same position i always sense a feeling of almost jealousy from the private agency... its always been like that in regards to those agencies... something that im sure will never end!!

glad you enjoyed your trip!!!

Shannon
:D
Crohns 07
Fibromyalgia 2011
colon/rectum removal; perm ileo july2012
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gearhead girl
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Re: POLL ABOUT FLIGHT SECURITY SCREENING

Post by gearhead girl »

Mara, I do have a port--never thought of that. Anyway, it was only at San Jose that did the hand-swab--I mistyped above.
Emily
English teacher, literature lover, and all-around warrior woman :)
Bill in Florida
Posts: 2
Joined: 2013-06-28 23:50:17

Re: POLL ABOUT FLIGHT SECURITY SCREENING

Post by Bill in Florida »

Hasn't anyone just thought of just wearing a clear pouch on flight days? Should "clear" up any questions real fast.

Been through a couple of screening so far. Taken aside for a pat down on the last trip but I can't remember if I was scanned first. I said fine and warned him I had an ostomy pouch. He said OK and switched to a hand wipe down. Passed and that was the end of it.
I have a port and am pretty sure that they are all plastic and with the size of them they should not be that big of a target.
UC 30 yrs
2010 colon cancer stage 3b, partial colectomy, ileostomy
2013 total colectomy
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