DiabetesSistersVoices is an online community for women living with diabetes, pre-diabetes or known to be at risk for to ask questions, share experiences and search for resources. Our goal is to provide you with a forum to talk about your health and health care needs. The voices from this community have been helping researchers to better understand what health topics are most important to women living with or at risk for diabetes and guide priorities for research on management, treatment, health services and prevention of diabetes across all phases of life - young adulthood to pregnancy to menopause to the elder years.

What should I expect with the TSA and my insulin pump and supplies?

Leaving Sunday for a four day trip to Joslin in Boston. After all of the miserable stories I've heard re. TSA behavior with insulin pumps, I'm more than a little anxious. I've never flown with a pump.  On the very few trips I've taken, I was using MDI. What should I expect?
posted May 2 in Conversation by Janis (1,270 points)
retagged Jun 30 by KarenG

Please log in or register to reply to this post.

13 replies

+1 like
Add in 1/2 hour extra to get thru security. I nearly missed a flight because they could not find a female TSA agent to do my pat down. Also, insist on opting out. On one trip an agent got really pissed at me because I insisted on opting out - me and my supplies. Watch them close - one agent grabbed my supplies and nearly put them thru xray!
answered May 17 by kathys (160 points)
If possible, get a Global Entry Card.  That allows you to go directly to the metal detector. Pumps - and CGM's- shouldn'tbe exposed to the imaging technology.I carry copies of the warning pages of my user manual just in case the TSA agent "knows" (or thinks he does) more about my pump than I do. Your pump is likely to set off the metal detector alarm, so have it in an easy to access place, and have your infusion set in a place that is easy to disconnect. I offer to let them hold my pump while I walk through the metal detector again and that seems to do the trick.  They may also wand your body, and check your hands and pump for banned substance residue.


As n addedtip,for some people, and I have experienced this, the change in pressure and "G force" during take off and landing can cause some insulin to be"squirted". I disconnect during those times and have no problems.  I found out the hard way after a 14 hour flight to Amsterdam and a major hypo.
answered May 17 by artwoman (1,060 points)
+1 like

 I just returned from flying to Phoenix and back from Las Vegas.  I didn't have one bit of problem at either airport with ANY of my medical supplies or devices.  Some of the TSA inspectors were a bit stupid and not quite sure when it came to me not opening my food supplement cans (duh), but insulin pumps they have become so used to that as long as you mention you have one, they don't have a problem. I always go 2 hours early since you never know how many people in front of you will require a pat-down too (you don't require one for a pump--I require it for my neuro-stimulator).  But I have never had it take longer than 30 mins to pass through security and be on my way.  Be up front with them and they are usually pretty decent with you carrying your needles, meds, and even un-opened foods for hypos, etc.

answered May 20 by bndtnana (460 points)