Type 1 - Connect

 View Only
  • 1.  Official Information for airport staff

    Posted 06-07-2022 20:39
    Would it be possible for Natasha and/or Erin to request Diabetes Australia do an education/advice promotion to Australian airports and their security staff to ensure security and any other relevant staff are aware of diabetes related medical devices and paraphernalia, and how these should, or should not, be handled through scanners, x-rays etc.
    This will become more of an issue as more T1s, in particular, take up CGMs and return to travel.
    We have enough to deal with on a day to day basis without having our travel made more stressful and spoilt by untrained staff.
    Thanks for considering their request.

  • 2.  RE: Official Information for airport staff

    Posted 07-07-2022 14:39
    I agree that anything that assists with passing through airport security can only help calm those travel jitters. I have had numerous issues with airport security including , in China, an official insisting on counting my sharps individually and as I was away for three months I was carrying over 500 needles. He dutifully wrote the number on the back of an old airline pass , along with my name, put the paper in his pocket never to be seen again but, job done, in the USA being told that I could not carry my injections on board and would have to surrender them to flight crew at the gate. I told him that just wasn't happening … and it didn't. At airports we are constantly under observation, being assessed as potential risks to airline safety. A 65 year old at the time, travelling with wife and documentation apparently presented very little risk but instead of telling me everything was okay, the problem just disappeared.
    I find the best way to deal with the problem is quietly stand your ground and the problem disappears.
    I have other long term medical issues which sometimes make Diabetes type 1 pale into insignificance. Travelling out of Ularu wearing a Boston brace for a broken back, I was accosted by airport security who told me that despite my having cleared the scanner the brace was coming off for a pat down. I told him I hoped his company's insurance was up to date and was then rescued by senior personnel with more sense. The fact is we have these problems from time to time and I find generally they make good dinner stories at a later date


  • 3.  RE: Official Information for airport staff

    Posted 08-07-2022 12:48
    Hi all, I do think that perhaps the Airport Security issue could be handled better here in Australia but we can't do much about other Countries unfortunately. If anyone is going to one country only perhaps carry a translation of the Doctors letter. That wouldn't be practical if you are going to many countries. So if we want to travel, we have to put up with all the dramas and stand our grounds not to go thru x-ray and scanners.
    Dispite all the unpleasant procedures  Happy Travelling!!!!
    Cheers Anita

  • 4.  RE: Official Information for airport staff

    Posted 08-07-2022 01:15
    I'd also like to know why Australia's NDSS recommends packing extra insulin in checked-in baggage, while the overwhelming advice from just about everywhere else is NEVER pack your insulin into checked in baggage. Stuff like this causes confusion everywhere.


  • 5.  RE: Official Information for airport staff

    Posted 08-07-2022 14:24
    Hi Rochelle, Natasha and Erin,

    I'd love Diabetes Australia to step in here and do some advocating for us pump and cgm users - especially now that there will be many more people with cgms. Some simple statements to Australia airport security about body scanners  would go along way instead of  individuals having to continue to fight the same battles which fall on deaf ears. While I make it through each time with quiet refusal, it is unpleasant and feels quite discriminatory. No one else is excepted to damage their pancreas to get through security (mine being "artificial" of course).


  • 6.  RE: Official Information for airport staff

    Posted 08-07-2022 18:22
    Hi Travellers - contemplating, planning, packing, or those obsessive like me and preparing already even though it is 2 months till I set off overseas. But with all the negative experiences we have been sharing, I thought I'd share some official guff from the Dpt Home Affairs site. TRavelSECURE, Travellers with special needs. (particularly pages 1 to 3).

    Which says

    "Govt recognises that while some Travellers may have specific needs, all Travellers are required to undergo screening. Each individuals needs are considered during the screening process........ Security screening officers are trained to ensure everyone is treated with dignity and respect when going through security screening at the airport .....If you require assistance, inform security screening officer before you begin the process."

    So far, so good, at least in theory .....
    It then goes on to advise about having doctors certificates etc.

    There are exemptions from restrictions on the amount of powders, liquids, aerosols and gels as long as you have documentation and this includes "items used to regulate the temperature of prescription medications or devices, for example storage containers, ice packs or gel filled heat packs "

    So, that should mean no problems for the cool packs used to keep insulin cool - at least in theory.

    Under screening process it says ....

    ....Alternative screening processes are available for travellers with special needs to ensure ..... dignity and respect. Important to inform the security screening officer of your circumstances before you begin the screening process and provide supporting documentation.

    Now, here is the best bit .....

    "The security screening officer can then screen you using methods suitable for your needs. This could involve the use of a hand held metal detector, an explosive trace detection test or a frisk search. If a security screening officer decides a frisk search to be the most suitable method, you will be asked for your consent, an officer of the same gender should conduct the search and you may request it take place in a private room. .........."

    "Alternative screening processes may be used if: .........
    .you have a medical device such as an implant, pacemaker, external prosthesis, insulin pump ....... that may be affected by, or interact with, a walkthrough metal detector or body scanner."

    I will be carrying several copies of this document with me when I travel, and have it ready to show any officious little officer. It makes it pretty darn clear that we do not have to put up with all this rubbish provided we have supporting documentation from our doctor and let them know before the process begins.

    Onward and upward T1 Travellers all. 🛫🛬🚞🚄🛴🚀


  • 7.  RE: Official Information for airport staff

    Posted 08-07-2022 20:01
    Edited by Diabetes Australia 08-07-2022 21:25
    Hi Members,

    Thank you for all your comments on this topic.

    I have shared the threads with our policy and advocacy team.

    Thank you 


    Community Team
    Natasha & Erin