What is the protocal for passing through airport security? I've never done it. Should they let us go to the front of the line?


flying with PM

by CathrynB - 2007-04-17 01:04:08

Hi Rusty. Glad to hear you're making a trip, and I hope all goes well for you. I thought about you on your "marathon day" and was glad to read about your story of joining your friend for part of the fun -- congratulations! I'm convinced you WILL run a marathon in the future -- give it time!!!
I've flown 6 times in the last 2 weeks and will be flying again this week -- my first trips since getting my PM in January. Most of the trips through TSA Security went very smoothly. When I came to the first TSA person at each airport, I verbally told them I had a pacemaker and asked if there was a particular screening line I should go through - sometimes there was, sometimes not. I had my PM card in my hand but didn't need to show it. Each time a person of my same gender did the "pat down" and no one suggested I should go through the metal detector or have the "wand" check. The pat downs were very mildly disconcerting done in public view (I had the option of going behind a curtain but didn't want to take more time), but not offensive. Only once did I have an uncomfortable experience -- in Denver. Each time I went through Security, I told the person conducting the pat-down that my surgery was recent, my PM site was still quite sensitive, and asked they use a soft touch on the actual site. All TSA folks kindly complied except the woman in Denver who accused me of trying to "hide something" and said if she didn't touch that location just as firmly as any other she wouldn't be doing her job. I got a little tear-y, and she said "Are you trying to hide something from me here? I'm wondering what's going on!" So I shut up and let her do her pat down even though it was a little uncomfortable on my PM site. It takes an extra 2-3 minutes in my experience, but otherwise is not a big deal. No, you don't get to go to the front of the line.

Happy traveling,

Airport info

by ela-girl - 2007-04-17 01:04:31

Well, should be allowed to go to the front of the security line because you have to have a pat down (wands and metal detectors cause interference with pm's). And pat downs take more time and you usually have to wait for someone to come and get you. But most of the time you have to wait your turn in line with everyone else and deal with it once you get up to your turn to go through the metal detector.

At any rate, have your pm i.d. card out along with your driver's license and boarding pass. You can choose to have your pat down right there by the end of the conveyer belt for the x-ray machine or in a private area (they walk you through a little gate next to the metal detectors and check you on the other side). I don't think it's any big deal. It's more like...'get on with it already!' Before being taken around the metal detector for your pat down, make sure that you have your shoes and belt off and put in your gray bin along with what is in your pockets, any jacket you're carrying, and your carry-ons for the x-ray machine.

I've had some fast pat downs and some longer ones.

Hope some of this info helps! I've flown 4 times since having my pm implanted 5 months ago!


PS: jessie...I think I WILL write a letter to my airport! I'm not sure if you've heard, but Phoenix's Sky Harbor Airport now has the latest and greatest in security technology--the full body scan machines. I'll be curious what comes of those...


by Susan - 2007-04-20 11:04:24

I've had no trouble flying. I used to ask for a pat down instead of walking through the metal detector but the manufacturer of my pacemaker, St. Jude, says there is no problem with walking through a metal detector as long as I don't linger passing through. That is a lot easier and that is what I do now days. I always have my pacemaker id card with me in case there are questions but I haven't had any problems.
If you want, go to the St. Jude website and look under the topic of frequently asked questions.

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