Airport Security

I have flown about 6 times since my PM implant a year ago. I have told them I have a PM, bypassed the metal detector at airport security, and gone through the pat down lane instead. It's kind of a nuisance, but I've gone on the belief that it's bad news to be subjected to that kind of electromagetic radiation.

While Christmas shopping last weekend and passing through countless store security systems, I had to wonder : is it any different passing through a store security system than an airport security system? It hadn't killed me walking in and out of all the stores at the malls!

Well, the conventional wisdom is "when in doubt, read the manual," so that's what I did. Actually, I checked the Biotronik website, and here's the FAQ that I found there:

Is passing through security checkpoints in airports and antitheft columns in retail stores problematic?
No, because BIOTRONIK pacemakers are shielded from external interference. Do not stop within these installations, however, and pass through them quickly. If necessary, point out that you have a pacemaker, as the device's metal housing could set off the alarm. Please contact your physician for further information.

Based on this information, I'm inclined to just show my Biotronik ID card and go through airport security normally. Assuming that my PM sets off the alarm, am I just asking for an even more thorough pat down and an even longer stay at security?



by Tracey_E - 2009-12-16 09:12:01

The wand is stronger than what you walk through. They cannot use a wand on us.

id card

by Tracey_E - 2009-12-16 09:12:13

If you show them your id card at airport security, they will flip out if you try to walk through! They are trained that it is dangerous to us. And it IS potentially dangerous to some pm's, though most of the newer ones are like yours and it is safe.

I decided that it's probably faster in the long run to get the pat down than to try to save time walking through, set it off, then take all day with the pat down because they're annoyed with me for walking through in the first place. Members here are mixed- some walk through, some never try it. It's up to you!

Most store security is smaller than what the airports have and the part you walk through is lower than where your pm is. I've never set one off or felt the effects, and in 15 yrs of being paced I've walked through more than a few :o)

Homeland Security

by PreciousDays - 2009-12-16 09:12:40

Yes. You are asking for a bigger hassle. Let them pat you down to begin with and just be done with it. If you show them the card, and tell them you will set off the alarm, they will just pull you to the side and pat you down - afterwards. - I know this from being stubborn. - Fly happily and safely - PD


by pete - 2009-12-17 03:12:48

The store system and the airport security system work on entirely different electronic principles. The airport screen sends out a much more intense and active radiated electric field. The store system works on a weak signal that can detect specially designed tags etc and needs therefore to only send out a very weak signal at quite a low frequency.Thats why you are advised to tell the security men about your pacemaker. Take care. Cheers Peter

Another question...same topic....

by Melissa - 2009-12-17 07:12:40

If the field is so strong that we can't walk through the gate, why do they get me to walk right beside it to go around it?

Isn't the field just as strong right next to it, as it is 'in it' or is it's field concentrated/directed within the actual gate?

I hope that question made sense (did in my mind!)

Any thoughts ......... (from those more technically-minded than me!)


by Tracey_E - 2009-12-17 12:12:29

The wand is stronger than the thingy we walk through, and the wand will beep if they take it over the pm. It's ok as long as they don't get it near the pm.

TSA get nervous . . .

by SaraTB - 2009-12-18 01:12:00

I know some PM owners go straight through the metal detectors, but you'd need to do this without showing your card: if you show the card first, they'll refuse to let you go through, due to liability concerns. If you don't show the card, but set off the machine, then the TSA folk are already tensed up and suspicious and just get irritated when they then have to do a pat-down (plus concerns about whether it affected your PM - liability issues again).
So, in my experience, it's easier and less annoying, just to tell them and get the pat down. They're relaxed then, and treat you very courteously.

I've learned to be patient and friendly. It's a lot less bother that way.
Oh, and as to store systems: they're different animals: they're set to react to store RFID tags, not metal on your body. Otherwise everyone wouldl be setting them off, all day long


by justme08_2000 - 2009-12-18 11:12:32

I have flown a few times since I got my PM about a year and a half ago. I figured it would take a gazillion years to make it past TSA. I was moderetly surprised at how fast it went. Depending on what airport I was at... in some instances I got done with the patdown before I would have walked thru the dectector thing. I've never had any problems. I even fly with the external home reader because flying will take me out of a normal sinus rhythem. That way if it doesn't feel like it's cleared up after some time I can send in my reading. (Yes, I don't fly well at ALL).

On another note... I have gone to places where their dectectors are very sensitive and I have set them off. It's interesting when you walk out with not bags and it goes off... you know EXACTLY what they are thinking!

You know you're wired when...

You have a high-tech ticker.

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