This is niche blogging, I know, but based purely on the number of people that find their way to my blog based solely on the search keywords of “diabetic” and “travel,” (hundreds, if not thousands of searches) there is interest here. A colleague of mine forwarded a link to this article. The subject of the article alleges that her insulin was confiscated by a TSA screener in Denver. Since I received the article, it’s been updated to note that TSA apologizes to the passenger for the confusion, but maintains that no one took the passenger’s insulin, only the cold packs which had thawed out. Apparently, cold packs must be completely frozen. Who knew? I don’t travel with them.
Based on what’s there, I’m not sure if TSA took her insulin or not. I’ve literally flown a million miles, both pre and post TSA, and I’ve never had any TSA or foreign security officer trouble me over the insulin vials I carry. They are clearly marked, I keep them in their own little clear plastic baggie, and I’ve never had an issue. I have had some unnecessary secondary screening because I wear an insulin pump, but even TSA seems to have gotten over itself on this lately. Nowadays it seems wearing an insulin pump warrants a quick trace detection swab of your hands after you handle the pump, and that’s it. Completely reasonable, and something I advocated on this blog 2 years ago!
But back to the story at hand. Even if a new screener got confused and took the passenger’s insulin, I would think that would be easily resolved. First things first, always remain calm and polite when you believe you are being wronged by TSA, or frankly in any interaction at the airport. Ask for a screening supervisor or screening manager, and calmly explain the situation. I can’t help but think that reason would have (and apparently did?) prevailed in this story and any other similar situation.