Yesterday, Wandering Aramean posted about a change to TSA’s longstanding policy on “opting out” of Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) scanning at the airport. Some travelers opt out of AIT screening for principled reasons and some opt out because they really think the machine increases cancer risk. Others, like myself, opt out because they wear an insulin pump.

insulin pumps, tsa, insulin pumps tsa

Image courtesy of Medtronic

Some time ago I wrote a post about traveling with an insulin pump and “opting out.” It’s never been a real problem. However, let’s take a look at the most recent policy change on AIT scanning with a specific focus on this:

“TSA is updating the AIT PIA to reflect a change to the operating protocol regarding the ability of individuals to opt out of AIT screening in favor of physical screening. While passengers may generally decline AIT screening in favor of physical screening, TSA may direct mandatory AIT screening for some passengers as warranted by security considerations in order to safeguard transportation security.” (emphasis mine)

Why This Matters

I am not particularly “afraid” of AIT scanning. I could care less about privacy concerns. I do care about this information from the manufacturer of my insulin pump:

tsa, insulin pumps, insulin pumps tsa

I’ve had more TSA agents than I can count tell me that the scanners will not harm my insulin pump while the manufacturer maintains otherwise. Further, news articles like this one and others lead me to believe that playing it safe by continuing to “opt out” of AIT screening is the best option.

I normally get PreCheck, and just pass through a metal detector, but sometimes I’m “randomly selected for additional screening” and directed to an AIT scanner which I politely opt out of. Will I continue to be able to do so? I don’t really know, but this is definitely a point of discussion for those of us that travel with diabetes controlled by insulin pumps.

-MJ, December 23, 2015