For a while now, I’ve been tempted to invest in TSA Pre-Check. I kept putting it off or thinking I’m fine without it. But then, I saw this article come out.
Immediately my nerves increased. I already had issues with TSA (specifically Atlanta). I didn’t want there to be more issues! That day I filled out the forms and everything to get the process started.
Soon, I was approved and made sure to plug in my Known Traveler Number to my already booked flights. I was excited. The times I’ve used it so far has been everything I hoped it could be (and more!).
Before I go into my general experiences before I got Pre-check and after…
Here are the reasons I’m a fan!
- I’m always going to opt for a pat down with my insulin pump- so might as well save some time and sanity.
- Specifically as female with an insulin pump, it’s very helpful. There aren’t as many female TSA agents so it takes longer for a pat down.
- It helps with my anxiety overall, but especially my pre-flight anxiety. Once I get through security I’m fine, but before and during security, I’m a mess.
- I fly a decent amount now. Personally and for my job. So it’s well worth it.
- I don’t have to take out my laptop and liquids. I don’t have to take my shoes off (until the pat down that is). (Non-Diabetes plus).
- I feel like a badass in general and a diabadass. I feel like a cool kid getting in that line. (Like I’m moving on up).
I’ve had issues with TSA since I was diagnosed. Mostly at the Atlanta Airport and very small airports. Never internationally. (phew). I have heard of people who say they don’t issues, and I’ve heard of people who have issues similar to mine.
When I first got the pump at age 9, they took so long with me at the security check that we missed (or almost missed our flight- I cannot quite remember).
So we started getting to the airport even earlier than suggested.
With my old pump, it didn’t always set off the metal detector. But if an agent saw it or set it off, they would want it to go through the x-ray machine… Sometimes I’d have an issue with my medications in my bag, even with a letter from my doctor.
Every pump company has informed me to not send it through the 3D scanner or through the x-ray machine. There are risks. And you better believe that I follow those instructions. I will opt for a pat down until someone does a lot of research and the company gives me an all clear.
With my new pump, it sets off the metal detector every time, and I am not going through the 3D scanner.
I quickly realized that most of my problems happened at my home base airport in Atlanta. I didn’t have as many extreme issues elsewhere.
I do remind myself the importance of security and TSA. I do understand Atlanta is one of the biggest airports. I don’t get annoyed about getting a pat down. I even understand waiting in long lines. The liquid limits don’t annoy me. That’s all fine. I have no problem with it. I do get annoyed if they are annoyed with me for asking for a pat down and how long it takes to get a female agent for a pat down.
There is even a sign that says if you have a medical device and unless your doctor okays it- DO NOT GO THROUGH. So with this sign, why does TSA almost always give me a hard time about getting a pat down…? Sometimes I have to argue and justify.
You know what else becomes a problem? Finding a female TSA agent to give me the pat down.
One time in Atlanta, I waited over 20 minutes….
Usually they are pleasant once it begins, and they realize that I don’t have an attitude. I inform them of where my sites are and let them know they are not sensitive. Some even ask me questions about diabetes. (and I LOVE to answer).
So once I saw that TSA made changes to their security guidelines, I grew more nervous. I decided it was time for TSA Pre-Check.
I do have to say that things have gotten better with overall awareness. For a long time, most TSA agents knew very little about Diabetes and insulin pumps which added to the problems. Now I find that they are way more aware- I mean they aren’t experts and some know more about it than others. But they at least know what an insulin pump is (usually).
What I think of TSA Pre-Check so far? I LOVE IT!
In Boston it took me less than 10 minutes to get through! It also appears that there is a female TSA agent JUST for the TSA Pre-Check line (which is great for me to get a pat down).
In Atlanta, I saw a line go into the mini food court for TSA and breathed a sigh of relief when I did not have to get in that line. It took me less than 20 minutes for the entire process of arriving at the airport and getting to my gate. WAIT WHAT. Usually it takes me about an hour or more at Atlanta. I didn’t have to wait for a long time for an agent either.
My stress level was way down when I was traveling, and it’s just really nice to see TSA Pre-Check on your boarding pass. I’m a fan. I highly recommend it.
I love to travel. I also love to make it less stressful and less of a hassle!
Hey you! Yes, you!
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