At the end of July 2013, we went to a wedding in St Louis. Coming back, during the screening process, the TSA staff asked me to undergo a personal screening in a private room. During that process, they explained that I would need to rub my hand over my ileostomy (which I had informed them about), after which they would check my hand with an explosive trace detection sampling.
I agreed, even though it meant pulling down my pants part way to expose the ostomy pouch. At no time did they touch the ostomy.
A week later, I attended the UOAA conference in Jacksonville, and went to the concurrent session on TSA screening protocols and what to do if an issue arises. In that talk, I learned that the screeners behaved incorrectly. They should have asked me to rub my hand over my clothing where the ostomy was.
I reported the incident to TSA and received a positive response, both by email and phone. They were most concerned and intended to follow up with feedback and perhaps additional training.
At the UOAA talk, we learned about a number of useful supports and websites. The following are links which may be helpful:
- http://www.tsa.gov/traveler-information/ostomies (describes ostomates’ rights and a TSA notification card)
- http://www.tsa.gov/traveler-information/travelers-disabilities-and-medical-conditions(describes TSA Cares, a support system for travelers with medical concerns)
- http://www.tsa.gov/traveler-information/screening-passengers-requiring-special-assistance (describes the Passenger Support Specialist – PSS – to help ostomates and others with special needs at airports)
And now you know!