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Airport Security?

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Old 08-05-2006, 10:12 PM   #1
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: CA
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geekfound HB User
Airport Security?

Kind've a weird question... But want stories about what people have dealt with after getting pins / fixation devicies in their legs and what it's like dealing with airport security?

I'm imagining walking through the metal detector, telling them my pockets are empty, and the wand going crazy when they pass it over my pocket (3 pins in my femoral neck). Is there some kind of documentation you can get to avoid having to drop trow and show scars?

Thanks guys!

Last edited by geekfound; 08-05-2006 at 10:13 PM.

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Old 08-06-2006, 06:01 AM   #2
liverpool sue
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Re: Airport Security?

i've only flown once since my two resurfaced hips. in these days of high security and extra sensitive x-ray equipment i think even the smallest metal in your body will set it off, and a good thing too. rather that than the consequences of security missing something. i told security before going through the x-ray that i thought i'd set it off, and sure enough i did. they patted me down and checked my shoes and let me continue. i didn't enquire about any sort of documentation as i feel security would not just read and accept it at face value. personally, i would far rather have to show my scars or be searched than run the risk of someone getting through who shouldn't.

Old 08-06-2006, 06:33 AM   #3
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Re: Airport Security?

Hi Geek,

Not a weird question, most of us have wondered about it too. I have not found flying to be a problem at all. They are very used to people with metal parts inside, so all you have to do is tell them as you get ready to go thru, the thing will beep, they put you in a 'corral' and call a same-sex security person to come wave the wand over you and pat you down anywhere it beeps. It ususally takes only about 2-5 extra min. One time at Dulles, however, we had a bit of a hang up and since we were a little late for a conecting flight I was getting aggitated. Before we went thru, one security person said I didn't have to take my shoes off if I knew I was going to have to be hand wanded, so I didn't. But when we got up there, the guy there had a hissy and insisited I take my shoes off and get them onto the belt. I had to back track some to get them on the belt and of course they were not in a bin or with out other stuff. Then I found there was a good size backup, about 6 women, waiting in the coral because they could not find a female security person! They would not let my husband wait in the area for me, but he had my shoes. Finally one nice security person took my shoes from him and told him he would get them to me. Long and short of it, I finally got thru and we did make our connection. However, this was when Independance Air was still flying thru DC and they were wonderful, we never had a hitch with them. Flying now seems to be a night mare enough that we are staying put! Given how hard it is to make connections these days, I would plan on a good extra 1/2 hr to get thru security if possible.

Old 08-06-2006, 08:56 AM   #4
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Re: Airport Security?

I've never had a problem with airport security and I've had my hip for 13 years and have screws in my knee for over 12 as well as a plate and more screws in my neck. Much will depend on the type of metal that you have, if you have Surgical Steel, which is rarely used, it will set of the alarms but if you have Titanium the likelyhood will slim. The machines have to be set to ultra high sensitivity to pick it up. The wanding method only takes a few minutes and no one has ever given me a hard time dispite the fact that I am or was quite young to have a total hip replacement.

I always go to the airport in a wheelchair and can walk through the system but sometimes they'll do a wand on me. Either way I warn them ahead of time of the vast amount of metal in my body. Even post 911 many of the airport systems do not pick up the metal and I've flown quite a bit.

Ironically I went to a court house a few times and their systems are far more sensitive and I always set them off. I also set off security systems at certain music stores by simply walking through them, stop check out scanners from working and can make a watch go backwards It all started after I had the first hip. I have a great amount of static electicity or something built up.


Old 08-06-2006, 11:57 AM   #5
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Tobias HB User
Re: Airport Security?

Metal implants in the body can indeed set off metal-detecting security devices. I have a hip implant and I set off airport security every time. When you are scanned with the hand-held device, it is sensitive enough to tell the difference between a piece of metal buried in your femur and a 38 in your pocket!

There must be a lot of people with metal implants - I've found airport security treats this very routinely and it is no surprise. I merely tell them before I walk through that I have fake hips. No documentation is needed; indeed, such documentation could be faked so they are wise not to pay much attention to the cards and such that doctors sometimes give their patients. I am asked to step aside to be hand-scanned and searched by a same sex security staff person. Rarely takes more than a couple of extra minutes and, no, you're never asked to drop your pants!.

Bottom line: You're not alone so don't sweat it. You be polite and they'll be polite.

Old 08-06-2006, 03:37 PM   #6
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Re: Airport Security?

Hi all. I thought I'd chime in on this topic. After my THR, I asked my surgeon for some written proof of my THR just in case I needed it to go through security. This was in 1995, long before 9/11. He gave me a small card to keep in my wallet if I set off anything. So far, I haven't had a problem flying.

Ripanco, how are those dance classes going!!! I'm happy that the board remains so active with all the new posters coming on board. Everyone, remember the original thread will give you so much info on the whole process of THR from beginning to end. Talk to you all later...balleteach

Old 08-10-2006, 09:14 AM   #7
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MrsLinda HB User
Re: Airport Security?

I actually called the NTSB to find out what the normal proceedures were. It was "suggested" that I get a Joint Replacement Card, which I did. And before you walk through the security "thing" tell the officer you have an artificial knee/hip. They then had me proceed through, and yes I set off the alarm. A female security officer was called and they were very nice. I had to step to a specific area and first asked to sit and remove my shoes. Then I had to stand with arms out and I was "patted down" but in a very professional manner where I didn't not feel embarassed or insulted. Then with the hand held wand I was again checked and that was it.

BTW...Balleteach - the original thread has been closed. The moderators do not want continuing threads. Each question is suppose to be a new thread.

Hope everyone is's been 2 years now since the THR!!!

Old 08-10-2006, 02:00 PM   #8
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silver515 HB User
Re: Airport Security?

HI ! I just came back from Europe and told them that i will set off metal was no big deal. THey had a female security officer come and check me..this also happened on my trip to and from California....I only had to show my card one time....last year on a flight in Frankfurt...otherwise no one ever asked for the card, even if I offered it.

Old 08-10-2006, 02:12 PM   #9
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balleteach HB User
Re: Airport Security?

MrsLinda, I want to congratulate you on your 2nd Year Anniversary. Time sure flies and our original board has grown and expanded. It sounds like you are doing well and very busy with your job. I hope your other hip holds out for awhile, but at least you will know what to expect. As I mentioned in the previous post, I also have a I.D. card for my THR. I've never set off the alarm, so I haven't had to show it. I'm pretty sure my hip is titanium. I'm sorry they closed our thread. Since we are not allowed personal info., it provided a nice catch-up for us, plus I feel we were also helping other posters. Take care and I'll talk to you later...balleteach

Old 08-10-2006, 05:47 PM   #10
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Re: Airport Security?

Hi Balleteach and Silver - how are you two?

My hip is titanium also but it still set the alarm off. I'm wondering if the airports have the security stations set to a more sensitive setting with all that's been going on???

Old 08-10-2006, 07:49 PM   #11
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balleteach HB User
Re: Airport Security?

Silver, You just returned from Europe in the nick of time and must be relieved and glad to be home. I'm very happy for you that your THR has been so successful and you can do anything you want to now. The time has passed so fast since your first post and we "oldtimers" seem to be doing great. I spend a lot of time with the grandgirlies, along with biking, walking and hiking. School will start right after Labor Day and I will be back to subbing again. Let's all try to keep posting and stay in touch. Talk to you later...balleteach

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