"" Writer's Wanderings: Getting Through TSA With A Cast

Friday, March 28, 2014

Getting Through TSA With A Cast

No, I guess I'm not done boring you all with the plight of my broken wrist. We have a scheduled trip to see our son's family before they move to Tokyo and I suddenly realized I was going to have to go through security with this pretty pink cast on my wrist--one that doesn't come off without some chipping and sawing. What would it be like going through security?

My first stop was to look at the TSA site online to see what guidelines they might have. Sure enough the information was there. They will take you through the metal detector or imaging machine and most likely do a swab of the cast to be sure you are not explosive. If your medical appliance is removable, they may ask you to remove it and put it back on. And there may be a pat down but not as likely.

Much of the procedure just depends upon the luck of the draw--who you get for a screener--as I discovered in a flight forum for travelers. Most people just had the initial pass through the detectors/imaging and then a swab of the cast. We've been swabbed before. Once even, Bob's camera case showed something suspicious but not enough for them to hold us. He just had to fill out some papers and sign them. We were carrying an underwater housing for our video camera and screeners who were in airports that were not dive destinations didn't know what it was. Admittedly it did look dangerous. It did surprise us though when the swab was suspicious.

One note of importance here is to be sure screeners keep your items that have passed through the x-ray machine in your view. That's their responsibility. They may not let you touch it while they do their screening but it should be within your view so that there's no chance of someone else claiming something like your laptop or camera or that chunky watch that sets off the alarm if you leave it on.

So, wish me luck. I'm always looking for a good personal
travel story. I just don't want it to be from an experience going through TSA.

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