a VirtualTourist member from New Zealand
Ok there are lots of stories and anecdotes about going through airport security with titanium inside one's body. People often say, when you get pins or plates, "you will beep at the airport now".
What is the actual reality? Anyone have any personal experience? I have heard about carrying a carnet. Is that necessary?
I've never seen anyone pulled up at security and explain it as an internal plate etc.
Does it make the metal detectors beep, and how do security deal with this from what you have seen or experienced?
Thanks heaps, Pam.
I guess that is just a legend. I've worked in security control and that never happened to any passenger, althought I've heard plenty of explanations why the gate gave an alarm from having several amalgam teeth fillings to one key in a pocket. Those were interesting times... ;-)
Hello Pam. Having pins or plates usually DOES make you 'beep' on the airport sensors. Generally all you do is walk over to the airport security staff (the ones past the metal detector that you walk through) and explain BEFORE you let them search you that you have an internal pin/plate. It helps an awful lot if you can carry a medical card which supports what you say as being the truth. They will take you aside and 'pat you down', but generally they are extremely gentle doing this in case they hurt you (I have a pain pump for spinal problems and they are usually extremely gentle when touching my back.) They may search you for longer than they would other people - to make sure that you really are telling the truth (they tend to get suspicious about metal they cannot see!). You should have no problem. Just allow an extra 10 minutes or so to get through security.
Hi ZenLady and Helena. THanks for both your replies. I know one needs to expect different treatment on differing occasions as these things are not set in concrete. I am interested to hear what people say , all the same. Thanks for your replies :-)
Kiwi bloke's titanium shoulder rods don't usually beep, but did once. Generally not though.
Oh, and as to dealing with it, they could tell where the beep was originating from, could see the scar and were satisfied.
OH great, just what I wanted to hear, personal experience. Thanks pal :-)
[so he has a bionic does he LOL ]
Hiya Pam; My Dad had a plate in his arm. It never caused any difficulties. He set off alarms a couple of times and wanted to blame it - but it turned out to be keys or change each time. Just rolling up the sleeve and showing the scar was enough when he was being questioned.
Have a 100mm x 25mm plate and 6 screws in outside of leg above ankle. Never have had a response at airport. However, a bit of a twinge (not quite a beep) down there helps me predict bad weather.
When I broke my heel, the three 6" pins they put in didn't set off the walk-through metal detectors, but they hand-held sensor picked them up.
Thankfully, I only have scars now... the pins were removed.
I was interested because we both wear titanium Teslas protection pendants and have same on our mobiles (smaller of course and adhesive)
David said we would remove ours before passing through the security. But one cannot remove internal plates as easily.
I have two titanium pins in my knee...but haven't set off a metal detector anywhere.
Perhaps is varies greatly!
My wife has a small screw in her foot and used to carry a letter from her doctor but it has never set off the security system.
My sister has carried a medical certificate saying she a rod and screws in her leg also.I think if you set off the machines depends on the type of material-metal- used in your body.Years ago stainless steel was used.
This detail should really be something noted in one's passport. To prevent people using fake certificates, there should be a process where the passport agency checks and interviews the doctor, or whatever they need to do to make sure it's legit, then it should be noted on the passport.
It depends on the amount of titanium, I think, and the senisitivity of the scanner. The titanium wire in my mouth hasn't set anything off yet though my hairclip did, when I forgot to remove it, as did a packet of cigarettes...aluminium foil.
Most metal implants such and spinal plating, rods, screws or orthopedic implants etc do not set off security alarms. I do know of a patient( that I knew), that had multiple bullets loged in his body that were not able to be removed with possibility of severe nerve danage and paralysis. He would set off metal detectors and have to carry copies of his xrays and doctor's reports.
my dad had a knee replacement, and he always sets off the metal detectors, not just at the airport, but even at small stores.
I don't know if he has titanium, I doubt it, I think it's just a general metal thing.
There was a thing right after 9/11, that they wanted you to have written proof, but it seems to relax now.
Once, we pulled up dad's pant's leg to show them the scar, nowdays they just wave us through.
Had dinner with a friend last month who is now the proud owner of a bionic knee.
He told me the alarms went off when he went thru airport security for the 1st time after his op. However, personnel figured it out after they put him thru the x-ray machine.
I would now worry Pam ... if you travel enough times, after a while they'll look at you and say "ah, she's a beeper" ;=)
Good comment. "She's a beeper"
OH wow some good stories here, now to read them all properly :-))))
I hope not, as I have a brand new titanium rod and 4 pins in my left leg to support my femur from my broken leg. First question I asked the Bone Dr., "Am I going to set off alarms at the airport?" I was told "No." I hope he was right. ~
As I said, three 6" pins were not enough in my case to set it off. But somehow, the 75 cents I had in my pocket were...
Hope the leg recovers well!
Anyone had any experience with titanium in the skull?
I do realise though, that x-ray machines are different, as is titanium size of one's "implant".
I don't think there is a conclusive answer to this, but I wanted to get a feel of peoples' experiences. I wonder too, if some "alarms" have incorrectly been attributed to the implant, when in fact it was some coins in the pocket for example.
Thanks for the stories so far.
Another consideration is that not all airports have the same exact settings in the scanners - at least that's what I've been told by other people that travel for my work.
Yeah Nomad, that's what I meant when I said I realise machines were different. IT's just that there are a lot of stories of so-called "experiences" and after some enquiries I have mostly found them to be imaginary :-)
Nah don't worry about me Susan, all is good :-)
Ah yes, there is likely a difference between steel and titanium, and also the differing machines.
I have a titanium plate in my skull and it has never set off metal alarms at the airport. I did carry a note from my doctor just in case. One cool thing about the plate is that I can forcast bad weather better than meteorologists.
I recently had a titanium plate fitted into my skull after removal of a brain tumour. On September 6th I left Perth airport to fly to New Zealand. When I walked through the scanner the alarm went off and I tried to give the man my letter from my doctor but he demanded that I take off my top which I refused. He sent me over to a woman who scanned me with a portable scanner and asked if I wanted to be searched there or in a private room. I told her I had been trying to convince 'secuity' that I had a titanium plate and handed her the letter. My hand luggage was searched and then she scanned my head with the portable scanner, took a cursory glance at the letter and told me I wa free to go. it was very frustrating and embarrassing. The alarm when off at Auckland and Christchurch but nobody was as feral and lacking in compassion as at Perth
I live in Perth and recently had surgery to insert a titanium plate in my skull following removal of a brain tumour. I went to New Zealand on 6th September 2010 and set off the security alarm and was very abruptly subjected to a search despite trying to tell the staff about the titanium plate and a letter I was presenting to them to explain. I have contacted Perth International airport about my experience and was sent an e-letter to explain they contract another firm to carry out security and they were passing on my concerns. I set off alarms at other NZ airports but was not subjected to any further scrutiny after I handed over the letter from the doctor.