Traveling with prosthesis

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Grandma of 7
Grandma of 7 Member Posts: 8
edited April 2023 in General discussion
Hello everyone - I recently went to Perth airport to see some friends off.  I went through the Virgin security and was unceremoniously patted down in public ! I don’t EVER want to go through that again ! 
We will be traveling domestically in two weeks so I’m looking for advice and support. 

Tissues have been suggested to use as padding - so has the water foam prosthesis - can anyone give me suggestions that have worked for them please.  My husband has Alzeimers so my emphasis is on him - I can’t be taken away from him as he will become confused and distressed - thanks so very much 💗
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  • Fufan
    Fufan Member Posts: 123
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    @Grandma of 7 the government has procedures to cover this.  There is an earlier discussion on this site, but see the link  https://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/about-us/what-we-do/travelsecure/travellers-with-specific-needs  You need a letter from your doctor, and perhaps in this case it should explain your husband’s condition and that he should accompany you to the private inspection facility also.  Good luck.
  • Flaneuse
    Flaneuse Member Posts: 899
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    You have the right to request the pat-down in a private space. I never bother, but you can. Most airports offer you that option up front.
  • Carissa_BCNA
    Carissa_BCNA Administrator, Staff, Member, Moderator Posts: 252
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    Hi @Grandma of 7

    I'm sorry to read of your experience travelling through airport security. As Fufan and Flaneuse have said it is in your right to be patted down in a private room by a female officer. We have some further information here https://myjourney.org.au/article/2198 under the subheading 'Airline travel with a breast prothesis'. 

    Hope this information helps and do let us know if you have any further negative experiences as our policy team continues to work towards improving this issue.
  • Grandma of 7
    Grandma of 7 Member Posts: 8
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    Thank you for your responses - much appreciated - from what I’ve read it’s gel prosthesis that are the issue - does anyone know if the foam ( meant for water/ swimming etc ) also cause an issue with the body scanners? Thank you 💗 
  • Kristen
    Kristen Member Posts: 118
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    At least one or two airports have had sensetivity training. BUt that doesn't really help when there are prob 100s of staff who need it.    

    Like the BCNA page says, try letter from a doctor, step up and inform them before the screening,  insist on privacy if they do want to check ,allow extra time so your not stressesd and rushed  etc.

    Colleen might know more in regards to if any specific product is les likely to beeop or whatever happens.




  • Christabel03
    Christabel03 Member Posts: 80
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    @Grandma of 7 I believe if you go through the old walk through style scanners you are fine but if it is the newer body scanners then they tend to pick them up. In saying that I flew domestic recently and went through a body scanner machine and it didn't get picked up but a month ago flying internationally it did get picked up and I didn't have the best experience.  I asked out right not to be touched in public and if they wanted to see anything or feel anything they were to take me somewhere private. It is quite a lot to deal with and I am sorry to hear you have already had a nasty experience. As if we don't already have  enough to deal with. Hopefully your upcoming travels are a better experience for you.
  • Rowey
    Rowey Member Posts: 37
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    Hi @Grandma of 7
    just something to note…my husband had to have a pat down after accidentally leaving a hankie in his pocket so I’m not sure that any alternative will guarantee you won’t be pulled aside.

    Good luck with your travel. I have had this unpleasant experience as well. I know it is an issue that BCNA is focusing on, so hopefully they can make some change for us in this area
  • Locksley
    Locksley Member Posts: 946
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    @Grandma of 7  Ive just got a letter from my gp this week to say I have a prothesis so I am more prepared when going to the airport.    I had this same experience in November 22.   I wrote about here earlier.   My gp was horrified when I told her. 
  • Fufan
    Fufan Member Posts: 123
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    I also recently got a letter from my surgeon, but it’s very brief: I hope they can join the dots.
  • arpie
    arpie Member Posts: 7,736
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    It's great that they are advising those with a prothesis to be very aware of the possible pitfalls at airports .... 
  • Fufan
    Fufan Member Posts: 123
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    No, @arpie, I got the info here.  I had to ask my surgeon, and then remind her.