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Heather Mills - Amputee Forum
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Treatment in U.S airports

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If I was told I had to walk naked through security I would do it. It's not personal and it's not about me, it's about the safety and wellbeing of my fellow passengers and air crew.

Surely if you were concerned for the bell being of your fellow passengers and crew, you wouldn't walk through security naked! You've conjured up a quite uncomfortable image :o

:P :P :P :P

Have you been talking to my wife?

Seriously, I have seen the aftermath in Manchester 1996 after a 3,000lb bomb exploded . When I lived in Leeds I was stopped from going home because a car packed with explosives had been parked on our road.

I know security checks can cost a person time and money and a little embarrassment , these things can be made up again, a lost life or limb cannot.

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Yesterday coming back from Norway, I had the most aggressive check I have ever had. Not only did the person insist on seeing my leg, she mademe sit in the middle of the searching area, with people walking past me, and take my leg off so she could put it through the scanner. I must have been sitting there for a good 2 minutes. Was funny watching everyone look at me sitting there with my trousers falling down slightly as my belt was in the scanner, no shoes on as they were in the scanner and only one leg, as that was in the scanner.

Gotta love airport security. I don't mind getting it done to me, I know it is all for a good cause in the long run.

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Yesterday coming back from Norway, I had the most aggressive check I have ever had. Not only did the person insist on seeing my leg, she mademe sit in the middle of the searching area, with people walking past me, and take my leg off so she could put it through the scanner. I must have been sitting there for a good 2 minutes. Was funny watching everyone look at me sitting there with my trousers falling down slightly as my belt was in the scanner, no shoes on as they were in the scanner and only one leg, as that was in the scanner.

Gotta love airport security. I don't mind getting it done to me, I know it is all for a good cause in the long run.

I think your treatment was awful, Ali. :blink: If I was you and was offered the same treatment, I'm sure I'd still be in Norway, as I wouldn't have complied with her requests.

Yes, you do need to screen for explosives...etc., but there is a limit to what a person with an amputation should be prepared to accept with regards to airport security screening. Also, if they think it's OK to ask a single BK to partly undress in public, then will they expect a bilateral AK to do the same? :wacko: You would have thought that with all the technology they're developing in other areas, that they could develop an effective screening (seeing as screening is so important) where you don't have to undress, wouldn't you? Especially seeing as there's very little metal (which tends to block xrays) actually in our limbs nowadays. <_<

Does anyone know if phoning ahead, to check the specific airport's screening process and 'facilities for the disabled', helps in all this?

Lizzie :)

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You have the option of having a private screening.

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Does anyone know if phoning ahead, to check the specific airport's screening process and 'facilities for the disabled', helps in all this?

Lizzie :)

The advice I've been given is Yes. You should do your homework before purchasing your ticket, when you purchase a ticket you have agreed to abide by the Terms and Conditions governing it. If you do not make it clear at the outset that you are an amputee and need special arrangements made at the security check in, you will not get it. I have been told by a frequent US flyer that they phone the airport security in advance and let them know they are coming and what flight they are catching. They are normally met as soon as they arrive and taken through private security checks.

On a more lighter note have a read of this

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Apparently, when going through the airport if you have a buggy for a child, or a wheelchair then it doesn't count towards your baggage allowance, does anyone know if this is the same for a prosthesis (a spare one that is, one that has to be checked in)? If not it should be.

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I had a recent metal detector incident at the Federal Building in Los Angeles. I have a metal knee and titanium screws in my foot, so the bells were clanging. While the marshal did not want to make my privates public, he also did not accept my spiffy ID card that identifies me as someone who has had a knee replacement. Nor did he accept the spiffy 6" scar that backs up the ID card, not to mention a foot that looks like Frankenstein's monster before morning coffee.

So it was hand wand time. I am grateful that the person doing the secondary check realized that the metallic points were right where I told him they would be, otherwise I would have gotten very friendly with a very large and intimidating U.S. marshal.

Whether I would have threatened to punch people out is another matter. Besides, I was in a hurry and didn't have time to cold cock anyone.

(I wonder how many real live terrorists have been stopped at security check points. I guess if the answer is anything greater than zero that might be enough.)

-m-

By the way, Ali, on this site Ali, on this site http://www.immihelp.com/travel/carry-baggage-travel-usa.html], they state that prosthetic devices are not counted toward the baggage allowance, but it appears that ultimately the policy is set by each airline. A quick scan seems to show that the airlines are pretty standardized in the practice, but there is probably one unenlightened carrier out there that bucks the trend., they state that prosthetic devices are not counted toward the baggage allowance, but the policy is set by each airline. A quick scan seems to show that the airlines are pretty standardized in the practice, but there is probably one unenlightened carrier out there that bucks the trend.

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By the way, Ali, on this site Ali, on this site http://www.immihelp.com/travel/carry-baggage-travel-usa.html], they state that prosthetic devices are not counted toward the baggage allowance, but it appears that ultimately the policy is set by each airline. A quick scan seems to show that the airlines are pretty standardized in the practice, but there is probably one unenlightened carrier out there that bucks the trend., they state that prosthetic devices are not counted toward the baggage allowance, but the policy is set by each airline. A quick scan seems to show that the airlines are pretty standardized in the practice, but there is probably one unenlightened carrier out there that bucks the trend.

Anybody else have double vision or should I go to the eye Dr.? Anybody else have double vision or should I go to the eye Dr.? :wacko::blink: :P :P

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There is a lot of paranoia and a huge range of range brain power in the security guards employed at airports; some brains are very small indeed:

I flew myself over to France in a light aircraft to visit a boat factory and perform some tests. On returning back to UK I had to go through a scanner to get airside, the didn't like my collection of spikes, hammers, and small bottles of liquid. The junior took some convincing I was not going to hijack myself!!

Leaving Nice the police are always informed and my details are always logged as having a prosthesis.

My experience is that the new security recruits have the biggest problems with prosthesis protocol.

The treatment I have received has always been courteous.

When I was getting my commercial pilots license, I had an Iranian friend (I am Jewish) who suggested we could save a lot of time by cutting out the hassle in a hijack and we could could agree on where to go before getting in the plane...... :)

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Hi Ali,

In my experience a spare leg doesn't count towards your baggage allowance. BA have the one bag rule and I have on occasion had to argue with them because I have two bags with my spare leg in one, but in the end they have always given in and not included it in my baggage allowance.

I did have one quite amusing moment in HK airport when on my way back to England one time when the check in guy was completely fascinated when I told him I had a spare prosthetic leg in my bag, picked it up, started feeling around the outside of the bag to feel the leg, and then called all his mates over to have a look. It made me and my boyfriend giggle a lot at the time but I can imagine that if you were maybe a bit sensitive about the leg you might take it a tad less lightly.

To be honest I don't have the time to start faffing around telling people about my leg before I check in and if at all possible I don't let anyone connected with flying (apart from the security staff) know about it even while I am flying. I have never really had any problems going through security at all with the leg and I fly all the time. Having said that I don't ever travel to the States - maybe things are a bit stricter there.

F

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In my experience a spare leg doesn't count towards your baggage allowance. BA have the one bag rule and I have on occasion had to argue with them because I have two bags with my spare leg in one, but in the end they have always given in and not included it in my baggage allowance.

Do you know if that only apply to BK prostheses, Fi? I only ask, as AK's are almost twice the size of BK's. :blink:

Lizzie :)

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Thanks guys. I was just wondering because when coming back from Norway I was *cough* 13.5kgs over thwe 20kg weigth allowance and the lady only charged me for 10kg of it. I was telling her how fragile my leg was in the bag and how it needed a fragile sticker as I had one break before (all lies of course) to try and get the cost down so she mustn't have charged me for the leg, just all the other crap I had.

I think when I get round to the old autobiography I am going to have an airport section in the book :D

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Lizzie, I'm assuming here, but I'd think an AK would be treated the same as a BK. I make the assumption because I often find myself toting my walker as a "second piece of baggage," seeing as it won't fold small enough to fit in my regular bag (and I do find that I actually need the thing with me in strange, dark, and crowded places).

Even folded down, my walker is immense by luggage standards -- kind of like traveling with a surfboard! I've always been able to have it checked at the gate without penalty.

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Tee hee Ali I am with you on that - make the most of the situation I say.

Lizzie I am certain that AKs would be included in that as well, yes. Why should it be any different just because your leg is heavier than mine - it is a necessary piece of medical equipment full stop.

I don't know for a fact that that is the case but I would certainly be kicking up a fuss if I were you and some snotty nosed bad tempered check in person refused to let my leg through free when I knew that BK legs were let on for free....

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Fiona & Lizzie, Virgin Atlantic's Ts & Cs say this, "All wheelchairs, sticks, crutches, walking frames and any other mobility aids or medical equipment are carried free of charge and not as part of your normal baggage allowance." They haven't said there are restrictions on size or weight.

EasyJet say this, "Wheelchairs and mobility aids weighing more than 60kgs (excluding battery) cannot be accepted for travel. Only wheelchairs and mobility aids weighing 60kgs or less (excluding battery) can be accepted.Passengers' folding wheelchairs will be carried free of charge in addition to their normal baggage allowance. Where a passenger requires that more than one wheelchair be carried, and the second wheelchair is a sporting wheelchair, the sporting wheelchair will be carried upon payment of the sports equipment fee."

I know most airline companies have similar wording. However as I have said before, read the Terms and Conditions before buying your ticket and check that the airports you will be using meet your needs.

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While traveling home last Feb-return trip after I suffered injury that led to my amp!--- I went thru security at Phoenix USA. AVOID THIS AIRPORT if you are in ANY way disabled! I was treated like a piece of meat for NO reason-- had my cane TAKEN away and was told that it did NOT MATTER if I was UNABLE to walk--- I was sitting in a wheelchair BTW--- I was going to HAVE to get up and walk THRU the line and maybe then I could get my cane back- the fact that I still would not be able to WALK somehow escaped them--- I ASKED for a PRIVATE screening and was at first refused, later on I had a female (I am female BTW) checker come over who was disturbed at the actions of the all male staff, offered to wand me instead of trying to test her miracle powers of healing on me, and was very sensitive to the fact that I had a VERY obviously injured foot in a very open toe slipper! In the midst of this some one discovered that I had a tube of toothpaste in my check on- some one else had been helping me as oh gee I could not walk around!- and somehow this slipped by. I told the checkers to just toss it as the options were that OR I could leave "Security" and go see if my checked-thru bags could be found, have them retrieved, and stick it in there, and then RETURN and go thru "Security" ALL OVER AGAIN. Um-- no thanks! (Irony? When I got home I discovered that my bags had been searched- no real mystery here!- and some how a tube of toothpaste-- NOT MY BRAND--- had been left right on top. Weird????) When I FINALLY got to the waiting area I met a woman who was a BK- sitting in a wheelchair- and I asked her if she received a hassle when she flew and she said YES every single time she gets hassled. Hmmmm. I did complain both to the airline and the Homeland Security-- for my sins I got bumped to First Class- which I could learn to like!--- and have NEVER heard a word from Homeland Security.

I should mention that way back in 1976 I flew to Israel via ElAl on the same day that the AirFrance plane was taken hostage at Entebbe. I saw a few things then that made me go Hmmmmm?, but I KNEW they were for OUR SAFETY. Returning to the States after that trip- also via ElAl---- I saw REAL airline security--- the folks in front of us were searched, EVERYTHING they had was opened, cut up, or worse. And again--- this was for OUR SECURITY. Was I scared when ElAl changed course to fly a different, safer route? Well I was confused but I NEVER felt scared. And hmmmm ElAl- NEVER BEEN HIJACKED! NEVER BEEN FLOWN INTO ANY ONE ELSES BUILDINGS either! Just sayin'-------

The funny thing? I was lugging a rather LARGE box that I insisted on having on my lap- too fragile for the cargo hold, my very late mothers personal items- and they totally IGNORED that! But me and my little red foot- THAT was a huge risk!

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