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Metal detector vs body scanner [someone tried to opt out of WTMD]

Metal detector vs body scanner [someone tried to opt out of WTMD]

Old Oct 19, 17, 5:43 am
  #1  
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Metal detector vs body scanner [someone tried to opt out of WTMD]

Just came through JFK T8 checkpoint. Used a lane that appears to be in use during peak time only. 2 baggage xrays leading to a single WTMD, no body scanner.

Someone behind me opted out. TSA response was "opt out of what?"

Can people really not tell the difference between metal detectors and body scanners?
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Old Oct 19, 17, 8:27 am
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Originally Posted by Himeno View Post
2 baggage xrays leading to a single WTMD, no body scanner.

Someone behind me opted out. TSA response was "opt out of what?"
I assume passengers still are allowed to opt out of the metal detector as well. Opting out used to be required -- maybe still is required -- if you had a pacemaker. I wonder if your average recent-hire screener is aware of that.

Can people really not tell the difference between metal detectors and body scanners?
I'm sure some people can't.

It could have been TSA that was clueless; it could have been the passenger.
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Old Oct 19, 17, 1:22 pm
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Maybe the passenger did know the difference. Maybe he/she had a metal joint implant and did not want to be selected for the "full Monty" pat-down!
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Old Oct 20, 17, 2:21 pm
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Originally Posted by studentff View Post
I assume passengers still are allowed to opt out of the metal detector as well. Opting out used to be required -- maybe still is required -- if you had a pacemaker. I wonder if your average recent-hire screener is aware of that.



I'm sure some people can't.

It could have been TSA that was clueless; it could have been the passenger.
I have a combined pacemaker-defibrillator, and in my experience all i have to do is say the magic words "cardiac implant" and I'm directed to the scanner, even if they have to turn it on especially for me.
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Old Oct 20, 17, 3:39 pm
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Originally Posted by Detroiter View Post
I have a combined pacemaker-defibrillator, and in my experience all i have to do is say the magic words "cardiac implant" and I'm directed to the scanner, even if they have to turn it on especially for me.
Were you told by medical authorities not to use the WTMD?
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Old Oct 23, 17, 9:55 am
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Originally Posted by Boggie Dog View Post
Were you told by medical authorities not to use the WTMD?
I can not speak for this individual, but it is pretty much universal that folks with cardiac implants of any kind that I know of (combo, defibrillator, stimulators, monitors) are not to go through the WTMD - reportedly due to the advisement of the Dr and the manufacturer. TSA reinforces (at their site) that any individual with any internal implant has the option to use the AIT system in place of the WTMD, or they can choose to have a pat down. It also indicates for the passenger to consult with their Physician prior to flying. They also provide the info where the passenger can use the passenger support process, in order to arrange ahead of time if they choose.

https://www.tsa.gov/travel/special-procedures
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Old Oct 23, 17, 10:15 am
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Originally Posted by gsoltso View Post
I can not speak for this individual, but it is pretty much universal that folks with cardiac implants of any kind that I know of (combo, defibrillator, stimulators, monitors) are not to go through the WTMD - reportedly due to the advisement of the Dr and the manufacturer. TSA reinforces (at their site) that any individual with any internal implant has the option to use the AIT system in place of the WTMD, or they can choose to have a pat down. It also indicates for the passenger to consult with their Physician prior to flying. They also provide the info where the passenger can use the passenger support process, in order to arrange ahead of time if they choose.

https://www.tsa.gov/travel/special-procedures
What TSA says happens and what actually does happen are 2 different things. Just last evening, TSA at AVL left at about 8:30 p.m. when one airline still had late flight to arrive and depart. @ASKTSA told a passenger that TSA "works with airlines" to cover late flights.

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Old Oct 23, 17, 1:06 pm
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Originally Posted by gsoltso View Post
I can not speak for this individual, but it is pretty much universal that folks with cardiac implants of any kind that I know of (combo, defibrillator, stimulators, monitors) are not to go through the WTMD - reportedly due to the advisement of the Dr and the manufacturer. TSA reinforces (at their site) that any individual with any internal implant has the option to use the AIT system in place of the WTMD, or they can choose to have a pat down. It also indicates for the passenger to consult with their Physician prior to flying. They also provide the info where the passenger can use the passenger support process, in order to arrange ahead of time if they choose.

https://www.tsa.gov/travel/special-procedures
That was my understanding, but wondered if the poster making the comment had been so advised by a medical practitioner.

I question if a person has "to arrange ahead of time" for a Passenger Support Specialist?

One page at TSA.gov says this"

https://www.tsa.gov/travel/passenger-support

Passenger Support Specialists

Travelers requiring special accommodations or concerned about the security screening process at the airport may ask a TSA officer or supervisor for a passenger support specialist who can provide on-the-spot assistance.
To my understanding of English that suggests immediacy and not a requirement to arrange for this service ahead of time.

On the same page this information is also stated:

Call 72 hours prior to traveling with questions about screening policies, procedures and what to expect at the security checkpoint.
It seems clear that the 72 hour call ahead is only to ask questions and gather information, not to arrange a PSS to meet a traveler.

Last edited by Boggie Dog; Oct 23, 17 at 1:23 pm
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Old Oct 24, 17, 3:17 pm
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Originally Posted by Boggie Dog View Post
That was my understanding, but wondered if the poster making the comment had been so advised by a medical practitioner.

I question if a person has "to arrange ahead of time" for a Passenger Support Specialist?

One page at TSA.gov says this"

https://www.tsa.gov/travel/passenger-support[B]

To my understanding of English that suggests immediacy and not a requirement to arrange for this service ahead of time.

On the same page this information is also stated:



It seems clear that the 72 hour call ahead is only to ask questions and gather information, not to arrange a PSS to meet a traveler.

A passenger does not have to call ahead. They can request the PSS upon arrival - some folks do this, some call ahead. If the passenger calls ahead, it can make the process more efficient for the passenger, as it affords the PSS team the chance to plan ahead as well. If I have 72 hour notification, and can communicate directly with the passenger, I know what steps I can take ahead of time, to minimize challenges. It also allows for me to plan for any specialized screening that the individual may require based upon their individual needs.

Example, a passenger that can not get out of their wheelchair, requires a pat down - if I have foreknowledge of this, I can communicate with the STSO ahead of time, and work with the checkpoint staff to get the individual to an area that provides more space. It simply makes the process easier upon the passenger, and by extension the TSO. The same thing will happen if this passenger approaches the checkpoint and requests the PSS, but it will take longer to do.

I work with tons of special needs passengers, consistently. The ones that call ahead and allow us to plan, almost always get through quicker, because I am prepared with the correct tools and organization to effectively screen that person, all I need is them to show up and we are ready to go.

Disclaimer**
While this is the way I understand the program to work, I can only speak to my own experiences at GSO, RDU and CLT in terms of PSS. Other airports may have different processes based upon working space/layout, etc.

Here at GSO, we have the luxury of good working space, and with prior communication, I can meet the individual at the counter/common area and walk them all the way through.
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Old Oct 24, 17, 3:52 pm
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Originally Posted by gsoltso View Post
A passenger does not have to call ahead. They can request the PSS upon arrival - some folks do this, some call ahead. If the passenger calls ahead, it can make the process more efficient for the passenger, as it affords the PSS team the chance to plan ahead as well. If I have 72 hour notification, and can communicate directly with the passenger, I know what steps I can take ahead of time, to minimize challenges. It also allows for me to plan for any specialized screening that the individual may require based upon their individual needs.

Example, a passenger that can not get out of their wheelchair, requires a pat down - if I have foreknowledge of this, I can communicate with the STSO ahead of time, and work with the checkpoint staff to get the individual to an area that provides more space. It simply makes the process easier upon the passenger, and by extension the TSO. The same thing will happen if this passenger approaches the checkpoint and requests the PSS, but it will take longer to do.

I work with tons of special needs passengers, consistently. The ones that call ahead and allow us to plan, almost always get through quicker, because I am prepared with the correct tools and organization to effectively screen that person, all I need is them to show up and we are ready to go.

Disclaimer**
While this is the way I understand the program to work, I can only speak to my own experiences at GSO, RDU and CLT in terms of PSS. Other airports may have different processes based upon working space/layout, etc.

Here at GSO, we have the luxury of good working space, and with prior communication, I can meet the individual at the counter/common area and walk them all the way through.
Calling in advance to arrange a PSS doesn't seem to be TSA policy which means that screeners should be prepared to properly respond to special need folks on the fly.

Are TSA screeners taught that peole with pacemakers should not be screened using the WTMD?
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Old Oct 31, 17, 12:49 pm
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Originally Posted by Boggie Dog View Post
Calling in advance to arrange a PSS doesn't seem to be TSA policy which means that screeners should be prepared to properly respond to special need folks on the fly.

Are TSA screeners taught that peole with pacemakers should not be screened using the WTMD?
Which, they are, as I explained here -

"A passenger does not have to call ahead. They can request the PSS upon arrival - some folks do this, some call ahead. If the passenger calls ahead, it can make the process more efficient for the passenger, as it affords the PSS team the chance to plan ahead as well. If I have 72 hour notification, and can communicate directly with the passenger, I know what steps I can take ahead of time, to minimize challenges. It also allows for me to plan for any specialized screening that the individual may require based upon their individual needs."

Like in all things, it will most likely be more efficient, if the staff has foreknowledge of the individual coming.

TSOs are taught to communicate with passengers and work with them, based upon their needs. TSA does not post a policy stating that TSA will not allow passengers to use the WTMD if they have a medical implant of any kind. The published information that I can find is https://www.tsa.gov/travel/special-procedures at that link.

It has the following information:

"Implants & Internal Medical Devices



Inform the TSA Officer

Inform the TSA officer that you have an artificial knee, hip, other metal implant or a pacemaker, defibrillator or other internal medical device. You may provide the officer with the TSA notification card or other medical documentation to describe your condition.

Screening

Advanced imaging technology can facilitate your screening and reduces the likelihood of a pat-down. You should not be screened by a walk-through metal detector if you have an internal medical device such as a pacemaker. Consult with your physician prior to flying.

If you choose to not be screened through the advanced imaging technology or you alarm the walk-through metal detector, you will undergo a pat-down screening instead."

There is also this response at the FAQ page:

"What are the procedures if I have an internal or external medical device, such as a pacemaker or metal implant?


Advanced imaging technology can facilitate your screening and reduces the likelihood of a pat-down. Inform the TSA officer that you have an artificial knee, hip, other metal implant or a pacemaker, defibrillator or other internal medical device. You should not be screened by a walk-through metal detector if you have an internal medical device such as a pacemaker. Consult with your physician prior to flying.

If you choose to not be screened through the advanced imaging technology or you alarm the walk-through metal detector, you will undergo a pat-down screening."

Where it tells passengers that they should not be screened by WTMD, but it does not explicitly state that they will not be allowed to use the technology.

TSOs are told (at least in my experience) that they are to work with each passenger as they come through. I have been told that passengers with pacemakers should not be screened with the WTMD, but we are not under orders to tackle folks trying to utilize the technology. I have found that the vast majority of passengers with a pacemaker/defibrillator, consistently communicate that fact in short order.

Last edited by gsoltso; Nov 14, 17 at 10:58 am Reason: Complete quotation
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Old Oct 31, 17, 2:37 pm
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Originally Posted by gsoltso View Post
Which, they are, as I explained here -

"A passenger does not have to call ahead. They can request the PSS upon arrival - some folks do this, some call ahead. If the passenger calls ahead, it can make the process more efficient for the passenger, as it affords the PSS team the chance to plan ahead as well. If I have 72 hour notification, and can communicate directly with the passenger, I know what steps I can take ahead of time, to minimize challenges. It also allows for me to plan for any specialized screening that the individual may require based upon their individual needs."

Like in all things, it will most likely be more efficient, if the staff has foreknowledge of the individual coming.

TSOs are taught to communicate with passengers and work with them, based upon their needs. TSA does not post a policy stating that TSA will not allow passengers to use the WTMD if they have a medical implant of any kind. The published information that I can find is https://www.tsa.gov/travel/special-procedures at that link.

It has the following information:

"Implants & Internal Medical Devices



Inform the TSA Officer

Inform the TSA officer that you have an artificial knee, hip, other metal implant or a pacemaker, defibrillator or other internal medical device. You may provide the officer with the TSA notification card or other medical documentation to describe your condition.

Screening

Advanced imaging technology can facilitate your screening and reduces the likelihood of a pat-down. You should not be screened by a walk-through metal detector if you have an internal medical device such as a pacemaker. Consult with your physician prior to flying.

If you choose to not be screened through the advanced imaging technology or you alarm the walk-through metal detector, you will undergo a pat-down screening instead."

There is also this response at the FAQ page:

"What are the procedures if I have an internal or external medical device, such as a pacemaker or metal implant?


Advanced imaging technology can facilitate your screening and reduces the likelihood of a pat-down. Inform the TSA officer that you have an artificial knee, hip, other metal implant or a pacemaker, defibrillator or other internal medical device. You should not be screened by a walk-through metal detector if you have an internal medical device such as a pacemaker. Consult with your physician prior to flying.

If you choose to not be screened through the advanced imaging technology or you alarm the walk-through metal detector, you will undergo a pat-down screening.

Where it tells passengers that they should not be screened by WTMD, but it does not explicitly state that they will not be allowed to use the technology.

TSOs are told (at least in my experience) that they are to work with each passenger as they come through. I have been told that passengers with pacemakers should not be screened with the WTMD, but we are not under orders to tackle folks trying to utilize the technology. I have found that the vast majority of passengers with a pacemaker/defibrillator, consistently communicate that fact in short order.
In post #6 the impression is that calling ahead, if a person wants to use this service, is required.

They also provide the info where the passenger can use the passenger support process, in order to arrange ahead of time if they choose.
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