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Air travel, TSA and a PEG tube

yensid683's picture
Posts: 319
Joined: Apr 2012

Anyone have any experience with getting through TSA at the airport when you have a PEG tube?

I will be traveling in the next 5 weeks to visit elder daughter in Orlando and will need to know what I'll need when I go through security. TSA's web site does not provide any direction.

I saw a story on Drudge about an elderly woman who wound up virtually strip searched because the scanner picked up the PEG tube. Not that I'm shy, but who needs to see a scrawny, hairy belly with 20" of tube sticking out of it?

Will I need something from my doctor?

How about traveling with supplies?

I've had experience with airlines losing luggage and now take precautions, bringing as carry on those items considered to be critical such as medications. I usually carry a change of clothes, plus toiletries. Now I'll need to bring nutrition supplement items as well as stoma care items.

I have to say that bottles of Ensure and Boost will not be allowed through. What about cans of Jevity?

So far TSA has been no help. I'm thinking of going to the airport to talk to a TSA supervisor to find out what I'll need.

Any help is greatly appreciated


Skiffin16's picture
Posts: 8286
Joined: Sep 2009

I can't speak on the PEG, I had a port with no problems flying.

GreenD on here can advice you I'm sure...

While in Florida, visit Publix to replinish your Ensure Plus. They have their own brand with the exact ingredients and a few dollars less expensive.

I was just in Orlando Thursday, back in the morning to pick my wife up at the airport. We live about 40 miles west.

Have fun...weather has been excellent last few days.


George_Baltimore's picture
Posts: 303
Joined: Jun 2009

I had no problems getting through with a peg. They did make me open a briefcase that I was carrying my cans of Isosource though. When the agent looked at them very curiously I just grabbed my peg through my shirt and wiggled it. Even though I can't talk, he knew immediately what I meant and he said to me, "Food?". I nodded yes and was on my way. When I went through the body scans, nobody said anything at all. Have fun and don't worry.

Greend's picture
Posts: 678
Joined: Feb 2010

I was just telling my brother about my experiences two days ago. I have flown numerous times and I have yet to be treated the same way by TSA during these flights. Easdiest trip was once in DC when I told the lady I had a tube and she sent me through the metal detector and then on my way. The worst was in Houston (been there 1/2 dozen times and never had the same process) when the agent sent me to the "strip room" where they don't even offer to tuck $1.00 bills. They had me show the tube and then they had to test it along with all my baggage for explosives. Then they had to get a supervisor to approve my continuation. This took at least 45 minutes. Funny thig was that the room they put me in (alone for a while) had all the confiscated items they had taken from folks stacked up in the corner. I could have filled my pockets while in the room with some neat stuff if I'd wanted. I have never been allowed to carry liquid nutrition on the plane even with a doctor's letter so I placed six bottles in my baggage to use after I landed. I carried the syringes and meds in my carry-on with no problems.

I have learned that there is a TSA HELP number that you can call just before you travel and may be able to provide waivers. I haven't done that yet but I'm hoping they can clear the process up for me before I fly again next month. I found them on the TSA web site.

Not impossible but it is a pain the the butt.


Greend's picture
Posts: 678
Joined: Feb 2010

TSA strives to provide the highest level of security while ensuring that all passengers are treated with dignity and respect. To that end, TSA launched TSA Cares, a new helpline number designed to assist travelers with disabilities and medical conditions.

Travelers may call TSA Cares toll free at 1-855-787-2227 prior to traveling with questions about screening policies, procedures and what to expect at the security checkpoint. TSA Cares will serve as an additional, dedicated resource specifically for passengers with disabilities, medical conditions or other circumstances or their loved ones who want to prepare for the screening process prior to flying.

The hours of operation for the TSA Cares helpline are Monday through Friday 8 a.m. – 11 p.m. EST and weekends and Holidays 9 a.m. – 8 p.m. EST. Travelers who are deaf or hard of hearing can use a relay service to contact TSA Cares or can e-mail TSA-ContactCenter@dhs.gov.

All travelers can contact TSA using Talk To TSA, a web-based tool that allows passengers to reach out to an airport Customer Service Manager directly, and the TSA Contact Center, 1-866-289-9673 and TSA-ContactCenter@dhs.gov, where travelers can ask questions, provide suggestions and file complaints.

How It Works
When a passenger with a disability or medical condition calls TSA Cares, a representative will provide assistance, either with information about screening that is relevant to the passenger’s specific disability or medical condition, or the passenger may be referred to disability experts at TSA.
TSA recommends that passengers call approximately 72 hours ahead of travel so that TSA Cares has the opportunity to coordinate checkpoint support with a TSA Customer Service Manager located at the airport when necessary.
Every person and item must be screened before entering the secure area of an airport and the manner in which the screening is conducted will depend on the passenger’s abilities and any specific equipment brought to the security checkpoint.
All travelers may ask to speak to a TSA supervisor if questions about screening procedures arise while at the security checkpoint.
For more information, click here to read TSA’s press release on TSA Cares.

George_Baltimore's picture
Posts: 303
Joined: Jun 2009

I'm glad I didn't go through Houston. That was one of my options. I chose Cleveland to switch planes on my way to Vegas and Denver on my way back. Didn't have any problems at either airport other than having my unopened cans of formula scrutinized in Cleveland (maybe I shouldn't have worn a Ravens T-shirt). :-)

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