We recently met with the security team at Belfast International Airport to provide training to the security staff and provide general ostomy awareness on what people are thinking and feeling while travelling. They are very willing to know how they can help making the travelling experience a more positive one.
Although they do receive training on what a stoma is and what the products looks like, they found it extremely beneficial to hear from Sarah the Clinical Advisor and Chris Wright from the Colostomy Association on what fear ostomates have surrounding airport security.
Not only was it a great opportunity to fill in any gaps on their stoma knowledge but they also shared with us some tips that could help make your experience go as smoothly as possible if you’re feeling anxious about passing through security.
Tips from airport security:
- Alert the airport before you go through security that you have ostomy supplies on you and that you have an ostomy. You can ask for a private search to prevent feeling guilty if you are asked for a search.
- Before you travel you can request an additional letter from your doctor to state that you need extra supplies. The security staff then treat this as required medication.
- If you are searched after going through the body scanner, the new machinery and technology in most airports flags the area as a yellow circle if it considers anything unusual, it does not show your actual body.
- We understand that your supplies are extremely important to you but please note, if you are searched you can’t touch your supplies until after the search takes places.
- If you have any specific concerns the security team are really happy to answer your questions – you can phone your airport security team before you travel and speak directly to them.
- If it’s your first time flying it may be possible to have a “walk through” security at a quiet time in the days or weeks before you fly in order to help alleviate any concerns you may have. Contact your local airport to discuss further how they can help.
We will continue to provide training with Belfast International airport staff and hope to build relationships with other airports around the globe to help make the travelling experience for ostomates a positive one.
Feel confident going through security
For more information and advice on passing through airport security, listen to our video with Deborah Harris from Belfast International Airport who talks through the process that you can expect at security. Click here to watch the video
Click here for more information on travelling and tips to lower your anxiety and make the experiences less stressful.
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