Since I received my insulin pump at the beginning of August (2019), I’ve been through Amsterdam Airport Schiphol twice. Once to go to Prague and once to London. Honestly, Schiphol has always been a breeze to get through and it was even so as an insulin dependent diabetic with an insulin pump.
Arrive Earlier than you normally would
While Kaleido has OK’d the insulin pump to go through both the body scanner and luggage x-ray, Abbott still advises against the Freestyle going through. That means a pat down instead of going through the body scanner, which for me, ALWAYS results in a pat down anyways.
For both of my trips I was sleeping at the Yotel, which was located after security, so I went in around 9pm the night before both trips. However, for my upcoming trip to Orlando next month I’ll get there as soon as baggage check starts so I have plenty of time for security.
Ask for a Pat down vs. the bodyscanner
You do have a few choices. If you don’t have a CGM and you’re comfortable taking your pump off (if it can’t go through the scanner), you can always remove the pump and hand it to the person helping people with getting their stuff into the plastic crates along with any spare pumps and CGMs. (tip: put anything that needs to be hand checked into a bag so you can hand it to security easily)
Otherwise, just tell that person that you’ll need a pat down (you might have to tell the person at the scanner too if its really busy).
Schiphol doesn’t make you remove flip flops, sandals or tennis shoes anymore (just anything that goes above the ankle) but if you need a pat down you will need to remove your shoes.
The pat down is in depth
The person doing your pat down will remove the rope between body scanners and then do your pat down. I will warn you, it is a very in depth pat down. If you’re a female they will touch around your bra band and for either gender they will get up into your groin.
After the pat down, they may or may not swab your hands. They did it once out of the 2 trips so far.
Personally, I don’t have much in the way of modesty so I really didn’t care that these pat downs were out in the open for all to see. I just want to protect my € 59 investment since I self pay for my Freestyle Libre. Just know that at most airports, you do have the right to ask to have this done in private.
Hand check of medical equipment
For my extra Freestyle Libres, they swabbed them over where they do the extra checks on flagged luggage and then handed it back to me. They didn’t ask me to open the sealed boxes.
Conclusion about Schiphol Airport
Honestly, my home airport has been an absolute breeze to get through. The only weird scenario I’ve had so far is my lancet showing up looking like a pocket knife. Both the security guy and I had a little chuckle about that.
If you have to go through security at customs with an insulin pump and/or CGM, remember:
- Arrive early enough for a pat down
- Take any spare pumps/cgms out and have them hand checked
- Take your shoes off
- Ask for a pat down