Need advice on traveling with an ileostomy - where to find bag check card?

Jun 28, 2022 12:24 am

Hello, flying into MI, first flight since I won my ileostomy. Where can I find that card to show bag check? Can it just be printed out? Is there anything else I need to know? Thanks in advance.

Jun 28, 2022 1:48 am

Google should help. I posted one awhile back, maybe one can still find it. It did help in Cuba.

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Jun 28, 2022 3:22 am
Reply to xnine

Thanks so much! I appreciate you responding.

Jun 28, 2022 4:01 am


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Jun 28, 2022 4:02 am

I just googled....ostomy card for travel

Words of Encouragement from Ostomy Advocates I Hollister
Jun 28, 2022 2:36 pm
Reply to AlexT

That's it! Print it in color

Jun 28, 2022 8:59 pm
Reply to AlexT

Thank you! LOL, I guess I should have done that first.

Jun 29, 2022 3:42 am
Reply to Feb9HH

You're welcome.

Jul 04, 2022 6:40 am

I've flown quite a bit since surgery. Your bag will show up, pretty detailed, when going through the security checkpoint. Expect to be stopped. When I am, I say "My ostomy bag, right?" You'll then be asked to rub your hands over the area and they wipe your hand with a towelette. They put it in a chemical detector and give you the go-ahead when the results come back clear. It's very discreet and fairly quick. My only problem was in the Netherlands when there was a language barrier. After answering "Ostomy bag" numerous times, I gave the answer "S*# bag". Needless to say, I was pulled into a room for a quick visual check. Even there, they were very accommodating and apologetic. Don't worry. Enjoy your trip.

Winnie The Pooh
Jul 04, 2022 11:40 am
Reply to SharkFan

I got pulled in at Frankfurt after the pat-down. The guy didn't ask me what the bump and the obvious light support band I had on was - he escorted me to a tented affair nearby. I noticed there was a policewoman (or some kind of armed security person) "casually" standing at the entrance, with her holster unclipped and her hand not far from the gun! But it was all done quietly and discreetly, to be fair. After I took off my T-shirt, etc., and he had a quick sight of the stoma bag, he indicated (and probably said, in English) it was okay to put them back on. He was obviously a little embarrassed at having to ask me to do it, as he held out his hand and said something like "I'm sorry. Thank you." And I was pleased to shake his hand and say "Kein Problem. Danke schoen" (this was pre-Covid!). I did 3 or 4 trips after that and never got quizzed about it. So, yeah, despite my initial fears, Winnie the Pooh has not caused any hassle at airports.

Jul 04, 2022 11:51 am

You can print out the card on the TSA website. They still made me do a self pat down then swabbed my hands. It was not much of an issue. You are allowed to carry medical scissors less than 4". Check the UOAA website or TSA site for more info.

Jul 04, 2022 10:47 pm

I've always just told them what it was when I inevitably get flagged at security. Like 'Sharkfan' said, they have you pat the area yourself after they do their more detailed pat down and run it through the fancy machine that will tell them that it is, in fact, not an exploding bag of crap. I even had a lady get really excited in some city (I think Nashville?) because she was training a new person and she was glad I came through so she could show how to handle an ostomy situation. I also took my ostomy to Ireland, Italy, and Spain and didn't have too much trouble, but they did pull me into a private room for an inspection at one of those places. And I always expected security was going to take extra time, especially for overseas trips, customs, etc. Once they see what it is, they are always very considerate and kind about it in my experiences. I do use the kind of wafers that are moldable, so I don't carry any sort of scissors. I'm not sure if you need to take extra precautions for that. Also, if you use lubricating deodorant, bring the single-use packets for carry-on or put some in a small bottle to avoid confiscation.

Jul 11, 2022 2:15 pm

I survived! Just run your hand over the bag and check hands for explosive residue. I did hand them the blue card in advance. Thank you for all your helpful responses.

Jul 19, 2022 5:52 am

Hi, my name is Marsha, and I've had my ileostomy for almost 60 years, since I was a kid of 15. After my divorce, in my 40s, I started to do a lot of traveling... all around the country, Canada, Mexico, cruised the Caribbean... have been to Alaska, toured parts of Europe, went to China, South Africa, Israel, Australia 7x. I've never needed a card, and even in recent years, when technology got more advanced, I've never been questioned or examined... specifically about my ileostomy. I basically have "no waistline" (lost it with the surgery, and then two pregnancies... so the elastic on my pants sits very "low". I tend to wear my shirts out, rather than tucked in. Only once did the person at the "scanner" ask me if I could pull up my pants... I very nicely told her "no". I'm not sure if they can actually see the outline of the wafer or the pouch... but it's never caused a problem. However, I do travel with a lot of medications... syringes (I'm diabetic), ostomy supplies for 3-4 weeks, as well as a sleep apnea machine. I've learned to put all those supplies in individual bags and put them in a carry-on that I can store above my seat... I also put enough supplies in a small tote/pocketbook, if for some reason I'd need to change on the plane. Sitting up for the 19-hour flights to Australia can cause a problem. But I've never needed to use it. My best emergency supply for going anywhere... is tape... makes me feel very secure... Best of luck to you... Marsh.... ps... I read your post about dating... and when to tell. Like you, I prefer telling sooner, rather than later... But be aware, that telling before someone gets to know you... can scare them off, prematurely... I gauge when I tell... by how much I like them... after one date... or three? If I think I want to pursue the possibility... I want to control how and when I tell... One of the ways that's worked well for me... is telling the guy, I had been sick as a kid... needed surgery, and had he ever heard of an "ostomy". Depending on the answer... I take his hand, put it on my belly, over the pouch... That's gotten a very good reaction. One guy was fascinated and asked, "Can he see"... I said sure, and we went on from there... Others just asked some questions... and the "reveal" happened at another time... I had been on a third date with a musician I had met... and had gone to hear him perform... We had spent a few evenings together, and I liked him well enough... We were having lunch together one day... and I thought it was time... so I told him... He didn't say a word... just stood up and walked out of the restaurant... and I never heard from him again... No big loss... Marsha