Airplane travel with PM

I will be traveling soon for the first time with my new PaceMaker.  I am a little  anxious about the airport security.  I do  have the PM card to show.  Will I still be going thru the screening and how does that affect the  PM?  Thanks so much for all the advice, it has really helped as my Dr. hasn't been very connected or available.  



by Tracey_E - 2019-02-11 20:50:21

As Swangirl said, we can now just walk on through. Keep the card handy in case you need it but newer pacers are made from an alloy that does not set off the metal detectors, and the metal detectors won't hurt it. The 3D scanners are xray technology so they've never been a problem. 

It won't be an issue at the airport, but the hand wands are a potential problem. TSA is well trained and knows not to use them on us, they would do a pat down instead if for some reason we don't go through the detectors. The people working security at the metal detectors at amusement parks, concerts, courthouses, etc, are not as well trained and I have had them try to wand me a few times when I didn't walk through. Easiest way to fend them off is tell them it can turn off my pacemaker. Yes, that's an exaggeration, but it's the fastest way to get them to put the wand down! Below the waist is ok but it shouldn't come within 6" of the pacer. But! We can walk on through those now also so it's not really a problem anymore. Just keep it in mind if it ever comes up.

wont hurt you

by dwelch - 2019-02-12 00:40:43

I have had pacers for 30+ years, usually tell them but sometimes just walk through.    Have been scanned with the hand wand as well, no problem.  


There were times at some airports that having a pacer let me into the special line which was shorter.  Now they send you through any line.  (have had the special line take longer too).


The notion that they tell you to just walk through now because you wont set them off should be more reassuring.  It wasnt a problem before its just that the metal might set off the detector and then you have to explain it to them.  Now you dont have to explain it to them.


Enjoy the trip.



One More Thing!

by NiceNiecey - 2019-02-12 02:19:00

Hi Rebecca!

The others have covered security already but I'll mention one other thing that might unnerve you a bit as a Newbie.

I fly all the time and couldn't figure out why I'd feel so strange, especially when we were taxiing and taking off. I don't feel sick but my heart starts to beat 'funny'. The best I can figure is that it's because I have Rate Response turned on in my PM and it's responding to the movement of the aircraft. You may not have RR activated yet on your device but keep it in mind for the future. It's nothing to be alarmed about! I just wanted you to have a heads-up that you might experience some new sensations!


airport security

by LondonAndy - 2019-02-12 11:11:44

I fly about 3 times per year, and have had a pacemaker for 4 years.  As Swangirl and TraceyE have said, I don't say anything and just walk through.  One trip something triggered the metal detector so they asked me to step into one of those 3D booths, and again no problem.

I also agree that security staff at temporary events are not always well trained in wands, so another reason to just go through like everyone else.  A guard did put his wand right over my pacemaker, sending his wand screetching, but no ill effects on me.  I am 100% paced so feel confident I would notice!

Only tell security if required

by Elwood - 2019-02-15 17:49:01

Biotronic 27nov18.

The advice i received for Airport security is just don't tell them and just walk through. Only tell them if they go to use the wand. 

It's worked for the couple of trips I've had.

(Just don't leave your phone in your pocket)

Airplane travel

by Cheryl B - 2019-03-08 21:58:29


I just wanted to comment on your last sentence about your cardiologist not being very connected and available.  You can certainly get so much help from everyone here.  It really saved my life when I first got my ICD 10 years ago.  I was too scared to ask any doctor anything.  But everyone here was wonderful.  But you really need to feel like your doctors know who you are and that they are available.  I just switched my EPI doc because during my last battery change he seemed so unfeeling and almost annoyed with me.  I've now had two other doctors ask me why I switched.  I said a good doctor treats the disease.  A great doctor treats the person with the disease.  He is the head of the EPI department, but I'm very happy now with my new one:)  You need to be connected with these people, especially in the beginning.  Good luck and enjoy the flight!!

Cheryl B.

You know you're wired when...

Three months of free Internet comes with each device.

Member Quotes

My cardiologist is brilliant and after lots of trial and error got me running. I finished this years London Marathon in 3hrs 38 minutes.