Has anyone flown since the attempted terrorist attack?

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FitzyK23
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   Posted 12/27/2009 9:30 AM (GMT -7)   
Ive heard on the news that there are all kinds of new restrictions until they sort this all out.  On some flights passengers were told they could not leave their seats for the last hour of their flight.  I have trouble enough flying and that includes a bathroom break right before landing and take off.  I also take immodium to fly but that makes me peeeeeeeee a ton which still involves getting up.  I have had really good luck w/ just letting flight attendants know my condition and that I might have to get up even if the seat belt sign is on.  I then sit near the bathroom too.  But, I don't know what discretion they have once it is a TSA mandate and if I could get in serious trouble for actually getting up in that so called critical hour.  I have heard rumors that it is just on incoming international flights but that really doesn't make sense either.
 
After 9/11 I was on one flight to DC that required us to remain seated the last half hour before landing.  I was nervous but did it ok.  An hour is a whole other ball of wax.  I am flying cross country again in February and really hope this is all worked out by then.  I am going to call and ask the airline right before and ask the gate agent if I can speak to the flight crew before the flight.  However, that alone may look suspicious.  As a blue eyed blonde it looks a little less suspicious in person but I would hate to be flagged for extra screening based on the phone call alone.  Ugh.
27 Year old married female lawyer.  Diagnosed w/ CD 5 years ago, IBS for over 10 years before that, which was probably the CD. I am sort of lactose intollerant but can handle anything cultured and do well w/ lactose pills and lactaid. For Crohns I am currently on Pentasa 4 pills/4x day and hysociamine prn. I also have bad acid reflux and have been on PPI's since age 13. I have been through prilosec, prevacid, and nexium. Currently I am on Protonix in the morning and Zantac at night.  I take xanax prn for situational anxiety (aka no easy bathroom access). 


MMMNAVY
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   Posted 12/27/2009 9:51 AM (GMT -7)   
It is ok Fitzy. I did not have any restictions on landing/bathroom time, but I did fly first class and I told the flight attendent what my issue is.
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lilcrohnieUK
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Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 414
   Posted 12/27/2009 11:35 AM (GMT -7)   
I would have thought the "Can't Wait" card would do in this situation wouldn't it? Or maybe a doctors not confirming urgent need for toilet, no harm in asking beforehand I wouldn't have thought. I'm sure they'd be confident they could keep an eye on one exceptional case having to stand and move during that final hour.
 
 


FunGuy
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Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 1070
   Posted 12/27/2009 11:38 AM (GMT -7)   
I think that restriction is on international flights only. When I heard it this morning I was getting a "visual" on being tackled by an air marshall because I was trying to use the head.

Post Edited (FunGuy) : 12/27/2009 6:19:35 PM (GMT-7)


Zanne
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Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 3763
   Posted 12/27/2009 2:17 PM (GMT -7)   
Oh boy. Now I'm freaking out. I'm flying in just under 2 weeks. Two very long flights. Now I'm going to be nervous until I land for my vacation, but on a positive for you Fitzy, I can tell you how things go before your flight!
Suzanne

CD 20 years officially, 30 unofficially. 3 resections '93, '95 '97
Managing with strict low residue diet, keeping symptoms to a minimum. All test show small amount of ulceration, still have occasional blockages. But still have a great time with my 2 daughters and husband!


Prednisone, 6MP,Prevacid, B12 shots, Bentyl, Xifaxan.....


FitzyK23
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Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 4219
   Posted 12/27/2009 2:19 PM (GMT -7)   
Well Zanne, at least you won't be surprised and can look into it and request accommodations before hand.
27 Year old married female lawyer.  Diagnosed w/ CD 5 years ago, IBS for over 10 years before that, which was probably the CD. I am sort of lactose intollerant but can handle anything cultured and do well w/ lactose pills and lactaid. For Crohns I am currently on Pentasa 4 pills/4x day and hysociamine prn. I also have bad acid reflux and have been on PPI's since age 13. I have been through prilosec, prevacid, and nexium. Currently I am on Protonix in the morning and Zantac at night.  I take xanax prn for situational anxiety (aka no easy bathroom access). 


jujub
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Date Joined Mar 2003
Total Posts : 10392
   Posted 12/27/2009 2:34 PM (GMT -7)   
In addition to checking with the airline, you might consider calling the TSA just before your trip. I had to do this once when I lost my photo ID while on a business trip. They were helpful in figuring out what I could use to identify myself and be allowed through the screening.

I'd suggest you not assume that explaining to the attendant why you have to get up during the restricted time will be okay. Some of them can be very rigid in how they enforce the rules, and if you argue with them you can be arrested - even if you're in the right!

ivy6
Elite Member


Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 10404
   Posted 12/27/2009 2:41 PM (GMT -7)   
I heard about this on the news last night, and thought immediately of my fellow IBDers.

I think something's really wrong here. I heard (is this right?) the suspected terrorist had already been barred from entering the UK, so how come he slipped through US security and was allowed on the flight at all?

Maybe they'd be better off screening people BEFORE they get on planes, instead of adding extra stress to the ordinary people who are just trying to get from A to B.
Co-Moderator Crohn's Forum.

Medications for Crohn's ~~ Diet and Nutritional Therapy for Crohn's ~~ Dealing with Abscesses and Fistulae ~~


Againstodds
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 198
   Posted 12/28/2009 3:43 AM (GMT -7)   
I am negative :-(
This rule is evidently designed for security. If anything from doctors can be a permit to bathroom, then not only UC patients but others can get it, which means the rule does nothing... I have ever taken a 12-hour flight with moderate flare (6-8 times bathroom a day). What I did was to have more food the day before flight and less food on the day flight. This can reduce some 'solid' stool. I went to restroom whenever possible/ready at airport and on plane. Also, I put toilet paper in underwear. I saw some posts here saying nappy/sanitary towel is good as well. But I like toilet paper because it does not draw attention. Can you imagine a guy taking sanitary towel to restroom several times :-)

Take 'enough' underwears and pants; make your package as small as possible so that you can run. Do not make your transition tight so as to change underwears if necessary. Last but not least, I often train/tell myself to not feel shy with wet pants no matter how others look at me...

Zanne
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 3763
   Posted 12/28/2009 7:52 PM (GMT -7)   
So I just read an Associated Press report, and most of the new rules are applying to international flights. It seems that all the rules are being implemented at the Captains will and that there is no rhyme or reason to it. This is partly so that any terrorist will have a harder time knowing what to expect, but it also makes it harder for those of us who need to plan our potty breaks.

I am not flying out of the country, but I am flying from coast to coast and then to Hawaii, so two very long flights over an entire day, not sure I can go all day without drinking or eating just so I won't have to look suspicious if I need to use a restroom. Oh well, I will have to wait and see what the TSA comes up with by the end of next week. Worrying is only going to make it worse.
Suzanne

CD 20 years officially, 30 unofficially. 3 resections '93, '95 '97
Managing with strict low residue diet, keeping symptoms to a minimum. All test show small amount of ulceration, still have occasional blockages. But still have a great time with my 2 daughters and husband!


Prednisone, 6MP,Prevacid, B12 shots, Bentyl, Xifaxan.....


j_web
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 205
   Posted 12/28/2009 10:56 PM (GMT -7)   
Is it even really legal to tell somebody that they cannot use the bathroom?

If you gotta go, you GOTTA go. And forcing those of us with illness to poop in our pants is an outrage. They should put a guard by the toilet and treat us like humans.
CD since July 2007 - prenatal vitamins + extra vit. D, vit. C and iron, fish/flax oil, probiotics

Following excellent Omega-3 diet as per James Scala's 'The New Eating Right for the Bad Gut' - got me out of a flare.


ivy6
Elite Member


Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 10404
   Posted 12/29/2009 2:50 PM (GMT -7)   

FitzyK23
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 4219
   Posted 12/29/2009 3:02 PM (GMT -7)   
I wrote the TSA today. I will let you know the response.

Dear TSA:

I am writing you today to ask that you have provisions in place to accommodate passengers with digestive disorders or other conditions that require urgent use of a restroom. After the attempted terrorist attack on 12/25, I heard that passengers on incoming flights were prohibited from getting out of their seats during the last hour of the flight. According to FAA regulations, once a flight lands, a passenger can not leave their seat until the plane has safely "parked" at the gate. This could mean passengers are not allowed out of their seat for an hour and a half to two hours in some cases.

I have Crohn's disease which is a painful digestive disorder that causes urgent and at times frequent trips to the restroom. When I fly I take medication to minimize the chance of flaring in flight. However, that medication has the side effect of causing frequent urination. Many people suffer from a variety of maladies that would prohibit them from sitting for an hour without using the restroom. Even if they experience this problem only occasionally, they will certainly face high anxiety in a situation such as this. It is hard enough for people with these conditions to wait in line for security screenings. I have had to ask someone to hold my place in line while I step out to use the restroom.

I visited your website and your section on disabilities to see if there were any accommodations for this situation in flight. I did not see any. Digestive disorders are afforded protection under the ADA as controlling one's bladder and bowels is considered a major life function. People with such conditions often have cards from support organizations or from doctors identifying their need to use a bathroom urgently. Please write your policies in such a way so that this need will be respected and that airline staff will have discretion to allow a passenger to use the restroom if they urgently need to do so regardless of where they are in flight. No one wants to sit next to a passenger who has had an accident and no passenger wants to be put in the position where they may be forced to go to the bathroom in their pants.

On all my flights I have encountered excellent flight attendants who allowed me to use the restroom as needed, even if the seatbelt sign was on. This, however, was due to turbulence and not security mandates. Please advise me how people in my situation will be treated under the current mandates and please advise me what if anything I need to bring on a trip to prove my medical need.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

XXXXXXX
PS: For more information on Crohn's and colitis, please see www.ccfa.org.
27 Year old married female lawyer.  Diagnosed w/ CD 5 years ago, IBS for over 10 years before that, which was probably the CD. I am sort of lactose intollerant but can handle anything cultured and do well w/ lactose pills and lactaid. For Crohns I am currently on Pentasa 4 pills/4x day and hysociamine prn. I also have bad acid reflux and have been on PPI's since age 13. I have been through prilosec, prevacid, and nexium. Currently I am on Protonix in the morning and Zantac at night.  I take xanax prn for situational anxiety (aka no easy bathroom access). 


Writer
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 443
   Posted 12/29/2009 3:26 PM (GMT -7)   
That's impressive that you took the trouble to write a letter instead of just worrying about it. I'm sure many will thank you for making the effort at clarifying the issue. I hope you receive a useful response.

ivy6
Elite Member


Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 10404
   Posted 12/29/2009 3:29 PM (GMT -7)   
Brilliant, Fitzy! You're wonderful. I'm so glad you did this.

I wonder if you should also forward a copy to your CCFA? I really am surprised that they didn't immediately speak up about this. Aren't they supposed to act as advocates for people with IBD?
Co-Moderator Crohn's Forum.

Medications for Crohn's ~~ Diet and Nutritional Therapy for Crohn's ~~ Dealing with Abscesses and Fistulae ~~


Zanne
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Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 3763
   Posted 12/29/2009 4:28 PM (GMT -7)   
You are wonderful!!!! I can't wait to hear what response you get back.

I don't have a card saying that I have CD. I wonder if I could get one ASAP and where I could get one to prove that I have a qualifying disability.
Suzanne

CD 20 years officially, 30 unofficially. 3 resections '93, '95 '97
Managing with strict low residue diet, keeping symptoms to a minimum. All test show small amount of ulceration, still have occasional blockages. But still have a great time with my 2 daughters and husband!


Prednisone, 6MP,Prevacid, B12 shots, Bentyl, Xifaxan.....


BitBit
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 44
   Posted 12/29/2009 6:29 PM (GMT -7)   
I have an international flight coming up in March. I did the same thing as the previous post--emailed TSA about the new regulations. Although, my email was not as eloquent as the one here--I feel we should bombard them with emails stating our concerns. This is the only way we'll get the proper care on a flight.

BitBit
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 44
   Posted 12/29/2009 6:31 PM (GMT -7)   
This is what ccfa.org has posted on their website
(does not seem like much help for us)

NEWS FEATURE





Airline Restrictions May Affect IBD Patients
New restrictions in air travel on some or all flights indicate that on international flights coming to the U.S., passengers will have to remain in their seats for the last hour of the flight without any personal items on their laps. It is not clear how or if the rule would affect domestic flights.

CCFA understands that these proposed restrictions may be challenging for patients with IBD. Each airline has policies relating to "Customers with disabilities." Most airlines have "special assistance coordinators" or similar staff that may assist you with any special requirements you or your family members may need. We encourage you or your family members to plan ahead and contact your airline well in advance of your travel.

FitzyK23
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 4219
   Posted 12/29/2009 7:44 PM (GMT -7)   
I took your advice and sent a copy to the CCFA.  Zanne, the CCFA gives out cards with memberships and also gives out cards when trying to get people to renew their membership.  I bet if you call the CCFA they could hook you up quickly.  That said, I don't know if the card would hold much weight at all.  Most people have never heard of them.  I'm sure you would still have to explain yourself but that might just give you a little more credence.
27 Year old married female lawyer.  Diagnosed w/ CD 5 years ago, IBS for over 10 years before that, which was probably the CD. I am sort of lactose intollerant but can handle anything cultured and do well w/ lactose pills and lactaid. For Crohns I am currently on Pentasa 4 pills/4x day and hysociamine prn. I also have bad acid reflux and have been on PPI's since age 13. I have been through prilosec, prevacid, and nexium. Currently I am on Protonix in the morning and Zantac at night.  I take xanax prn for situational anxiety (aka no easy bathroom access). 


gumby44
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 4101
   Posted 12/29/2009 8:38 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for writing the letter, and please let us know if you get a response. I felt an immediate sense of panic when i heard the news, and I'm not even flying anywhere until next June!! It seems to me that just because this terrorist chose to try to blow up the plane in the last hour of flight, the next terrorist can choose to do it at another time. I hate crazy regulations that don't seem to bear any correlation to keeping us safe!
51 yr. old female, diagnosed with Crohn's in small intestine and terminal ileum Sept-Oct. 2007. Also have IBS, and had Salmonella Dec. '07
currently taking Pentasa- 4 500mg pills per day, Metamucil and colace for constipation, probiotics


j_web
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 205
   Posted 12/29/2009 9:11 PM (GMT -7)   
Excellent Fitzy - thank you for representing all of us.
CD since July 2007 - prenatal vitamins + extra vit. D, vit. C and iron, fish/flax oil, probiotics

Following excellent Omega-3 diet as per James Scala's 'The New Eating Right for the Bad Gut' - got me out of a flare.


petittarte
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 686
   Posted 12/30/2009 5:42 PM (GMT -7)   
I tend to vomit a a lot and always get a note from my doctor outlining my condition, the need for me to have unrestricted access to the rest room and letting them know that I am not contagious.
Jodi

Symptoms of Crohns, Lupus and Hereditary Angioedema but not the diagnosis


GDen
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 703
   Posted 12/30/2009 5:54 PM (GMT -7)   
j_web said...
Excellent Fitzy - thank you for representing all of us.

+1 :)
Cimzia, Asacol


brit tuck
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 143
   Posted 12/31/2009 1:35 AM (GMT -7)   
Just thought I'd let you know that I flew to LA yesterday from Hong Kong. There were no restrictions about using the bathroom or getting up the last hour of the flight. The only difference from my flight to Hong Kong two weeks ago was that they were no longer able to show us the flight track monitor on our tv screens. I think that was so we would have no idea whether we were over land or water in case someone was going to try to do something. Allowing everything else to remain how it normally was could have just been at the discretion of the airline or pilot(s), but the screen thing was apparently because of Homeland Security. Hong Kong does have pretty strict security screenings though, seeing as you go through additional security before you get on the flight and they don't let you bring any water bottles on even if you purchased it after you went through security. There were also no changes on my brief flight between LA and Phoenix today, but then again that flight is less than an hour so they couldn't really change much anyways... :)

FitzyK23
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 4219
   Posted 12/31/2009 1:26 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks Brit Tuck. Hong Kong! That sounds fun. What were you doing there? Are you still in law school?

I received a response from the CCFA but none from the TSA. The CCFA basically restated what was on their webpage and then said that their mission is to raise funds for research and to find a cure. They will do advocacy to help IBD patients get access to healthcare and regarding insurance issues and access to medication but at this time they can not spend resources on this issue and they are relying on individuals to write letters to bring awareness. They also recommended writing our legislatures but I'm not sure how much that would actually help.
27 Year old married female lawyer.  Diagnosed w/ CD 5 years ago, IBS for over 10 years before that, which was probably the CD. I am sort of lactose intollerant but can handle anything cultured and do well w/ lactose pills and lactaid. For Crohns I am currently on Pentasa 4 pills/4x day and hysociamine prn. I also have bad acid reflux and have been on PPI's since age 13. I have been through prilosec, prevacid, and nexium. Currently I am on Protonix in the morning and Zantac at night.  I take xanax prn for situational anxiety (aka no easy bathroom access). 

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