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  • Writer's pictureJulie Brand

Getting Through Airport Security with a Breast Form




Two days before Christmas 2023 one of my clients wearing a Perfect Again breast form was travelling from Melbourne to Brisbane and was frisked so aggressively at Melbourne Airport that her breast form was torn on its inside face.

I was hopping mad when she rang to inform me of this!

 

Consequently, I made a complaint to Melbourne Airport and the upshot of that was an

all-day forum held at Melbourne Airport on 9/4/2024.

Melbourne Security to their credit, realized their need to further investigate incidences like this.

 

There were about 16 of us together with 4 of their security staff and the day started at 10am.

The 16 people comprised of several from the visually impaired community and 2 of their beautiful, black, shiny, guide dogs; several people living with and advocates for diabetes, others who wear prosthetic limbs and me, a breast form wearer.

 

Now, the technology that people living with diabetes use is changing rapidly and these devices can sometimes be strapped to their upper thighs. They must be worn 24/7 and they set off every single bell and whistle very loudly at airport security! There were even stories of the wearers being told to “Lift your dress” in that exposed queue, to reveal these devices. Imagine that!

 

However, I learned a great deal that day…

 

I learned that airport security must meet many layers of government regulations, and this makes their work very tricky indeed.

I learned that 18% of Australians have some type of disability. (I didn’t know that figure was so high.)

I learned that Airport Security are highly trained and must satisfactorily complete 82 days of formal training before they are even go near the public.

 

I learned that all Australian airports do security slightly differently, so Melbourne Airport will have somewhat different equipment and procedures to Wagga Wagga Airport, for example.

And I learned many other things as well.

 

My takeaway from this day is that airport security is doing their job but some individuals are better at it than others. Mainly they get it right but sometimes they don’t.

They are human like us. Regarding my client and her breast form, they

definitely didn’t get it right that day!

  

I can now advise this course of action for all external breast form wearers.

 

The moment you step foot into any Australian airport and have checked in your luggage, find a Security person from that airport. If you don’t know what they look like, ask someone to find one for you.

 

Talk to them.

 

Tell them you’re wearing an external breast prosthesis. (They may not even know what that is, so you will have to educate them). Then ask for their help.

People LOVE being asked for help and showing you how to do stuff and in this instance,

I highly recommend you profit from this fact! They will be delighted to show you exactly how to go through their airport’s Security as painlessly and sensitively as possible.

 

Unfortunately, Airport Security has a big PR problem.

 

We (the travelling public) believe they are just like bouncers at nightclubs who are often thugs, and we think Airport Security staff are just the same and are out to trip us up.

But they are not like bouncers.

They are highly trained and tracked. Security is their job, and they try to do it as best they can, but like us, they are human.

 

And remember, all this airport security is because of the World Trade Centre attack back in 2002. Remember air travel before 9/11/2002, the good old days? It was hassle free but now it just isn’t and governments from all over the world are in the same position.

Australian travellers are not alone.

 

Talk to the Airport Security staff, don’t be frightened of them.

They will always be willing to assist us wearers of breast forms and others as well.

 

Good luck.

 

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