Travelling with a stoma - Video for Ostomates

Fri 19 May 2023 [10:55]

In the August 2023 ACSA magazine we wrote an article on traveling with a stoma, sharing some hints and tips including the information below. Members were also invited to provide us feedback on their travel experiences. We had many positive stories but also some that were very concerning.

In light of the information we received we have been back in touch with the security screening manager at Perth Airport and are making further arrangements to meet with their customer experience and screening staff. The staff are very keen to improve the experience of all those with disabilities or with medical devices.

We are pleased to be able to share a video that is on the Perth airport website that features our very own Emily Broad an ostomate and employee from WAOA


·        Apply for Hidden Disability lanyards that will help identify to staff that you have a hidden disability. We have a few lanyards available at the WAOA headquarters, or you can ask Customer Services at the airport who also have a collection.


Empty your bag before going through the scanner as it will be less likely to show up, however:

·        All passengers traveling domestically must currently walk through body scanner which entails standing on yellow foot marks facing an avatar with your hands beside you, palms facing to the back. We were shown how objects on the body including wallets, keys, stoma bags etc appear on an avatar (why you need to empty all pockets including tissues prior to walking through) on a small screen just beyond the scanner manned by an airport screening staff member. You don’t see the shape of the image, rather a zone on the body that needs to be screened further.  Note: the scanner detects moisture so if you are sweaty or wet from rain you are likely to show an area needing investigation. Material in high viz clothing is also detected.


·        If anything abnormal is detected you will be moved to another station where another security staff member will read a series of questions asking your permission to be searched further which may include touching sensitive areas. Once you agree you can ask to go to a private room or stay where you are, a handheld metal detector is waved over the area of concern outside of your clothes. You are then asked to gently touch your clothing with your hands over the area – your hands are swabbed with a wand which goes into a machine to detect prohibited materials.



No one should ask to see your bag, ask you to empty it or even take it off. If you are asked to do so you need to ask to speak to the supervisor and if you still have concerns, the duty manager.


·        Doctors’ letters do not exempt you from

o  Going through the scanner

o  Having your bag checked with the wand



·        50ml spray cans of remover/ barrier are fine to take on both domestic and international flights, however they will need to be seen by staff as they can look like pepper sprays: perhaps wise to have them easily available for inspection and perhaps put your ostomy products in a separate cloth bag inside the hand luggage to prevent them being strewn around.


·        Sharp implements such as scissors will not be permitted (they can be used as a weapon) so cut the base plates that you may need before you go to the airport and place scissors in hold luggage.


·        Take plenty of spare bags in your hand luggage in case of delays


·        Take the rest of your bags out of the boxes to save room and spread between hand and checked luggage (especially if you have a travel companion) in case one goes missing


Travel certificates


·        If traveling overseas you can get a travel certificate to explain your condition in the language of your destination. Certificates can be downloaded from: -

Also helpful


Please note there are NOT any medical practitioners available at airports as indicated on it


We are working hard to educate Perth Airport security staff to ensure you have as smooth and stress-free experience as possible – don’t panic, be upfront and informed of your rights.

If you encounter any problems, please inform us as we will feed straight back to the security screening manager.