The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Transportation Security Administration (TSA) have increased security measures at all U.S. airports. Some of the precautions taken by these agencies, as well as by individual airlines, affect passengers with type 1 diabetes (T1D), who must carry their medical supplies and equipment when they travel.
The following information represents current requirements for passengers. We recommend that you call your specific airline at least one day in advance of your scheduled flight and also consult the TSA guidelines for travelers with medical conditions at: www.tsa.gov
When you reach a security checkpoint, notify the security officers that you have T1D and are carrying your supplies with you and/or wearing an insulin pump. The TSA allows the following diabetes-related supplies and equipment through the checkpoint once they have been screened:
- Insulin and insulin-loaded dispensing products (insulin vials, insulin pens)
- Unlimited number of unused syringes when accompanied by insulin or other injectable medication
- Lancets, blood-glucose meters, blood-glucose meter test strips, alcohol swabs, meter-testing solutions
- Insulin pump and insulin pump supplies (cleaning agents, batteries, plastic tubing, infusion kit, catheter and needle)
- Insulin pumps and supplies must be accompanied by insulin
- Glucagon emergency kit. Travelers with T1D are advised to keep their glucagon kits intact in the original preprinted, pharmaceutically labeled containers
- Urine ketone test strips
- Unlimited number of used syringes when transported in Sharps disposal container or other similar hard-surface container
- Sharps disposal containers or similar hard-surface disposal container for storing used syringes and test strips
Due to forgery concerns, prescriptions and letters of medical necessity will not be accepted. Passengers should consult their individual air carriers for both domestic (U.S.) and international travel regulations. Be advised that FAA and individual airline policies are subject to change.
In the event that travelers with T1D encounter problems boarding their flights, they should contact the FAA Grounds Security Commissioner at the airport for assistance. Packing diabetes supplies in checked baggage is NOT recommended, as cargo hold temperatures vary greatly and the passenger may need the supplies in flight.
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