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Flying With Diabetes

The US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) specifically permits prescription liquid medications and other liquids needed by persons with disabilities and medical conditions, above and beyond the limitations on other liquids. However, not all TSA screeners are aware of the rules.

Travelers with diabetes should print and carry the following documents from the TSA web site:

The second document specifically mentions "liquids (to include water, juice, or liquid nutrition) or gels for passengers with a disability or medical condition." If you use juice to treat hypoglycemia, highlight this line in yellow and show it to the TSA supervisor on site if you are questioned about carrying on juice.

Note also that supporting documentation from a doctor, while recommended, is not required. Note also that there is a telephone number on the document to call in case of problems -- 1-866-289-9673 or 1-877-336-4872. If you are hassled at security, ask for the TSA supervisor on site and call these numbers.

The Transportation Safety Administration offers the following advide for persons with diabetes who will be traveling by air:

In the event that you encounter problems boarding a flight, you should contact the FAA Grounds Security Commissioner at the airport for assistance. You should not pack diabetes supplies in checked baggage, because the cargo hold temperatures can vary greatly and because you may need the supplies during the flight.

Since many airlines have cut back on food service, it's a good idea to carry emergency food in case you or your child experience hypoglycemia. Carrying a small water bottle is a good idea too.

For More Information

September 28, 2001
Updated February 20, 2009

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Last Updated: Thursday February 27, 2014 19:28:21
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