Diabetes Center

Airline Travel

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has implemented stepped-up security measures at the nation's airports. Some security measures may affect airline passengers with diabetes. The American Diabetes Association recognizes the added inconvenience this may pose for individuals with diabetes, but understands the necessity to secure airline passenger safety.

The Association recommends that a passenger with diabetes -- who wishes to board with his or her equipment and supplies -- be prepared to provide airport security personnel with copies of prescriptions for diabetes medications and supplies. It is also recommended that you arrive well in advance of the airline's suggested departure check-in time. The prescription must clearly contain the name of the medication or supply, and include complete contact information for the physician.

At this time, individual airline carriers may or may not require the above documentation, or may have other requirements that further restrict a passenger's ability to board with diabetes equipment and supplies.

Accordingly, the FAA and the Association strongly urge each passenger to call the airline carrier at least one day in advance of his or her scheduled flight to confirm what that airline's policy is with regard to diabetes medication and supplies. Be advised that each airline's policy is subject to change.

The Association has received a small number of complaints from passengers who have encountered difficulty when trying to pass through airport security with syringes and lancets. Should a passenger be denied boarding a flight or be faced with any other unforeseen diabetes related difficulty because of the FAA's security measures, he or she should contact the FAA grounds security commissioner, at the departing airport, who should be able to assist with resolution.

Keep up to date with airline protocols and security measures:
Contact the American Diabetes Association at 703-549-1500 ext. 2108 or
the FAA - Civil Aviation Security Division at 202-267-9863.

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