The American Diabetes Association is proud to provide the following travel tips developed by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) in conjunction with our assistance. These tips will help ensure the safety and convenience of travelers with diabetes, while also keeping the traveling community as a whole safe and on-time. In addition to the information found below, additional guidance is contained in TSA's Memorandum dated September 25, 2006 (PDF).
ADA continues to work with TSA to develop airport security checkpoint guidelines and protocol to ensure that passengers with diabetes are able to board with diabetes supplies and equipment, especially during those times when the nation's security threat level rises and screeners must react quickly to changes in security checkpoint screening protocol. In addition, TSA takes great strides to ensure that security screeners are trained in the physical appearance, function and importance of diabetes equipment, medication and supplies.
The Association is pleased to provide ongoing assistance to TSA in the development of its training materials. The Association needs to be kept aware of any difficulties so that we may continue to provide feedback to TSA. If, at the end of your travels, you wish to report problems you encountered to the Association, please call 1-800-DIABETES.
Below is the most recent information generated by TSA regarding people traveling within the 50 states that need to board with diabetes medication, equipment, and supplies. TSA makes the following recommendations to airline passengers with diabetes.
Notify the screener that you have diabetes and are carrying your supplies with you. Please note that while TSA is not currently requiring a prescription label, it recommends having the label available to identify the medication in order to expedite the security check-point screening process. The following diabetes-related supplies and equipment are allowed through the checkpoint once they have been screened:
- Insulin and insulin loaded dispensing products (vials or box of individual vials, jet injectors, pens, infusers, and preloaded syringes) that are clearly identified with a prescription label containing a name that matches the passenger's name on his or her ticket..
- Other liquid prescription medicines such as Smylin, Byetta, or a Glucagon Emergency Kit that are clearly identified with a prescription label containing a name that matches the passenger's name on his or her ticket.
- Note that essential non-prescription liquid medicines (such as regular insulin, where in some states a prescription to dispense is not required) should be clearly labeled.
- Multiple containers of liquids and gels (including cakemate) to treat hypoglycemia. If containers are more than 3 ounces, then passengers need to declare these items to security checkpoint personnel.
- Unlimited number of unused syringes when accompanied by insulin or other injectable medication.
- Blood glucose meters, blood glucose meter test strips, continuous blood glucose monitors, lancets, alcohol swabs, meter-testing solutions, and monitor supplies.
- Insulin pump and insulin pump supplies (cleaning agents, batteries, plastic tubing, infusion kit, catheter, and needle).
- Urine ketone test strips.
- Unlimited number of used syringes when transported in Sharps disposal container or other similar hard-surface container.
In addition to the information providers above, it is recommended that passengers review TSA's 9/26/06 Q&A (PDF) regarding changes to liquids ban at airport security checkpoints.