In the last few years, air travel security measures have changed significantly in the United States and abroad. Because traveling with diabetes necessitates traveling with medical sharps, there are some extra steps you may need to take to ensure access to your testing supplies while flying.
Insulin. Keep all original packaging and paperwork that come with your insulin so you can present the original printed pharmaceutical label for the medication at the airport security checkpoint. The same applies for Glucagon kits. Syringes will be allowed past security only if the accompanying medication is properly labeled.
Meters. The FAA will allow glucose meters and lancets in suitcases or carry-on baggage as long as meters are clearly marked with the manufacturer and/or brand name. Lancets should be capped and properly stored with the meter.
Pumps. If you wear an insulin pump, inform airport security personnel and request that they visually inspect it rather than removing it. Have insulin documentation with you. If screeners insist you remove your insulin pump, ask to speak with a security checkpoint supervisor.
Allow plenty of time to get through these checkpoints. Plan on an additional 30 to 60 minutes in addition to whatever your airline is advising for advance arrival time.
Reviewed by Francine Kaufman, MD. 4/08
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I'm sitting waiting for a table at the cafe' for me and a friend who is running a bit late. Feeling a little off, I grab my test kit and poke my finger, getting a little blood droplet. "Does that hurt?" Asks the man sitting next to me. He's an older guy, with some pretty profound ear hair. I note the ear hair as I say "Sort of... I think I'm kind of used to it now. I've been doing it a long time." My sugar is a little elevated...