Important Info About Traveling with a Pump

I just got back from a trip with my wife; my first since switching to pump use. I’d conducted a lot of research, trying to find out what I needed to know (both in terms of TSA checks, as well as common difficulties faced when traveling).

I came across some incredible facts that seem counterintuitive: Disconnect your pump at take off and landing. I wrote about it in my blog, which you can read here.


Thanks for writing about this. Sounds like you had a great trip.

That article you mentioned was written just after I got back from my last trip and explains why I had a BG of 54 when I arrived at my destination (I thought it was from lugging 2 suitcases around downtown because every elevator and escalator was out of order!). Next trip is at the end of this month so I’m definitely going to see what happens!
I wonder if someone could make a capsule/container for pumps to maintain sea level on a plane? TSA would probably take it away…

BTW, poutine is evil, isn’t it?

Hi @maggiejo. Thanks for the message.

I think you’re right about the TSA confiscating any new, improved products that would help us. Good luck with the next travel excursion. Let me know if this info helps you out.

And poutine is one of the most delicious evils I’ve come across. It was awesome. I’m trying to figure out how I can come across real cheese curds in Philadelphia.

This is one of those situations where each person should research and make his or her own decision.

For myself, cabin pressure is a non-issue. The reality is that take off and landing is such a short time. Your pump only gives a basal dose every 3 minutes… how much impact can it actually have? I’ve flown many many times over the 12 years I’ve used a pump. I’ve never had a problem with air bubbles or any other type of cabin pressure related pump problems.

I have had highs and lows with travel, but it happens whether I’m traveling by plane or car. I’m guessing it It has more to do with eating weird, being sedentary, and the excitement and stress of travel.

Not sure about finding cheese curds in Philly… I’ve only seen them in Wisconsin. Take care and safe travels.

We have cheese curds at DQ! :slight_smile: and i was always told to taking my pump off when going through any type on body scanning device. of course i was given hell and patted down when we dropped my boyfriend off last time. ah well the fun of being diabetic.

Cool! Another reason to love Dairy Queen. No one does a chocolate covered cone like they do.

I take off my pump and put it in my carry on when going through security. But I NEVER tell them I have a health condition or am carrying medical supplies. It guarantees a pat down and that my luggage will be tossed. If I say nothing I sail right through.

I’ve flown many times with my pump. After talking with a lot of diabetic frequent fliers, my routine is to wear it all through security. I tell them it’s on me before I go through any machines. The only thing that happens is that after I’ve gone through, they have me touch the pump, then they swipe my fingers with a pad and test it for chemicals. Takes 10 seconds and I’m on my way.

I’ve never disconnected during takeoff and landing, or looked at my pump. I’m going to check it out next time!

You’re lucky! I stopped declaring my pump or any medical supplies when it got me patted down for the 3rd time in a month. That final time I was traveling alone with my toddler son. He was wandering barefoot, unattended around the baggage claim while they tossed my luggage and gave me a pat down. Next to an elderly nun, who was also being patted down. Seriously.

I worked for a former airport commissioner and learned that most TSA regulations are reactionary and do little more than provide the appearance of security. For a class I did research on violations committed by the TSA. It’s been a few years and I’m sure there are better sources in more recent years, but if you’re interested I used:
Burr, Thomas. “TSA Undergoes Congressional-Style Pat-Down.” The Salt Lake Tribune.

Fox, Maggie. “No Proof Airport Security Makes Flying Safer: Study.” Reuters.

Goldberg, Jeffrey. “The Things He Carried.” The Atlantic. November 2008. Web. 3 June 2011.

Schneier, Bruce. Beyond Fear. New York: Copernicus Books, 2003. Print.

Totten, Michael J. “Forget the Porn Machines: How Israelis Secure Airports.” New York Post.