Travel issues

This will be my first time traveling and having diabetes T1, have no idea what should I do at the airport. Do I tell them about the needles and the insulin? Is it an issues? Please hel me out guys....thank you!!!!

You have to disclose all medicines and medical supplies before going through the metal detector/xray machine. It's typically best if it's in a clear plastic bag because then they can see everything that's in the bag. It's usually not a big deal at all as they usually get this all the time. You can just say something simple like "I'm a diabetic. These are my supplies." Don't hide anything or they'll get suspicious. They may make you have a pat down search instead of walking through the machine, but that's fairly common practice as well. For me, it's usually been fairly quick and easy.

I've never had an issue with traveling and diabetes. I have a form from my doctor stating that I am diabetic, but I've never had to use it. If you where a pump just disconnect and put it with your cell phone. There really shouldn't be an issue. Im sure they get diabetics and people with other diseases that require medicine quite often :)


I was diagnosed while living in Australia and traveled back and forth several times, many flights across the U.S. and even one trip to Brazil. I used to declare that I was a insuline dependent diabetic at the screeners but quickly realized most of them don't care.


I do declare that I am diabetic to the airline when booking my tickets, this means I get the special diabetic meal. I find most of the time that it isn't much different than the normal meal. However, you do get your meal first before they start handing them out to everybody else.


When I go through the screening process I have my supplies in my normal bag in the tray. Many times when traveling I will also have one of those insulated lunch box-bag-things with a good supply of both my insulin types, extra needles, and those blue-ice things to keep it cold. I don't want to risk losing my luggage and being without my insulin. In all my traveling, only once did they ask to inspect the bag. I have a letter from my doctor stating what medicine I am on, which I have made lots of photocopies of. I keep one copy of the letter all m luggage, one in my insulin bag, one in my lunch bag, one in my laptop case, with my tickets and passports, etc.  Anyway, he glanced in, looked at the letter from my doctor, and just nodded his head. He didn't even check if it was actually insulin.


One time one of the screeners in front of the machines, who was just helping make sure people spread out into the different lines in an orderly fashion, asked me what was in the lunch bag. I told him diabetes supplies. He had just seen me throw away half a bottle of water. He told me that as a diabetic I was allowed to take liquid with me onto the plane.  I've never looked that up or tried it.


Sorry to ramble on, I just joined and this is my first post to the board.  To summarize.

  • Tell the airline your are diabetic when booking. You can always call them on the phone after booking as well. If you didn't at least tell the person at the counter when you check in. It might be too late to get a diabetic meal by then, but it is good for them to know.
  • Have a letter from your doctor, on his stationary, stating that you are diabetic and what medicine you are taking. If he doesn't have stationary, staple one of his business cards to the letter.  Then photocopy it a bunch of times and stash the copies all over the place in all your bags and in every place you have your supplies.
  • Make sure you have plenty of insulin for your trip just in case you get stranded somewhere. 
  • Pack a separate supply of insulin in case you loose one. I keep most of mine on me, plenty for double the expected stay, and then a small supply in my checked in luggage.  


Don't disconnect your pump! It's not supposed to go through x-ray machines. I've never had a problem traveling, just put your pump in your pocket or inside of your waistband and wear a shirt that covers the bulge. It won't set off the metal detector and they've never stopped me. If they do stop you explain it's an insulin pump and show them thats it is connected to your body and you can't take it off.

I travel very often and I have never had a problem! I also carry a note from my doctor and prescriptions just in case.

I've travelled hundreds of times and I have never disclosed anything.  I do carry a letter from my doctor that I will produce only if asked.  I have never had a problem with my syringes/supplies going through the metal detector -- never once have I been asked or been brought over for additional screening.

I am the same as Stephanie. Also I am not on the pump. However, I have traveled around the world as a diabetic. Keep your supplies with you in your carry on bags. If your luggage gets lost, you don't want to have to replace the medications. It can be done, but most countries have their own rules for filling prescriptions. Actually, just in case, look up on Lonely Planet or Fodor's the countries policy for refilling prescriptions. I broke my bottle of Lantus while in Jamaica and luckily had a Lonely Planet handy to find out what to do.

Put your stuff in a clear plastic bag and keep all the pharmacy information with it. I put it all in the original boxes with the pharmacy sticker on it. I have never needed a doctor's form, but you might was well get one too. I put my carryon on the scanner and walk right through the xray. Only once did I get stopped, but I said "I am a diabetic" and they let me go and didn't even search my bag.

I do give myself extra time to go through security in case they do decide to search me. Just in case.

Make sure to bring a signed note from your endo stating, you are diabetic, and you have ______ supplies you need to carry with you at all times. Your endo or cde will know how to write this. If the attendants at the airport/plane give you any trouble, you will have backup.

You should carry a note from the doc as a back up.  I have one but traveling in the states, I've never had to produce it.  I flew from LA to NY yesterday, didn't mention that I had diabetes or was on the pump and got right through.  I leave my pump on and 9 times out of 10 I get through the metal detector just like I did yesterday.  If I beep, I'll say it was my insulin pump and they'll swab it but that's it.  My carry on went through the x-ray yesterday too with all my supplies - insulin, syringes, bg monitor, and pump supplies - they didn't even look.  The few times they look, I just tell them and get right through - it's usually not a big deal.  Not sure how it is going overseas.  Good luck.

I've travelled regionally and internationally and never had a problem with anything diabetes related. I don't even tell them about it, they have the x-ray machine and high school educations, they can figure out what stuff is. I was worried about it the first time I traveled internationally for work, but was given no trouble. I also found out this last time traveling through Logan International in Boston that you do not have to disconnect your pump and send it through the x-ray thing...but I had been just to avoid trouble.

Never use doctor's notes or anything. TSA is pretty understanding and, I would assume, used to seeing diabetics and their supplies going through.