TSA Travel Tips: Travelers with Diabetes or other Medical Conditions

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Tuesday, April 1, 2014
diabetes stock photo

If you are being treated for diabetes or some other medical condition and have concerns about TSA’s screening process, please contact the TSA Cares Helpline. Travelers or families of passengers with disabilities and medical conditions can call the helpline toll free 855-787-2227, prior to traveling with any questions about screening policies, procedures and what to expect at the security checkpoint.

Helpful information for diabetic travelers:

  • Diabetes related supplies, equipment, and medication, including liquids, are allowed through the checkpoint once they have been screened. Passengers should declare these items and separate them from other belongings before screening begins.
  • Accessories required to keep medically necessary liquids, gels, and aerosols cool are permitted through the screening checkpoint and may be subject to additional screening.
  • Liquids, gels, and aerosols are screened by X-ray and medically necessary items over 3.4 ounces will receive additional screening. A passenger could be asked to open the liquid or gel for additional screening. The TSA officer will not touch the liquid or gel during this process. If the passenger does not want a liquid, gel, or aerosol X-rayed or opened for additional screening, he or she should inform the officer before screening begins. Additional screening of the passenger and his or her property may be required, which may include a pat-down. You have the option of requesting a visual inspection of your insulin and diabetes associated supplies.
  • Passengers who have insulin pumps can be screened using imaging technology, metal detector, or a thorough pat-down. A passenger can request to be screened by pat-down in lieu of imaging technology. Screening can be conducted without disconnecting from the pump. However, it is important to let the officer know about the pump before the screening process begins.
  • Regardless of whether passengers are screened using imaging technology or metal detectors, insulin pumps are subject to additional screening. Under most circumstances, this will include the passenger conducting a self pat-down of the insulin pump followed by an explosive trace detection sampling of the hands.
  • Be sure to let an officer know if your sugar is dropping during screening or if you need medical assistance.

TSA wants to ensure both a safe and pleasant experience for all travelers by making the screening process as seamless as possible.

See you next week with more TSA travel tips!

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Bob Burns
TSA Blog Team

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