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TSA Cares: What to Expect when Flying with Meds

Tuesday, November 14, 2017
Medication

Traveling with medication can be a challenge if you are not sure how to pack it when flying. Bottom line: medication is okay to place in your carry-on or checked baggage in any form.

Watch this video to learn what to expect next time you fly:

What about the 3-1-1 liquids rule?

Liquid medication greater than 3.4 ounces is allowed in carry-on baggage. Just let the TSA officer know at the start of your screening process. Keep in mind, medically required liquids will be subjected to additional screening. Other liquids must follow the 3-1-1 liquids rule. Read more helpful tips in this blog post.

Have additional questions?

Learn more by visiting our page on disabilities and medical conditions. You can also email TSA Cares or call (855) 787-2227 or federal relay 711. You can also reach out to our AskTSA team via Twitter at @AskTSA or via Facebook Messenger. We have a team standing by from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET on weekdays and 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekends and holidays.

TSA Social Media

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Comments

Submitted by CC, BSN,RN on

Congratulations on an excellent BLOG concerning carrying medications on a flight.

Submitted by RB on

Except when individual TSA screeners decide to confiscate certain meds like nitroglycerin pills.

Submitted by RB on

Oh, I would like to ask a question at @AskTSA but TSA would rather violate citizens CIVIL RIGHTS by blocking access to that taxpayer funded resource.

Submitted by Chip on

"...Bottom line: medication is okay to place in your carry-on or checked baggage in any form."

Except when a front-line agent decides it isn't.

Like asking passengers with Insulin Pumps to get in the scanner boxes even though Doctors have said not too.

Like when you harass a passenger for putting multiple medications into a single prescription bottle to make it easier to carry but the bottle has an expired label.

You will have to forgive me if your assurance about bottom lines is less than believable.

Like when

Submitted by Pump User on

As an insulin pump user, getting attitude or medical advice from the screener infuriates me. I don't care how many TSA screeners tell me that the body scanner isn't going to hurt my pump, I'm not going through the body scanner until the manufacturer says it is safe. Threatening me with a full body patdown isn't going to make me go in the scanner. Mocking me isn't going to make me go in the scanner.

Fortunately my new pump can go through the scanner. Of course it always leads to a patdown because the scanner detects it. Now it's just a localized patdown instead of the full body one.

Submitted by RB on

TSA screeners seem to have a passion for practicing medicine without a license. That's why some of them confiscate certain life saving heart medications.

Submitted by Blocked Citizen on

Why does TSA continue to violate citizen Civil Rights by blocking access to TSA Social Media accounts i.e., @AskTSA and @TSA?

Submitted by Jordan on

TSA at Denver International was an embarrassment and shameful. It was honestly like Soviet Poland in the 1980’s. Please remember that with power, comes responsibility and not abuse. I’m embarrassed as an American for the treatment I received.

Submitted by Anonymous on

My wife wants me to bring a metal Texas longhorn garden knome with me when I fly to Colorado. Can I carry this on? It's pretty small but wanted to check before I head to the airport.

Submitted by Scared on

I see from the video that we are now required to remove prescription medications from our carryons.

Why is this required? Are you planning on making a larger announcement, as this is a new policy that has never been required before.

If I have high blood pressure or diabetes, will I be required to present a notification card and discuss this with your Officers? Will they be making medical decisions about what pills I am allowed to take and how many?

Submitted by Anonymous on

I appreciate the work TSA performs to keep us safer when flying. Although there are general guidelines and policies in place, TSA sometimes needs to act more conservatively for the safety of the public. How would the public react if a terrorist incident occurred because a passenger whined and got through with less scrutiny?

Submitted by RB on

Submitted by Anonymous on Thu, 2017-11-23 18:34
I appreciate the work TSA performs to keep us safer when flying. Although there are general guidelines and policies in place, TSA sometimes needs to act more conservatively for the safety of the public. How would the public react if a terrorist incident occurred because a passenger whined and got through with less scrutiny?
.......................

Seeing as how TSA is missing somewhere around of 80% of test threat items I don't think a whining passenger is the major issue facing TSA.

Submitted by Chip In Florida on

"...How would the public react if a terrorist incident occurred because a passenger whined and got through with less scrutiny?"

You are assuming that the TSA could stop a terrorist with any level of scrutiny. Which is a huge assumption on your part. Or you are new to these parts and haven't figured out how completely useless and ineffective the TSA really is. The comment section of this blog, well of the old blog since very little of the old blog came forward, is full of dozens (maybe even hundreds) of ways to get WEI past the checkpoint. And none of us are actual terrorists so just imagine what an actual terrorist could do with even half a mind to do something terrible.

Don't believe me? I'll give you an easy one.... the 3-1-1 rule. Some special blend of liquids is supposedly dangerous enough to take down an aircraft. Because of this, we the travelling public have to limit our liquids to containers of 3 ounces (3.1 ounces specifically, thanks metrics). You can, however, cram as many of these three ounce bottles into a zippy bag. I can get seven in a bag, you could probably strain the edges and get eight, but lets just keep it simple and say seven. I can't take a twenty ounce container with any amount of liquid through security but I can take an empty one. Once I get through security I take my zippy bag out, pour all the small containers into the big container and et-voila! I now have the twenty ounces of liquid in the 'sterile' side of the airport. Seven small containers is safer than one large container how, exactly?

Submitted by West Cooper on

The items mentioned in the video are liquids, gels, aerosols, creams and pastes larger than 3.4 ozs in size. Removal of over-sized liquids and gels has been a requirement for several years, whether they are prescription or not. We are simply reinforcing that requirement with the mention in this video. Medications in pill form, or that are smaller than 3.4 ozs in size, re allowed to remain in the bag, but are still subject to screening like all other items that come in through the checkpoints.

*To reiterate, if your medications can not be X-Rayed, we have alternative screening processes we can use to clear them.

TSA Blog Team

Submitted by West Cooper on

First, I am glad the new pump allows you the ability to take advantage of other forms of screening that we offer.

Second - TSOs should always be professional and courteous, no exceptions. If you feel that TSOs have not been professional, or you feel that they are giving you wrong information, please contact the local supervisor in the checkpoint as you are coming through. If you feel uncomfortable doing that, please use the following online complaint link. If you have further questions or wish to communicate with TSA, please visit the TSA Contact page.

TSA Blog Team

Submitted by West Cooper on

I apologize, I meant to include more information in my original response to you. You are not required to present a notification card. Discussion of medical conditions or equipment are to determine the best way to screen you as a passenger, or to screen your items. Generally, these questions will involve mobility (are you able to stand or walk? are you ablel to stand for 3-5 minutes to complete the patdown), or the need for items (are these medications or medically necessary?) to be carried through the checkpoint.

If you feel that the questions asked by the TSOs go beyond the normal conversation used to determine the screening process, then please contact the supervisor in the checkpoint area as it happens. If you are uncomfortable with speaking to the supervisor on scene, then please contact TSA here.

TSA Blog Team

Submitted by Chip In Florida on

"...or the need for items (are these medications or medically necessary?)"

What qualifications do any of your employees have to refute my answer? I say yes to the 'medically necessary' answer how can any agent disagree?

Submitted by Not West on

Don't bother with the TSA Contact page. I've attempted to use it just to be completely ignored. The online complaint link might get a reply if you have a video go viral that the TSA can't ignore.

Submitted by Scared on

Thank you for your response, but it doesn't fully address my question.

I now understand that the card itself is not mandatory because I can tell your officer about my conditions. Assuming I have no need for special accommodation, what medical conditions am I required to disclose? Almost 10% of Americans have diabetes, and more than 77 million Americans have high blood pressure. Do we all need special permission from a TSA Officer to fly>

Submitted by Katherine Kinnally on

No one has mentioned travelling with nutritional formula for someone with a feeding tube. I have been stopped many times, patted down, held up and insulted. One agent even asked me if it was dog food. One told me that it wasn't necessar7y. Does she have an MD?

Submitted by Anonymous on

This gave me more questions than answers. "Disability Notification Card"? Do I need something special in order to bring my non-liquid medications??

Submitted by Heather RN BSN on

Flying with my daughter's liquid prescription as I have done for 4 years ! I showed the agent it was in a zip lock bag he confirmed "leave it out its fine. This nasty TSA agent insisted I open a sealed from the pharmacy NEW bottle clearly labeled with my child's name . She then tested it. When she heard my daughter say we are going to miss the plane she proceeded to go very slowly and search the rest of my bag. We missed our flight. She wouldn't give her name and badge was covered. I got her photo. This is blatant abuse of her power. Informed "new law they have to test liquid medicine ! I am outraged she purposely caused us to miss our flight. How is it ok to insert a dirty object into a medication? Unacceptable

Submitted by Heather RN BSN on

Flying with my daughter's liquid prescription as I have done for 4 years ! I showed the agent it was in a zip lock bag he confirmed "leave it out its fine. This nasty TSA agent insisted I open a sealed from the pharmacy NEW bottle clearly labeled with my child's name . She then tested it. When she heard my daughter say we are going to miss the plane she proceeded to go very slowly and search the rest of my bag. We missed our flight. She wouldn't give her name and badge was covered. I got her photo. This is blatant abuse of her power. Informed "new law they have to test liquid medicine ! I am outraged she purposely caused us to miss our flight. How is it ok to insert a dirty object into a medication? Unacceptable

Submitted by West Cooper on

Anon sez - "This gave me more questions than answers. "Disability Notification Card"? Do I need something special in order to bring my non-liquid medications??"

No. The card is not required for non-liquid medications. These cards are to help communicate special needs and/or certain types of limitations that an individual may have. It is not a requirement.

TSA Blog Team

Submitted by Melissa on

SAME thing happened to me at Albany airport this morning and when I asked why she had to open a sealed medication and that Orlando airport didnt she yelled OR I CAN GIVE YOU A PAT DOWN! I was like ok sure why not??? I just didnt want sealed medication opened. The liquid testing had been previously explained to me by a TSA agent and they stated it didnt have to be opened. She wanted to feel she had power. She just had to feel special in her little airport job. Uncalled for.

Submitted by Traveling Soon on

Thanks for posting this question. I want to know the answers to this, too.