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Flying for the first time since dx

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by HanksMom, Jan 25, 2011.

  1. HanksMom

    HanksMom Approved members

    Oct 25, 2010
    We are going to be flying for the first time since diagnosis - a two hour flight to Florida. Any tips/suggestions we might not be thinking of? Hank is still on MDI. Do we need a letter from our endo because of the insulin, syringes, etc? What about taking juice and snacks through security? Is there any issue with using the glucometer at the high altitudes of flying?

  2. Sarah Maddie's Mom

    Sarah Maddie's Mom Approved members

    Sep 23, 2007
    We have a letter, but we've never shown it. I just pack her D stuff in one carry on, with supplies in large zip-lock bags. And I pack a second kit, sans insulin, in the checked luggage. The insulin I just take in a little lunch cooler - ever for overseas flights - and we've never had a problem. Juice boxes ... it's hit or miss. Sometimes they let them through sometimes they take them away. It's a drag, just be prepared to buy more juice on the other side.

    Also, when Maddie was little, I used to tell the head flight attendant that I was traveling with an insulin dependent child. Maddie and I flew to London on our own a few times and it didn't hurt to have the flight attendants know that I wasn't being just an annoying passenger when I asked, again, for water.:p

    Oh, and Maddie tends to run higher on planes, could be the altitude, could be the excitement, could be the food.:rolleyes:

    Have fun!
  3. slpmom2

    slpmom2 Approved members

    May 16, 2008
    We always bring a letter, but have never had to show it. I also like to make sure we have plenty of time to get through security, since the D stuff has slowed us down at times (pat-downs, special checks of her pump, etc.). Keep all of your D supplies with you, not in your checked luggage, and make sure that you have basic supplies accessible from your seat; if she's low while you're sitting on the tarmac waiting to take off, you won't be able to get up to the overhead bins. I carry a water bottle for dd - fill it once we're through security - so we have it anytime. We don't use juice boxes, just glucose tabs, so I don't have experience with that, but you should be able to bring them through as D supplies; do be sure you have other sources of quick sugar available, too, just in case. And my dd tends to run high when flying, too - I assume it's from just sitting around.

    Have a good trip!
  4. Gracie'sMom

    Gracie'sMom Approved members

    Aug 26, 2009
    The TSA has the guidelines posted on their website, just FYI. We also had a letter that we didn't need to use. They recommend carrying all your D supplies in carry-on's. You never know where that luggage will end up. We just skipped over the juice and bought one after going thru security, and took glucose tablets and candy also which is no problem. We also bought her water after going thru security. It did take extra time but mostly because she's a pumper so she needed a pat-down. On MDI it should be quicker, they just might scrutinize her D supplies (one way they looked thru them carefully, on the other leg of the trip they barely glanced at them).
  5. hdm42

    hdm42 Approved members

    May 1, 2008
    We have a letter from the endo that not only says that he has D, but also that he has to have all his supplies with him on the plane.

    I take 2-3x the amount of supplies I think he'll need. I put it all in one carry on, including the small cooler bag with the insulin. I tell them what it is before it goes through the x-ray, so it doesn't get questioned.

    We carry water bottles that we fill once through security. Glucose tabs for lows, and lots of food for lows and/or snacking. You never know when you'll get delayed, and sometimes there's no food available.

    Give yourself extra time to deal with security. Sometimes it's easy and sometimes you get somebody who doesn't know that you're allowed to have all that stuff. You might want to print out the page from the TSA website that says that D supplies are exempt from the normal regs.

    have fun!
  6. Sarah Maddie's Mom

    Sarah Maddie's Mom Approved members

    Sep 23, 2007
    The only problem with putting all your supplies in one bag, even if it's carry on, is that if that bag is lost or stolen, then you're pretty much in a crisis. I like having a full, second kit of syringes, infusion sets, etc. in the checked bag, but if that worries you then at least pack a second kit in a separate carry on bag.:cwds:
  7. McKenna'smom

    McKenna'smom Approved members

    Jan 5, 2010
    We have flown a couple of times since DD's dx. We put all our supplies in our carry ons and have had no problems going through security. We told the TSA agents that we had a diabetic with us and they didn't even blink and eye and say "We see it all day long."
  8. Jen_in_NH

    Jen_in_NH Approved members

    Jan 12, 2009
    I get the letter each time we fly (so it's no more than a year old), and haven't ever needed it. No one's ever batted an eyelash at us. I was really suprised when his omnipod didn't even set off the metal detector.

    I would agree about having some supplies under the seat in front of you. Christopher started getting fussy and cranky while we were beginning to land, and I couldn't tell if it was his ears or his blood sugar. We checked, and it was his sugar (down to 42), but all of our juice was up above, and the flight attendants couldn't do anything since they were all seatbelted in to land. The lady behind me had some caramels that she gave us - funny watching a 2 1/2 year old try to eat caramel :cwds:
  9. swimmom

    swimmom Approved members

    Feb 23, 2007
    DD also gets highs flying. I find it trickier to pack non-carb foods that she likes that we can get through TSA. She's doesn't care much for nuts or beef jerky. We tried to take little portable peanut butter cups and was that ever a mistake. It's not a liquid or a solid and must have the consistency of some type of explosive because we drew a LOT of attention.
  10. NomadIvy

    NomadIvy Approved members

    May 20, 2010
    We've gotten juice boxes through security somehow...but usually they really won't allow anything liquid. We always pack more than what we need. Her "care" bag has all the supplies. My carry-on has lots of extras (3x more than what we'd need for the trip), and when we have more people (there's 6 of us in the family), each carries a source of sugar in their bags.
  11. Lawana

    Lawana Approved members

    Oct 6, 2008
    If you go to the TSA website, it clearly says in a very accomodating tone that any liquids that are medically necessary are allowed, including water. So I've taken them at their word. I print off the info from the website and carry water and juice with us. I've been told every time that water is not allowed. Then I show them the print out, and they usually ask for medical id or proof of diabetes, and we get the supervisor, but I've always been allowed at least one water. (It's amusing [after the fact] to be in possession of 2 water bottles, and have them confiscate only one! What would they do if I had 1 bottle of twice the capacity? Pour half of it out?;))
    To me, it's a matter of principle. They say it's allowed, then try to disallow what is clearly stated as being allowed. Sure, I could jump through their hoops, and purchase, at airport prices, things my D dd needs, but I also think it is completely unreasonble on TSA's part to have such accomodating policies in theory (to prove their reasonableness), only to have the reality be something completely different. And I'm willing to be a pita to get what is, after all, only reasonable.
    I also agree to pack 2 to 3 times as many supplies as you think you will need and place half in each of 2 different bags.
  12. Charliesmom

    Charliesmom Approved members

    Jan 8, 2009
    I always have the letter but never had to show it. I carry a backback as my carry on. I keep D supplies in another case that I can pull out easily if they need to look at stuff but they never have. I actually found a large makeup case at target that I really like to hold supplies. I also put extra supplies in checked bags with a copy of the letter, just in case.
    I don't pack juice boxes anymore to treat lows on the plane. I have started carrying fruit gummies and glucose tabs. I always carry at least granola bars just in case. We have had a bad experience flying before, well actually it was the not flying part that sucked. :rolleyes:
  13. BKKT10

    BKKT10 Approved members

    Jul 2, 2010
    I was told not to bring a letter from the dr. because it is something that can be forged; you should bring a copy of your prescription.

    That being said, we have never had any problems travelling, either on MDI or the pump. I usually go to the family/medical line, tell them I am travelling with needles and/or diabetic supplies, and they usually thank me for telling them and let us go through.
  14. mrcool

    mrcool Approved members

    Feb 24, 2009
    We always bring a letter from endo, describing his condition and what is needed. We've not been asked for it in US, but had to show it overseas. It just makes us feel safer. We pack one set of supplies for a carry-on and more supplies in check-in bag.

    We've never had issues with getting anything through security (syringes, juice boxes, insulin, etc.) I tell them in advance that my son is diabetic and usually they don't ask us anything more. We went to Florida 2 months after dx, it was easy to get through security, as he was still MDI.

    Things got a bit more complicated when we started pumping, because pump usually causes the metal detector to alarm, and we have to be patted down. But overall no issues. :)

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