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[IP] traveling with a pump
I saw your message on the IP list about traveling with a pump. I'm not sure
anyone has responded to you yet, so I thought I would write.
Since Sept. 11, I have flown from Boise, ID to San Jose, CA and back. In
the Boise airport, I had my pump in plain sight on my belt. The woman at
the security checkpoint knew that it was a pump, but she still pulled me
aside for a search with the metal-detecting wand, and she frisked me (with
the back of her hands). I passed both inspections and was allowed to go on
to the gate.
In San Jose, I had a blazer on that covered my pump. I walked right through
the security checkpoint without any problems.
I put my spare infusion set in a bag that I checked. I was only going to be
gone one night, so I wasn't too worried about having lots of backup
equipment with me. I had changed my infusion set before I left and verified
that it was working correctly and was comfortable before I got on the
plane. I elected not to take any traditional syringes with me. However, if
you are going to Europe, you might not want to take such a cavalier attitude.
On my return trip, I was carrying medicine and several large syringes (I
travel to Stanford University for cancer treatment -- unrelated to
diabetes). I put the syringes in the bag that I checked and carried the
medicine (a liquid for injecting -- the bottle looks very much like an
insulin bottle) with me. They did not search the checked luggage, and the
medicine went through the x-ray machine at the security checkpoint without
raising any alarms.
I will be traveling again on Nov. 1 and 2. Michael was so kind as to post
the newest regulations regarding carrying labeled prescription items. I
plan to carry a vial of Humalog with the prescription label plus the
letters from my doctors. Hopefully, that will be sufficient.
Regarding the need to check in at the airport two hours in advance, I did
that and had 1.5 hours to wait at the gate. Of course, different airports
might require more time. Both the Boise and San Jose airports are small.
I strongly recommend you contact the airline(s) you will be flying on and
ask them what their policy is regarding sharp objects. Explain that you
will be carrying lancets and spare infusion sets. Ask them if prescription
labels and a letter from your doctor will be sufficient to allow you to
carry these items with you.
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