Can I bring insulin needles into a plane cabin?
Posted on 10 July 2020 by starttravel.co.uk
As a diabetic, you can bring insulin needles, syringes and pumps into a plane cabin if you have a letter from your GP stating why this is necessary. You should check with your airline if you need to take an insulin pump or CGM (Continuous Glucose Monitoring) device into the cabin.
Today's air travel security regulations prohibit a raft of items in plane cabins. These include no liquids over 100ml - and no sharps.
For diabetics, the 'no sharps' rule is highly relevant. Since diabetics need insulin - and the associated needles or syringes - in order to regulate their insulin levels, they need to bring this equipment into the plane cabin. Additionally, medicine should not be placed in stowed luggage since the sub-zero temperatures can degrade it.
However, this is only permitted if you carry a letter from your GP stating why you need the insulin and needle supplies and why they must be kept with you in the cabin. The same is true of other medical supplies you may need - such as liquid medicine (100ml+) or pills, which may be examined by immigration officials.
Tell security officials about liquid medicine over 100ml
If you're carrying more than 100ml of liquid medication, you'll also need to tell your airline. You'll be required to carry any medication separately and tell security officials as you approach the airside area of the airport.
What's allowed in your destination country?
Some countries have restrictions on particular medications. Contact the embassy or the high commission of your destination country to check.
Travelling with diabetes: What you need to take into the plane cabin
- Sufficient insulin
- Blood glucose meter and spare batteries
- Insulin syringes and pens
- Emergency contact details
- Medical alert bracelet or necklace
- Letter from your GP
- Sandwiches, biscuits, fruit etc. in case you need an energy hit
Getting additional insulin and medical supplies overseas
- Call your insulin manufacturer and ask about supplies in your destination country.
- Carry a recent prescription.
- Take your EHIC card for EU travel, so you can claim back medical supplies in the UK
- Double-check available insulin strengths - while the UK uses U-100, chemists at your destination may supply U-40 or U-80. The correct syringes must be used for each strength level.
- Check with your airline if you need to take an insulin pump or CGM (Continuous Glucose Monitoring) device into the plane cabin.
- If you need to remove your pump for the flight, take a backup administration method, such as an insulin pen.
Insulin pumps should not be taken through x-ray machines but can be passed through metal detectors.