Tuesday, September 24, 2013

TSA Travel Tips Tuesday - Traveling With Medication



Photo Courtesy of NIH
One of the more popular questions we get from travelers is: “Can I travel with my medication.” The answer is yes, with some qualifiers. Here are a few tips that you might find helpful.

  • You can bring your medication in pill or solid form in unlimited amounts as long as it is screened.
  • Medication in liquid form is allowed in carry-on bags in excess of 3.4 ounces in reasonable quantities for the flight. It is not necessary to place medically required liquids in a zip-top bag. However, you must tell the officer that you have medically necessary liquids at the start of the screening checkpoint process. Medically required liquids will be subjected to additional screening that could include being asked to open the container.
  • You can travel with your medication in both carry-on and checked baggage. It’s highly recommended you place these items in your carry-on in the event that you need immediate access.
  • TSA does not require passengers to have medications in prescription bottles, but states have individual laws regarding the labeling of prescription medication with which passengers need to comply.
  • Medication is usually screened by X-ray; however, if a passenger does not want a medication X-rayed, he or she may ask for an inspection instead. This request must be made before any items are sent through the X-ray tunnel.

For more information, you can contact:

  • The Contact Center hours are Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 11 p.m., Eastern time; weekends and federal holidays, 9 a.m. – 8 p.m., Eastern time. The TCC can be reached at 866-289-9673. Passengers can also reach out to the TSA Contact Center (TCC) with questions about TSA procedures, upcoming travel or to provide feedback or voice concerns.
  • Travelers or families of passengers with disabilities and medical conditions may call the TSA Cares helpline toll free 855-787-2227, 72 hours prior to traveling with any questions about screening policies, procedures and what to expect at the security checkpoint. A TSA Cares helpline representative is available during all TSA Contact Center hours.

See you next Tuesday with more travel tips! Until then, check out some of our previous Travel Tips Tuesday posts if you haven’t already.



If you have a travel related issue or question that needs an immediate answer, you can contact us by clicking here.

30 comments:

Anonymous said...

Your statement that "TSA does not require passengers to have medications in prescription bottles, but states have individual laws regarding the labeling of prescription medication with which passengers need to comply." The latter part of the sentence is not clear. Does it have something to do with some states requiring that medication must be in a prescription bottle while in transit?

Anonymous said...

"Medication in liquid form is allowed in carry-on bags in excess of 3.4 ounces in reasonable quantities for the flight."

What medical training do TSOs receive to determine what is a "reasonable" amount?

A passenger about to board a quick hour flight might be connecting to an international itinerary that won't get him to his destination for 30 more hours.

So again, what's "reasonable"?

Susan Richart said...

Bob, are TSA screeners qualified to determine how much liquid medication one might need for a flight? What medical training do TSA screeners have to be able to make such a determination?

Some screener on a power trip could literally kill a passenger if said screener made a determination that the passenger was carrying too much liquid medication.

As a matter of fact, a screener determined recently that a passenger could not take his nitroglycerin pills on a flight because they were "explosive." That person could have died without the prescribed medication should there have been a cardiac emergency.

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/21024500-post16.html

screenshot

Anonymous said...

I'm going on a trip for one month and I need to bring a medication in a liquid form. My one month supply will significantly exceed your 100 ml maximum. As I read your blog, I can only bring enough for the flight. Is this really true?

Most people I talk to say to take my medications in my carry on to assure I have it at my destination. Since I'll have several 250 ml containers, will the Airport Security Screeners really make me check them?

Wintermute said...

So, how can a non-medically trained TSO determine when a medication in liquid form is a "reasonable quantity for the flight." Also, you later recommend medicines be packed in carry-on, not checked, so should that not be "reasonable for the duration of the trip?" And again, what medical training do TSOs receive in order to make this determination?

Bexie said...

It is also worth remembering that the low temperatures my destabilise some formulations eg insulin. So if someone is travelling for a few days or weeks, they will need to take it into the cabin. I wonder what the guidance from TSA is on this

Melissa Newman said...

It seems that after all regulations around medicines aren't so bad, which is fair as some passengers will need their medicines with them all the time. I do agree though with the comment left by Wintermute because unless TSO stuff is medically trained, how can they get involved with such as delicate issue?

Anonymous said...

It's good that your policy says that liquid medication is allowed. However, what should a passenger do if one of your screeners feels that the amount of liquid medication is too much? What should a passenger do in that situation?

In most cases, the passenger will be allowed to pass with no issues. However, it only takes one screener who makes up their own rules to make life miserable. It's scary that someone who likely has no medical training and is unfamiliar with the condition being treated could prevent a passenger from travelling with their medicine.

Tracy said...

Bob, please clarify the following statement:

"You can bring your medication in pill or solid form in unlimited amounts as long as it is screened."

Does this mean that I can leave my pill bottle(s) in my carry-on luggage or does it mean that my pill bottle(s) need to be in a 1 quart baggie to be screened separately?

RB said...

Why not answer the many questions asking how any TSA screener has the training to determine how much of a liquid medicine a person might require.

Are is honesty too hard for TSA?

Anonymous said...

Hmm, don't I remember a recent incident where TSA agents took it upon themselves to determine that a properly-declared medical liquid was somehow "not a medical liquid"?

Anonymous said...

Let's stop all this fuss about the amount of medication.

Common sense applies here. If a person is so sick that the amount of medications exceeds 100ml, then that person should not be traveling at all. The safety and security of the greater whole of the traveling public demands adherence to carefully thought out TSA rules.

Let's all work together for a strong nation.

Bubba said...

Since you are talking about liquid medications, I would like to bring back the unanswered question I brought about a few weeks ago regarding liquid toiletries:

You claim that over 100 mL deodorant is not allowed, while more than 100 mL stick deodorant is because you can´t tell if the liquid deodorant isn´t an explosive. So how is it you can tell that the stick deodorant isn´t an explosive? Fact is, explosives come in all states of matter.

I would very much appreciate an answer to this question that has been bothering me for quite a while - I have a very difficult time following rules that make no sense to me.

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the TSA could just go away? Nobody wants them in any of the airports, they don't make anyone safer, and they are a tremendous waste of taxpayer money.

So, once again, just go away, and let us all fly unmolested.

Nico Fire said...

It seems that after all regulations around medicines aren't so bad, which is fair as some passengers will need their medicines with them all the time. I do agree though with the comment left by Wintermute because unless TSO stuff is medically trained, how can they get involved with such as delicate issue?

Anonymous said...

We might believe you more if events like what happened to Sai, the mothers and breast milk incidents, the insulin pump incidents, the ostomy bag incident, the adult diaper incidents, the baby diaper incidents, the Peter Mayhew cane incident, the children in wheelchair incidents, the you-see-where-I'm-going-with-this incidents didn't happen so often, Bob.

Why do TSA screeners without medical degrees think they get to play Doctor God with the flying public's health?

RB said...

Seems odd that posting of commnets stop when questions start being asked of TSA that TSA doesn't care to address.

Another demonstration of the lack of integrity and honesty on the part of TSA employees.

Chris Boyce said...

OK, Bob, to amplify what others have said, there are numerous documented instances of screening clerks deciding how much medicine, or breast milk, is sufficient for the flight. In many citizens' opinions, this constitutes the crime of practicing medicine without a license, unless the TSA is now requiring all screening clerks to have a medical degree and meet local certification requirements.

Just in case you don't believe me, here is a definition of the crime of practicing medicine without a license from FindLaw.com: http://tinyurl.com/pbsy7ks.

Nadine Hays is presently engaged in a long & drawn-out lawsuit against you on this very issue. Rest assured, if I ever need to fly with liquid medicine, that I will be recording the entire encounter and will be prepared to file felony charges if necessary.

Second point: From your own website, you state that you will not open liquid medicine: http://tinyurl.com/ljjxdxg, which contradicts what you said in your post.

CCEMTP-CCP-FpC said...

Bob if thats the case care to explain the actions by TSA employees at PHX in reguards to Stacy Amato????????????????


Congrats since my last comment was censored... yet again (so much for the 1st amendment & federal rules for websites and blogs). Complaint filed with the OIG and copied to congress critters that hold DHS/TSA purse strings.

Anonymous said...

" If a person is so sick that the amount of medications exceeds 100ml, then that person should not be traveling at all."

And you got your medical degree where, exactly?

Medication is not dangerous to any aircraft; as long and the amount fits in a passenger's carry-on, it's none of TSA's concern how much of it that passenger carries.

RB said...

You folks should note that TSA, Bob Burns, nor any of the other members of the TSA Blog Team had the backbone to step up and respond to the many questions asking how a TSA screener is qualified to determine how much liquid medicine a person requires.

This is an perfect example of why TSA is bad for America.

No ethics, integrity, or honesty, that is TSA!

Anonymous said...

The only problem I see in airport security is the delay caused when something out of the ordinary stops the lines. For that reason, I believe people with medical conditions or elderly or children or handicapped be put through a line specifically for them.

That way normal people can go through the lines quickly, benefiting everyone.

RB said...

Still waiting for this question to be answered; what qualifications does a TSA screener have to determine how much LGA medicine a person may need?

RB said...

Anonymous said...The only problem I see in airport security is the delay caused when something out of the ordinary stops the lines. For that reason, I believe people with medical conditions or elderly or children or handicapped be put through a line specifically for them. That way normal people can go through the lines quickly, benefiting everyone.September 30, 2013 at 10:01 PM

----------------------------------

A special line with minimal screening since it is very unlikely that any of these people pose a security threat.

GSOLTSO said...

Tracy asked - "Does this mean that I can leave my pill bottle(s) in my carry-on luggage or does it mean that my pill bottle(s) need to be in a 1 quart baggie to be screened separately?"

Pill or solid types of medicine may stay in the bag to be screened, they do not have to be removed like the 3-1-1 compliant baggies or declared exempt liquid medicines.

West
TSA Blog Team

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous said...

The only problem I see in airport security is the delay caused when something out of the ordinary stops the lines. For that reason, I believe people with medical conditions or elderly or children or handicapped be put through a line specifically for them."

That would be blatant discrimination and in violation of the ADA - but then again, the TSA violates the ADA every single day, multiple times a day.

[screen shot]

RB said...

What qualifications does a TSA screener have to determine how much LGA type medicine (or any other medicine) a person may need?

Why the silence TSA? Not that hard of a question or is TSA just confiscating things they know nothing about?

Like Nitroglycerine medicine?

Cathy said...

My liquid Rx is 180 mg per labelled container, 12 containers for this particular trip. I'm also disabled (according to "Anonymous, not a "normal" person). I've never had a problem with TSA screening, simply because I find out what's expected of me then do it. Yes, we're slowly losing many of our freedoms but to keep the future as safe as possible for my grandchildren and yours, why can't some of you bloggers with ridiculous complaints just research what is expected then do it? People WILL work with you but if you insist on being antagonistic it's your own fault if you're getting extra scrutiny.

Anonymous said...

You missed the point, Cathy. The point is that some screener could someday determine that you have too much liquids meds with you and just arbitrarily take them away, IN SPITE OF THE FACT THAT YOU FOLLOWED THE RULES.

tramky said...

Antagonism toward the security policies of the DHS does NOT make me a threat to anything. I do NOT like TSA checkpoints, and am cooperative just enough at them to get through smoothly (except for the knife stolen by a TSA supervisor at SFO, the same knife that had been handled and handed back to me by 3 TSA agents at other airports on previous occasions).

The TSA should NOT be AT ALL concerned with whether a passenger is compliant with local or foreign laws, ONLY whether the passenger presents a realistic risk to the flight they are boarding. This is to say that if Osama bin Laden had gone through American airports and passed through a TSA screening, he should have been permitted to fly. Wants, warrants, terror lists and all the risk have NOTHING to do with the flight of an airplane. Neither do local laws wherever an airport is located. And neither do laws and watch lists of OTHER countries.

But the TSA is the gateway for EVERY law enforcement agency IN THE WORLD.

Attitude? You bet we have attitude.