Air Travel with an Insulin Pump

Hello Everyone!

So I am going to this conference for work and just found out that we are traveling by air. It is not my first time traveling in the air and with diabetes, but that time was different as I was barley diagnosed and was still on injections. This time, I am on an insulin pump and am worried about traveling with it especially through security.

I was wondering if anyone out there has traveled in the air with an insulin pump that can give me some tips about advocating for myself properly, especially at the security check point. Or what are things that I should have to make sure my travel is without a hitch?

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I am still MDI but on CGM. We all diabetics go through TSA, thousands of us every day through all the major airports around the world. Probably the most important thing you can do for starters is to stop worrying. We and our toys are nothing special to TSA, they see pumps and CGMs all day long. Just ask for a pat down and they will have you rub your pump and CGM if you have one and then they will wand your hands to test for explosives.

It will take you 20 - 30 seconds longer to go through security than a non-diabetic.

I use a t:Slim that doubles as my Dexcom receiver. Although I don’t fly all of the time, I have Global Entry which puts me in the TSA Precheck line. Why does that matter? Because in most airports, TSA Precheck goes through a simple metal detector rather than the high tech millimeter scanner.

In any event, I always pack a plastic bag, take my pump off just before getting in the security line (at the same time I’m removing keys, change, belt buckles,etc) put the pump in the plastic bag which gets put in either a jacket pocket on in my carryon bag. Then I go through security just like a “normal” person … and put my pump back on at the same time that I’m hitching up my pants and putting my belt back on.

I’ve gone the strip search and pat-down approach too, but find pump removal quicker and easier …

Good luck,


I do what John does, but since I don’t have Precheck, I remove my pump, put it in the plastic baggie I brought with me, and ask that it be hand-inspected. Sometimes it takes longer than at other times, but usually not more than a couple of extra minutes.

According to Medtronic:

Insulin Pumps, Personal CGM and Security
You can continue to wear your insulin pump or continuous glucose monitor (CGM) while going through common security systems such as an airport metal detector as it will not harm the device or trigger an alarm. Do not send the devices through the x-ray machine.
You need to remove your insulin pump and CGM (sensor and transmitter) while going through an airport body scanner. If you do not wish to remove your devices, you may request an alternative pat-down screening process
Notify security screeners that you have diabetes, that you are wearing an insulin pump and are carrying supplies with you.


We have traveled quite a lot and have had different approaches from full declaration, a file of prescriptions and a doctor’s note, to, oh right, you have medical stuff and just went through security. :slight_smile:

My son is the one with type 1. He’s flown with OmniPod, Dexcom, Medtronic and Loop. His course of action is to put anything packed through the luggage scanner and he walks though scanners with all his stuff attached. If he goes through the full body scanner which will discover his devices, he takes them out after he walks through and offers them for swabbing. He has never had anyone question anything or ask for prescriptions. He’s traveled both domestically in the US and internationally.

Do what you are comfortable doing. I felt security in knowing we had everything in order when we first started traveling. Having gone through without any technical issues, I have built confidence - maybe we’ve just been lucky though!

Good luck and safe travels!

I tell the TSA agents the I am opting out. This is their jargon for requesting a pat down. I do not remove anything or allow it to go through any xray or scanning device. Sometimes I have to wait for an agent to become available to perform the pat down. If traveling alone be sure to keep and eye on the items you have put through the scanner as they will be done before you are. Even after these cautions my pump acted up while on vacation (OMG) and when I called customer support it was probably being in close proximity to the devices used at security.

My wife and I get wanded. Avoid the back-scatter scanner or whatever that thing is called. Don’t let pump get x-rayed either. The one thing that is ok is the metal detector. If you walk thru and it goes off, you will be wanded. Sadly, they feel us up in a disgusting manner, with their gloved hands and wipe the pump with a cloth and check it for explosive residue with a machine. I have hated flying with a passion since TSA checks.