Travelin Peeps with Diabetes

Hu there. I just started a new facebook group Travelin Peeps with Diabetes. It is intended to be a one-stop resource for those us us who travel - or want to while living (thriving) with diabetes. I hope to have posts about which airports are diabetes-friendly and which aren’t so much. Hacks/tips like Amsterdam and Madrid have incredible low sugar chocolates. Please check us out and share experiences. As an example (although it is from 2010) I wasted a brand new infusion set because the TSA agent in San Diego insisted on pulling it out (after I had to be insistent about not exposing my pump and CG to the X-ray etc. Hopefully it has been 6 years and things are better. But knowing this meant that I had to allow for a lot more time before boarding. So stop by and check it out and share anything you think your “tribe” would benefit form knowing.


Very cool. Please share all your tips and tricks for us travelin fools here as well!!! :blush:
I’ll check out the page now! Bon voyage! :airplane:

I’m not a big fan of these kinds of Facebook groups mostly because the level of trolling is much greater. However, this is definitely a solid topic to discuss.

I’ve flown about 20 times this year including going through San Diego. Haven’t had any issues aside from forgetting to tell the TSA agent where my Dexcom sensor was and him hitting it with his hand (I blame myself for the situation not him).

For anyone wearing a medical device (pump, cgm, etc) I would HIGHLY recommend getting TSA Pre-Check as the process through security is so much less stressful.

Thanks for the update on San Diego - I used to live there and had decided not top visit friends unless I drove (fromPortland). That’s good news. I now have the Global Entry ID card, and hope that makes things easier.

I truly appreciate the good news regarding San Diego - I miss attending the TCPYD conferences there (I went for about 10 years). Now if I could rearrange departure and arrival times so I didn’t have to sepnd nights before and after in hotels it would be perfect! Thanks again.

JFK is the only airport where I haven’t had problems in the U.S. Denver was the worst. When I contacted TSA they claim they want the airports to be a little inconsistent so that the theoretical bad guys can’t figure it out. It makes it hard for us. To make it harder, they won’t tell you all the rules ahead - but ask for a supervisor if things don’t go well. Always give yourself extra time. I haven’t figured out how to keep an eye on my stuff after it goes through the X-ray and I’m delayed for whatever reason. They won’t let me gather my things until after I’m cleared by TSA. I haven’t traveled alone since dx but I don’t know how that works.

We go to S Africa often (not often enough) and transiting through Europe is a nightmare - you have to go through security again on a layover - it’s impossible to avoid. Their rules are different than TSA, especially they want extra insulin and extra supplies not needed for your flight to go in your checked luggage and don’t allow a hand check for your insulin to not be zapped. It’s outrageous. Some European airlines have much smaller carry on req’s and don’t allow an extra small bag for our supplies like most U.S. carriers. Everything must go through the X-ray machine. S Africa is easy except for syringes and needles. HIV/AIDS is still an epidemic.

I don’t post on Facebook any T1D stuff. No privacy.

1 Like

All the UK airports I have flown through are fully clued up on pumps/insulin/supplies. You DO have to allow enough time as the queues can be quite long on occasion. I typically send supplies through carry-on X-ray and all insulin in Frio in the clear plastic baggy. Pump always sets of walk-through metal detector. Show pump, they give you a pat down (remove shoes etc and send through X-ray) and swab the pump. Always polite and knowledgeable

Some of the low-cost carriers allow only 1 carry on bag and maximum 10 Kg. I just put my pump supplies in my carry on case/bag. It’s the price you pay for a 500 mile flight for the cost of a restaurant meal.

Recent flight through Paris Orly was a bit of a nightmare. Security is already super-tense there for obvious reasons. They wanted to see a prescription/letter for the pump (never had that before) and I hHad to explain to French-only speaking security staff that pump and backup cannot go through X-ray.

They only allow the supplies you need during your flight(s) in carry on and everything is required to go through X-ray machines. I have possibly the worst insurance ever and buy a couple of boxes of insulin (pens) whenever we leave the U.S. to save a few hundred dollars. I won’t put it in the hold as required by the a-holes in the EU - valuables should be on our person and $600 worth of insulin is valuable (besides it is temperature sensitive) - and after a few times through X-rays I find my insulin to be not as effective. TSA allows a hand check for any reason, the EU does not. In the U.S., insulin does not need to fit in our quart Baggie - it can be taken as extra. Not so good in the EU. So you can call them “clued in”. I think they are “clue less”. I will avoid EU airports when I travel whenever possible.

Always take a letter/note translated to the languages you will experience to explain our situation, even if you speak the language. I have a form letter from my endo about the need for my supplies and have it translated and signed again when needed. I’m going to edit it to include no X-ray for insulins and all supplies must be on board.

I wish there was some consistency. Most of the frustration is because everywhere is different.