I’m planning a trip with my daughter who needs IV infusions daily. I’d like to take the IV fluids and supplies on the airplane as carry-on luggage, as I just can’t imagine what I’d do if they were lost or damaged. Will I have any problems taking them on board? What about getting through security?
The TSA and the airlines each have their own rules for dealing with liquid medications. The airlines follow rules set forth in the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA), while the TSA has their own guidelines for dealing with this situation. But the good news is, if you plan ahead and come prepared, you shouldn’t have any problems with either entity.
The TSA allows medically necessary liquids and prescriptions to be brought through security checkpoints. There is no limit to the amount you may bring, but if you have more than three ounces, you must declare it to the TSA officer before you go through security screening. They will ask you to open the suitcase and remove the items for inspection. They will then manually inspect the items, and perhaps swab them for explosive residue. When they are finished, they will let you repack them yourself. It’s a pretty simple process, but you do have to allow extra time for it.
As for air travel, the ACAA mandates that prescription items and devices needed to administer them, such as syringes, must be allowed in the cabin; provided they fit into the overhead bin or under your seat. Furthermore, these items are not counted in your carry-on limit. Contact the airline directly to find out about their size limitations on carry-ons. Then pack you supplies in an appropriately sized bag and label it “medical supplies”. Don’t pack any personal items in with the medical supplies. And of course, take along your daughter’s prescription or a physician’s note, stating that she medically requires the IV fluids. It’s also a good idea to check with the airline to see if they have any additional requirements. And it they do, it’s important to follow their instructions to the letter.