We’re flying to Florida for a Disney trip. Any tips for flying/traveling with Omni Pod and Dex???
Welcome to the forum, @Misty!
We, also, travel with both Omnipod and Dexcom, with our 13-year-old T1D son. How old is yours?
Dexcom recommends not letting sensors through a body scanner, so we always ask for him to get a patdown, and hand out our spare sensors by hand to TSA so they don’t get scanned. Just to test, I had two sensors scanned once: one of them was quite noisy, while the other was fairly normal. So it is not clear to me if it really makes a difference: maybe if they get scanned multiple times? Several people on this forum travel with sensors and let them go through scanners with no problem.
There is no other concern I would have for anything else. If you are going to Disney World right now, there won’t be any temperature issues for your insulin, so carrying it in a regular bag will be fine. If it was at another time where heat would be a problem, I would suggest this:
It worked very well for us while traveling in Costa Rica in summer for two weeks.
Are you accustomed to traveling with your diabetes kit? If not, many of us can give you a lot more tips!
I hope you will write a thread about your trip! You may want to introduce yourself in the welcome thread. Looking forward to reading many more of your posts!
Thanks Michel! My daughter is 9. Dx’d right before her 7th birthday through routine well child testing. We have had a MiniMed since but just switched to Omni Pod. Did TSA give you any trouble with there being syringes?? I’ll be bringing a note from the doctor and our other supplies will have pharmacy labels. But since the Pods do not have a pharamacy label I was concerned TSA will want it to go in my checked luggage and I know it’s not suppose to. This will be her first flight since she was dx’d. I’m not familar with traveling with her kit. Open to any advice!
@Misty I just came back from Orlando and I use the Omnipod and Dexcom. All my extra pods and sensors went through the xray. I have always put my sensors through the xray and I have not had any problems. I did not inform security that I was wearing any devices and I walked through the metal detector with no problem. It was my first time travelling since I started the pods and it was much easier than travelling with my Animas Vibe. The clip on the Vibe always set off the metal detector and I always had to have a pat down afterwards.
Greetings and welcome!
My partner EH travels for work (and fun) about 60% of the year, often by plane. We just returned from a month on the road, with a total of 7 different flights. Earlier this year, a month with 14. He wears both the OmniPod and the Dex. As an adult managing his own care, he is quite a bit more relaxed than the parents on FUD, so you’ll want to take that into consideration. (He is a very laid back guy).
No problems sending the Dex and the Omnipod through the scanners, X-ray machines, or going through security anywhere on earth yet. Even in countries where no English is spoken it’s been fine. On the recent trip no sensors showed issues despite multiple X-rays.
No problem with syringes, liquid insulin, electronics (PDM or Dex receiver or chargers). We label the bags and leave them in the carry on luggage. @docslotnick has written about announcing his diabetes to the TSA with good success I believe (got to go through quickly and with less hassle). EH doesn’t bother because he’s got TSA precheck, but it would seem smart.
Probably the most important thing to us: always hand carry your medical supplies. Never ever put them into checked luggage. Checked luggage X-rays are much stronger, the TSA has frequently mishandled searches of my bags, and insulin is temperature sensitive enough to freezing that I wouldn’t want it to freeze in the belly of the plane. Also, we split supplies between the two of us. We use large freezer ziplock bags labeled “diabetes supplies” for the loose stuff and pack the sensor boxes and OmniPods in their boxes with the alcohol wipes interspersed so we have the right amount. And when not traveling in America (which thankfully has helpful pharmacsts in every state, and we’ve had to use them to get refills on more than one occasion when forgetfulness has struck) we bring a lot of redundant supplies. So, twice the supply of insulin he might need, spare pods and alcohol wipes, spare needle tips and syringes, a spare meter, lancet device, and tons of strips, batteries and chargers for everything, and SUGAR. We generally travel super light, still managing to fit this and enough clothes for a month in a carry-on suitcase, so it can be done! We put some items into my purse and his “man purse” - and the rest goes into our carry-on suitcases.
For the average traveler, getting to the airport, through security, and onto the plane can be stressful (either exciting or excruciating depending on the person. ) This change from the norm can affect blood glucose. I’d suggest always having sugar on hand for corrections. Disneyland too is probably more walking and excitement than the average day, so plan for lots of easy to eat small doses of sugar to have in your pocket. Because EH is laid back, we have certainly had to search for a place to buy or beg sugar from, but carrying it is easier.
Also, one thing I’ve learned from Eric: leave extra time to get to the airport. Nothing is more stressful (and potentially BG destabilizing) than rushing to the car, driving in a hurry, and then struggling to get through security and to your plane on time. We leave quite early, we allow time at the airport for disaster or relaxing, and we try not to stress about it. Plenty to see at airports! Good views, even at night!
What an exciting adventure for your family! We really support the idea of being #UNLIMITED and heading to Disneyland fits the bill!
None whatsoever. The moment we say our kid is diabetic they take it in stride. We also carry a diabetes diagnosis letter and a paper prescription (just in case). We never had to use the diabetes letter, and had to use the paper prescription once, so i would recommend that
I agree with that piece of advice 100%. We travel a lot and have had luggage misplaced (or even lost) many times.
My son carries a very small slingbag with his daily diabetes gear, and his travel backpack, which has a book, a, a battery pack, a sweater, and a bunch of diabetes supplies (1/2 of what we need in the trip plus spares). In my backpack, I also 1/2 the diabetes supplies so that if we ever lost one backpack we would still have no trouble. We tell TSA he is a diabetic, hand his sensors to a TSA officer, get him patted down and go through. Half the time, the officers want to check one of our backpacks, so it takes a bit of time.
Be sure to carry more insulin than you need, of course, with plenty of spare, and spares for everything. We have once run out of insulin because we used more than planned and accidentally broke the one spare penfill we had WE also carry 2 spare BG meters on top of the Omnipod PDM, one in each backpack, and to accu-chek fastclix lancet tools. We carry a spare Dexcom receiver to back up his iPod, but I am coming to think that we may even want to carry a spare iPhone in the future.
The only thing we typically don’t carry a spare for is the Omnipod PDM. I am sure one day we’ll regret that, since we have already had one fail.
I travel for work constantly, and carry tons of diabetes supplies in my carry-on every time. I’ve never said a word to tsa, and they’ve never asked. My carry-ons have received “additional screening” a fair number of times and even routing through my diabetes gear they’ve never mentioned anything. Though, one time, the tsa person noted my plastic water bottle filled up with used insulin pen neeedles and said “that’s a good idea, I should do that too”
I don’t use a pump but do sometimes use a cgm and it’s become clear to me in my travels that the tsa personnel are trained to recognize the term “insulin pump”
They have no idea what a cgm is, but constantly ask “is this an insulin pump”. And I just say “yeah it’s like an insulin pump but doesn’t have any insulin in it” and that seems to satisfy them.
When I go through the scanners sometimes it doesn’t even show up, when I do I simply say “medical device” which is another term I believe they’re specifically trained for, them ask me to wipe my hands over that are then they swab my hands.
It’s totally routine both for me and for them. They see it every day. You won’t have any problems…
Also if your kid is under 12, at least in my experience they’ll have them go through a metal detector instead of the scanner. I wouldn’t personally say anything in advance I’d just know they’re trained with the terms “insulin pump” and “medical device” and it won’t be a big deal… if they ask, just say those terms… if they ask her to go through the scanner instead of the metal detector either on either of those terms will change their mind
If you want to avoid a bit of hassle, get TSA precheck. That way at most US airports you will only be subjected to the metal detector, instead of the scanner. My son usually goes through the metal detector without setting it off, despite a pump and a CGM on him. If he sets the scanner off, they usually just do the bomb detecting swipe on the pump and call it a day.
They never asked about the syringes?
Honestly, no one really cares about syringes.
As a total thread hijacking side note: You can actually buy syringes in a limited supply in many states over-the-counter.
Years ago, when we moved from one state to another, the new state refused to fill EH’s old state’s syringe RX when it was transferred. The pharmacist helpfully pointed out that anyone was entitled to buy one package of syringes per calendar day at the retail price, no RX needed ($2.80 for 10 back then). The next night, we arrived at the 24 hour pharmacy with two of our friends around 11:50 PM. We purchased a pack of syringes each, and didn’t have a prescription, waited 10 minutes, and purchased our next day’s pack of syringes each. Easy-peasy.
The TSA has never cared.
Thanks for all the great advice everyone!!! Much appreciated:)
I don’t have a pump so this applies just to Dexcom and other supplies:
I’ve always gone through the scanner with my Dex on. They’ve never even noticed it on my lower belly (they’ve noticed other things though, like necklaces), and it continues to work perfectly fine. Long ago I stopped saying anything about any of my diabetic supplies in my bag (always carry-on) either; never been a problem, so I also stopped carrying my doctor’s letter, but might if traveling internationally (though didn’t recently on a trip to France). I no longer use my Dex receiver, but at first I was careful as recommended to not let it go through the x-ray. Then I let it go through and it was totally fine—they have those warnings because they haven’t tested it enough to guarantee anything, not because they have any reason to suspect it will be a problem. I ended up x-raying mine a whole bunch, no problems whatsoever.
Also, if you use a phone with your Dex, you can switch it to airplane mode then manually switch back on the bluetooth, which I do right away, so I never lose contact with my transmitter.