Travelling with a medical condition and medications can be headache. Airlines have varying policies as to what kind of clearance you need and what are the limitations for bringing these items on board. Both airlines and passengers need to take precautions, so here is just a briefing of what you need to know about flying with meds.
Even across Europe, airlines have different policies concerning passengers carrying medication and medical equipment on flights. Although there are some general rules and tips for travelling with both medication and medical equipment, make sure you contact your airline well in advance if you know that:
a) your liquid medication comes in a bottle larger than 100ml (and you need this amount for the duration of the flight).
b) you plan to carry any necessary medical equipment that exceeds the hand luggage restrictions, including nebulisers, CPAP machines, portable dialysis machines and portably oxygen concentrators
Tips for travelling with medication and medical equipment:
- Take only what you need for the duration of your flight in your carry-on luggage. If it exceeds the liquid restrictions, have a copy of the prescription and a clearance letter from your physician ready when you arrive for your security check.
- Airlines will not refrigerate medicine for passengers, so if yours needs to be kept cool, consider bringing a cooling bag or a vacuum flask with you.
- There is no restriction as to how many tablets and capsules you can carry on board but there is for liquids. If you need to carry more than 100ml of a liquid medication you will be approval from both the airline and the airport beforehand. Hypodermic syringes, inhalers and oxygen cylinders (individual airline policies may vary) are permitted on board.
- In the case of medical equipment, a medical clearance letter is mandatory from your physician, stating that you are indeed fit to fly. Equipment will only be permitted on board if it is needed for the duration of the trip, otherwise it will be stowed with the checked luggage.
- A constant power-supply is not guaranteed on board so make sure this equipment is battery-operated, with enough power to last the entire trip. Medical equipment can be used for the duration of the flight except during taxi, take-off, approach to the destination airport and landing.
- Push-chairs, walking aids, wheelchairs, etc. are permitted in the cabin however they need be screened at security first.
If you’ve had experience travelling with medical equipment, share your knowledge and experiences!
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