Traveling By Air With Medications

The following information about air travel with medications has been provided by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA):

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) encourages individuals to ensure medications are in their original packaging, with professionally printed labels or pharmaceutical labels. This is a recommendation to assist travelers with the screening process; however, this is not a requirement.

You should always notify your air carrier of any special needs before you arrive at the airport and request their assistance with these needs. This should include any assistance you will need with connecting flights. You can report problems encountered while traveling by calling the TSA Contact Center, toll free at (866) 289-9673.

Please review the information about traveling with medications from our Web site:

• The limit of one carry-on and one personal item (purse briefcase or computer case) does not apply to medical supplies, equipment, mobility aids, and or assistive devices carried by and or used by a person with a disability.
• If you have medical documentation regarding your medical condition or disability, you can present this information to the Transportation Security Officer (TSO) to help inform him or her of your situation. This documentation is not required and will not exempt you from the security screening process.
• Pack your medications in a separate pouch bag to facilitate the screening process. Ensure that containers holding medications are not too densely filled, and that all medication is clearly identified. Large amounts of medications that are not for use during the flight(s) should be put in checked baggage.
• Medications in daily dosage containers are allowed through the checkpoint once they have been screened.
• Medication and related supplies that are carried through a checkpoint are normally x-rayed. However, as a customer service, TSA now allows you the option of requesting a visual inspection of your medication and associated supplies.
• You must request a visual inspection before the screening process begins; otherwise you medications and supplies will undergo x-ray inspection. If you would like to take advantage of this option, please have your medication and associated supplies separated from your other accessible property and in a separate pouch bag when you approach the TSO at the walk-through metal detector. Request the visual inspection and hand your medication bag to the TSO.
• In order to prevent contamination or damage to medication and associated supplies and or fragile medical materials, you will be asked to display, handle, and repack your own medication and associated supplies during the visual inspection.

Any medication and or associated supplies that cannot be cleared visually must be submitted for x-ray screening. If you refuse, you will not be permitted to carry your medications and related supplies into the sterile area.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) strives to provide the highest levels of security and customer service to all who pass through airport security checkpoints. Our current policies and procedures focus on ensuring that all passengers, regardless of their personal situations and needs, are treated with the respect and courtesy.

Travelers passing through security checkpoints may bring all medications and related supplies—prescription, over-the-counter items, and homeopathic—through TSA security checkpoints after these items have been properly screened. Passengers are not limited in the amount or volume of these items carried in their carry-on baggage, however, if the medically necessary items exceed 3 ounces or are not contained in a single, one-quart, resealable, plastic bag (3-1-1 rule), they must be declared to a Transportation Security Officer (TSO) at the checkpoint for further inspection.

A declaration can be made verbally or in writing; or by a person’s companion, caregiver, interpreter, or family member. Declared liquid medications and other liquids for disabilities and medical conditions must be kept separate from all other property submitted for x-ray screening. Passengers may present medical documentation regarding a medical condition to help inform TSO, however this documentation is not required, nor will it exempt passengers from the screening process.

Generally, additional screening can be completed on open or closed containers, and the screening process does not require any content to be removed from its container. However, if a passenger requests that a container not be opened, and the airport does not have the sampling equipment to test an unopened container, the passenger will be required to undergo additional screening.

Passengers requiring any in-flight assistance should contact their airline before traveling. Airlines will generally work with passengers to try to meet their particular in-flight needs. For the most current information on TSA security screening procedures, we encourage travelers to visit our Web site at www.tsa.gov.

Passengers are allowed to travel with food through TSA checkpoints; however, all food must undergo x-ray screening. The only screening restriction on bringing food in carry-on baggage applies to foods that are liquids, gels, or aerosols. These foods must be in containers 3.4 ounces or smaller and fit comfortably in a single, quart-size, clear plastic, resealable bag (the 3-1-1 rule). To save time, passengers should not bring food to the security checkpoint unless it is securely wrapped or in a spill-proof container. Unpeeled natural foods like fruit are acceptable.

When traveling with food, the following tips may be helpful:

• Single serving packages of condiments are allowed, but must follow the
3-1-1 rule.
• Spreadable items that are the consistency of peanut butter (including dips and cheese spreads) must follow the 3-1-1 rule. Hard cheese and other solid foods do not.
• Regular ice, frozen gel packs, and frozen items are allowed at the screening checkpoint as long as they are in a solid, “frozen state” when presented for screening. If frozen items are partially melted or have any liquid at the bottom of the container, the ice/liquid container must meet 3-1-1 requirements.
• Solid foods that have been frozen must be securely wrapped.
• Generally, beverages brought from home or purchased before reaching the screening checkpoint must be discarded unless they follow the 3-1-1 rule.
• After undergoing TSA screening, individuals may bring beverages and other items purchased in the secured area onboard aircraft.

TSA does not recommend that passengers pack food items in their checked luggage. While the practice is not prohibited, some foods have properties that may cause baggage screening methods to alarm. Secondary screening is required to clear every alarm and this may require additional handling. Travelers who pack food in checked baggage do so with the understanding that this may cause delays for themselves or their baggage.

Please visit TSA’s Web site at www.tsa.gov for additional information. We continue to add new information and encourage you to check the website frequently for updated information.