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Flying with Medication

Flying with Medication

Have a look through our guide to keep you safe and well on your journey for those wanting to take medication with them when travelling on a plane. This guide is packed with some useful FAQ's, tips to help you prepare before a flight and prevent problems from occurring when flying with medication.

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Restriction in Carrying Medication

Travelling with medication is meant to be an easy process, however, with the strict rules of airport security and different countries regulations requiring different documentation, it can be very difficult to know what you can and can’t take with you. Countries such as India, Pakistan and Turkey have a list of medicines they won't allow into the country.

Some prescribed medicine such as morphine, methadone, retalin and tramadol are controlled under the Misuse of Drugs legislation. This means that extra-legal controls apply to these medicines and you may need a personal licence to take these controlled medicines abroad. Review's Controlled drugs list to ensure that you don't break any laws.

For more detailed information about specific or personal requests, please contact Alternative Airlines and we will be happy to assist you.

How to prepare when flying with medication

If you are considering in flying with medication, you should then follow these small steps to help you prepare for your flight and get you ready for a straightforward and trouble-free journey.

Consult your Doctor

If you require prescribed medication for your health condition, it's recommended that you speak to your GP or practice nurse about consuming medicine on a plane at least two months before your departure date. They can advise you about any special arrangements that you may need to make, as well as provide you with important documents that state you can consume your medication or use any medical equipment.

Inform your airline

It is recommended that you inform the airline you’re travelling with, in regards to taking your medication onboard in order to leave plenty of time before your trip. Taking medication onboard depends on the airline you are flying with as some airlines may not allow certain medication onboard or to the country you're flying to.

Check your insurance

It is recommended to check your current level of medical insurance with regards to your health. If you are not fully covered, it is important to the then look for an upgrade in order to cover yourself in any event.

Bring enough medication with you

Ensure that you remember to take with you plenty of medication as prescribed to last you through your journey, plus sufficient amount for two to three days use upon arrival. The rest should be packed in the hold luggage. Remember to always pack your medication in your hand luggage so that they are easily available for inspection by the airport security officers.

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Which medicines am I allowed to take?

So long as you have a copy of your prescription at hand and a letter from your GP outlining the details of your medication and the name of your health condition, then you should be fine to take your medication on a plane. Although it's important to note that different countries have different rules and regulations about the type and amount of medications authorised to be taken in. You can find more information when you check with the country’s embassy to ensure that you are not breaking any laws when you get there. Liquid form medicines in excess of 100ml, including liquid dietary foodstuffs and inhalers, are fine to be carried in hand luggage.

You can bring the following items in your hand luggage:

  • Tablets and capsules
  • Liquid medicines
  • Needles and syringes
  • Inhalers
  • Cooling gel packs
  • Medical equipment

If you have a portable oxygen concentrator, it's advisable to contact your airline for specific guidelines and arrangements.

How should I pack my medication?

Pack your medication and medical equipment in your hand luggage and ensure that it's in its original correctly labelled packaging, along with a copy of your prescription. It's recommended to also pack an additional supply of medication and medical equipment in your hold luggage, in case you lose your hand luggage on your journey.

When packing, make sure to check that the expiry dates of your medicines will be valid for the duration of your visit abroad. Some medicines may need to be kept at a cool temperature, so it's important to think about how you will prevent them from warming up, both in the plane and at your destination. Speak to your pharmacist and ask about medication on flights and in warm climates, and how best to store it. Some solutions include a cool bag, ice packs or a thermos flask.

Can I carry needles and syringes onboard?

Even with the tough safety rules, it is possible to carry needles or syringes onboard for your medication intake. Diabetes is the only health condition which may require travellers to bring syringes and needles on a flight. Prior to flying just remember to ask for a letter from your GP detailing your medical condition and needs.

Can I get an upgrade on my flight?

Did you have surgery recently, suffer from a bad back or sprained your ankle quite badly? Make sure to explain your condition politely and ask the staff if there is any possibility of an upgrade in the cabin class to soothe your discomfort.