US Airline Regulations - Travelers With Disabilities and Medical Conditions

Medications and Special Needs Devices - Carry-on or Check?

Woman in wheelchair at airport gate
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Disabilities, Medical Conditions, Special Procedures

All travelers are required to go through security screening. Those with disabilities or medical conditions, along with a companion, may speak with a TSA officer about the best way to handle the screening. Give the TSA officer your TSA notification card or other medical documentation that describes your condition. For questions or concerns regarding the screening process, contact passenger support 72 hours prior to traveling.

 The phone number for "Contact TSA Cares" is (855)787-2227.

Travelers in need of special accommodations or those who may be concerned about the security screening process at the airport may ask a TSA officer or supervisor for a passenger support specialist who can provide security checkpoint assistance.


All medications in pill or other solid form must be screened. To expedite the process, it is best to label the medications and any of the accessories that are associated with the medicines (freeze packs, IV bags, pumps, etc.) During the screening process, it is up to the passenger to display, handle and repack the medications and accessories, when screening is required.

3-1-1 Liquids Rule Exemption

Medically necessary liquids, medications and creams in excess of 3.4 ounces or 100 milliliters may be placed in carry-on luggage.


Before the security screening begins, passengers should separate all medically necessary liquids from other items.

Inform the TSA officer that they have medications and/or medically necessary liquids and any accessories associated with the medicines.

Accessories needed to keep medically necessary liquids cool must be completely solid. Ice packs, freezer packs, gel packs, etc., that are partially frozen are subject to the same screening as other medically necessary liquids.

Other accessories such as IV bags, pumps and syringes will undergo X-ray screening.

If officers are unable to use X-ray to clear medically necessary liquids, they may ask to open the container and transfer the liquid to a separate empty container or dispose of a small quantity of liquid, if possible.

Passengers who do not want their medically necessary liquids to be screened or opened will need to inform the TSA officer. Additional security methods will be taken to clear the liquid and the passenger will undergo additional screening procedures to include a pat-down and screening of other carry-on property.

Mobility Disabilities, Aids and Devices

If a traveler is unable to stand with their arms above their head for five to seven seconds without support, they will likely undergo screening through advanced imaging technology or the walk-through metal detector if they can walk through without support.

Walkers, crutches, canes or other mobility aids and devices must undergo X-ray screening. A TSA officer will inspect the item if it cannot fit through the X-ray. Travelers who need to immediately have the items returned need to tell a TSA officer.

Wheelchairs and scooters will be screened by a TSA officer.

This includes the seat cushions and any non-removable pouches or packs. Items will be tested for traces of explosives, and removable items will undergo X-ray screening.

  • Travelers who can neither stand nor walk, will undergo a pat-down screening while seated.
  • Travelers who can stand but cannot walk, may stand near the wheelchair or scooter and undergo a pat-down screening.
  • A pat-down is also given if the traveler alarm the metal detector or advanced imaging technology.

Pregnant Travelers

According to the TSA, all screening equipment at the airport security checkpoints is safe for all travelers, including women who are pregnant.

Screening for Passengers 75 and Older

Passengers 75 and older can receive some form of expedited screening. They may leave their shoes on and a light jacket during screening.

If the alarm is triggered, they will be required to remove their shoes for further screening and will be given a pat-down. They may request to be seated during this process.

Passengers 75 years or older who cannot stand during the screening process will be screened through other security methods.

Medication and Special Needs DevicesCarry-onChecked
Braille Note-Taker, Slate and Stylus, Augmentation DevicesYesYes
Diabetes-Related Supplies and or Equipment, (once inspected to ensure prohibited items are not concealed) including:
  • Insulin and insulin loaded dispensing products.
  • Vials or box of individual vials.
  • Jet injectors.
  • Pens.
  • Infusers preloaded syringes.
  • Unlimited number of unused syringes when accompanied by insulin, lancets, blood glucose meters, blood glucose meter test strips, insulin pumps, and insulin pump supplies.
  • Insulin in any form or dispenser must be properly marked with a professionally printed label identifying the medication or manufacturer's name or pharmaceutical label.
Nitroglycerine pills or spray for medical use (if properly marked with a professionally printed label identifying the medication or manufacturer's name or pharmaceutical label)YesYes
Prosthetic Device Tools and Appliances, including drill, allen wrenches, pullsleeves used to put on or remove prosthetic devices, if carried by the individual with the prosthetic device or his or her companion.YesYes
Wheelchair, Scooter, Walker: Some mobility aids may require specialized screening. Travelers should notify the TSA officer of any medical condition or need for special assistance before the screening process begins. Travelers may ask for a private screening area at any time.YesYes

More 'Carry-on or Check' Regulations:

  • Personal Items
  • Electronic Devices
  • Sharp Objects
  • Sporting Goods
  • Guns, Firearms and Ammunition
  • Tools
  • Flammable Items