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  1. #1
    Poster Formerly Known as Michael Fanelli mwfanelli's Avatar
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    All you traveling photographers...

    Believe it or not, I have not had an opportunity to fly since 9/11. I have an interview in Colorado in a few weeks leaving from Philadelphia or BWI airport. I am wondering about carrying on insulin and syringes.

    So far, my calls to airports and airlines about TSA requirements have ranged from "must be checked baggage" (destroying the insulin thanks to temperature extremes) to "no problem at all" (to be surprised at security?). There were several answers that landed somewhere in between.

    Has anyone traveled themselves, or with someone else, carrying insulin (or some other drug) and syringes onto an airplane? I really don't want the stuff ruined or lost, that's not conductive to a good interview!
    "Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on, or by imbeciles who really mean it." --Mark Twain

  2. #2
    Learning more with every "click" mjs1973's Avatar
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    Re: All you traveling photographers...

    Michael,

    I don't have any personal experience with this, but I did a google search and came up with this site.

    http://www.diabetes.org/advocacy-and...ion/travel.jsp

    I hope you find it helpful, and good luck with your interview!
    Mike

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  3. #3
    MJS
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    Re: All you traveling photographers...

    call your specific airline and the TSA guys at your daparture and arrival airport. Big pain in the tail, but probably worth it.
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  4. #4
    has-been... another view's Avatar
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    Re: All you traveling photographers...

    Quote Originally Posted by MJS
    call your specific airline and the TSA guys at your daparture and arrival airport. Big pain in the tail, but probably worth it.
    Just seen too many inconsistencies to recommend this - I have flown recently but I'm not diabetic (my dog is so I know how it works...).

    One of the big inconsistencies I see is for something totally unrelated - flying with a guitar. Bear with me here, because the end result is the same. They're too long to be standard carryons but chances are we've all seen them carried around gate areas at airports. If you call today and ask both the airline and TSA you'll get one answer - call tomorrow and you may get something else. The only thing that matters is what happens when you get to your flight, and if they won't let you take it it's too late (guitars can't be checked either unless you have a big heavy flight case). Insulin is expensive (no health insurance for a 13 year old dog...) so throwing it out isn't really what you'd want to do, unlike the too large tube of toothpaste. If it were me, I'd call it into Walgreen's at my destination to be sure they had the right stuff and not deal with it, but then...

    What else I've seen is more and more delayed flights. You need your insulin at a specific time - if they don't let you carry it on and the flight is a couple hours late, then what? Just thinking...

  5. #5
    Poster Formerly Known as Michael Fanelli mwfanelli's Avatar
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    Re: All you traveling photographers...

    Quote Originally Posted by another view
    Just seen too many inconsistencies to recommend this - I have flown recently but I'm not diabetic (my dog is so I know how it works...).

    One of the big inconsistencies I see is for something totally unrelated - flying with a guitar. Bear with me here, because the end result is the same. They're too long to be standard carryons but chances are we've all seen them carried around gate areas at airports. If you call today and ask both the airline and TSA you'll get one answer - call tomorrow and you may get something else. The only thing that matters is what happens when you get to your flight, and if they won't let you take it it's too late (guitars can't be checked either unless you have a big heavy flight case). Insulin is expensive (no health insurance for a 13 year old dog...) so throwing it out isn't really what you'd want to do, unlike the too large tube of toothpaste. If it were me, I'd call it into Walgreen's at my destination to be sure they had the right stuff and not deal with it, but then...

    What else I've seen is more and more delayed flights. You need your insulin at a specific time - if they don't let you carry it on and the flight is a couple hours late, then what? Just thinking...
    That's the problem I am encountering, different answers all the time. I have no health insurance so the costs are all out of my pocket. Sure, I could get a prescription and buy the stuff in Colorado, but then I would have to throw it away before I boarded the flight back. That's more money than I can afford to lose!

    I guess I could do without insulin for a few days, I'd be in a haze which is OK because I'm not driving! But the interview and teaching demo wouldn't be that swift. A late flight wouldn't kill me, I'm Type II not Type I, but a day or two would be a problem.

    Maybe I'll just drive out there. Adding up the cost of fuel, hotels, and the two days one way it is actually just a bit more expensive than flying and renting a car. Believe me, just getting the money for the trip is going to be very tough. They'd better give me the job... or else!
    "Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on, or by imbeciles who really mean it." --Mark Twain

  6. #6
    has-been... another view's Avatar
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    Re: All you traveling photographers...

    Quote Originally Posted by mwfanelli
    Maybe I'll just drive out there.
    Well, don't let me talk you out of a road trip. I drove from northern Illinois to Colorado two years ago and actually enjoyed it (including Iowa and Nebraska). Call me crazy. I'd even do Amtrak - possibility for you?

    Airports = hassle, no getting around it. One fairly serious storm anywhere in the country, and everybody's delayed. I have no fear of flying and the view from the plane can be pretty fascinating, but not enough to offset dealing with airports.

  7. #7
    Learning more with every "click" mjs1973's Avatar
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    Re: All you traveling photographers...

    The wife and I drove from WI to Vegas a couple years ago, and we're driving to Wyoming and Montana next month. I really enjoy it myself. If you do drive, pick up an audio book or two to listen to on the road. The wife and I listened to The DaVinci Code on our last trip. Not sure what we will take this time. Maybe some Harry Potter.
    Mike

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  8. #8
    project forum co-moderator Frog's Avatar
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    Re: All you traveling photographers...

    I don't fly but I'm a diabetic, too. I looked up this site: http://www.diabetes123.com/d_0j_211.htm which pretty much echoes the one posted by Michael says.
    Don't go without your insulin. Hopefully you have a prescription and the box the insulin came in as that's where they always put the prescription label. I always throw the box away...maybe I should hang on to it.
    A couple of days in a haze isn't worth it and its probably a couple of days off your life, too.
    I'd think by now that airport security would be used to flying diabetics and if there's a hassle at the gate, go straight to whoever is in charge of security. Make a fuss, cause an uproar, help other diabetics.
    Good luck!
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  9. #9
    light wait photophorous's Avatar
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    Re: All you traveling photographers...

    I guess I'm a few days late to this conversation, but I think this link is the official policy. I have no personal experience with it though.

    Hope this helps.

    Paul

    http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtrav...al_1374.shtm#3

  10. #10
    Poster Formerly Known as Michael Fanelli mwfanelli's Avatar
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    Re: All you traveling photographers...

    Quote Originally Posted by photophorous
    I guess I'm a few days late to this conversation, but I think this link is the official policy. I have no personal experience with it though.

    Hope this helps.

    Paul

    http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtrav...al_1374.shtm#3
    Yeah, I found that reference before starting this thread. Unfortunately, Expedia, United Airlines, and BWI airport had major variations.

    I decided to just take the stuff in a clear plastic bag to carry-on and let the chips fall where they may. Hopefully, I'll have no problems at all. Damn! Where are those stem cells to regrow the Isles in my pancreas??!! Where are those Flying Cars promised at the NYC Worlds Fair in the 1960s?
    "Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on, or by imbeciles who really mean it." --Mark Twain

  11. #11
    Poster Formerly Known as Michael Fanelli mwfanelli's Avatar
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    Update

    Well, this was a big deal for nothing! At both airports, BWI and DIA, none of the TSA personnel even looked at the syringes and bottles. I kept them in the carry-on bag, never declared it, and the agents at both airports ignored it. They didn't even take the Zip-Loc bag out to take a look. So much for security!

    I will say I was impressed by United. For me, that's a radical statement. The agents at both airports rearranged seats for me so I could have an aisle seat (very bad leg circulation due to diabetes damage). On the flight home, she put me in an exit row. That made things so much better. Kudos to United.

    I nailed the interview, one of the best I've had over the years. I hope they choose me over the other candidates for the job. I'm keeping my fingers crossed!

    .
    "Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on, or by imbeciles who really mean it." --Mark Twain

  12. #12
    has-been... another view's Avatar
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    Re: All you traveling photographers...

    Great news all around - good luck on the job!

    I flew somewhere with my mom about five years ago, and had my camera bag as my carryon. In there were spare batteries and a bunch of cables (shutter release, cord for flash, etc and whatever else. I breezed right thru but my mom got the spanish inquisition for what reason we don't know. Probably more random than anything. In fact, I've only been asked about camera gear twice and nothing took more than a minute.

    I think that in general, regardless of the horror stories, flight attendants and gate agents try their best to help. If you're polite (i.e. not screaming) and they can accomodate your request, they'll try to do it. Being 6'1" I understand the leg room and prefer exit rows especially in smaller planes like United Express, although newer planes are a lot better than the older ones. Glad it worked out.

  13. #13
    Viewfinder and Off-Topic Co-Mod walterick's Avatar
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    Re: Update

    Good luck Michael!!
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