August 1, 2019
Flying with a feeding tube can be challenging, but with proper preparation it can be done. Navigating TSA checkpoints can be especially difficult if you’re not prepared. There are many websites with excellent advice on what to do. These websites TSA, Feeding Tube Awareness and Oley Foundation have excellent suggestions on how to make travel easier.
Prepare for Flying:
- Well before you leave, check with the airline and TSA to see if you can get an advocate to help you through security.
- Have your doctor write an explanation of your medical condition.
- Document all the medical supplies and equipment you are bringing with you.
- Check with state laws on prescription medicines you may be carrying.
- Create a Disability Notification Card from TSA’s website. Just print it out, fill in your condition and present it when going through security.
- Tube feeding formula, breast milk and juice are permitted in reasonable quantities to go through security.
At the TSA check point:
- Show your medical paperwork to the TSA agent.
- Let the TSA agent know that you have a feeding tube and are carrying medically necessary liquid nutrition, any feeding equipment you have and medications.
Nutrition and medication screening:
- Your nutrition and medications are exempt from the 3-1-1 rule, but you will have to remove them from your carry-on bag screening.
- TSA officers may need to test liquids for explosives or concealed prohibited items. Be ready to open the container and/or have you transfer a small quantity of the liquid to a separate empty container.
- Inform TSA if you do not want the nutrition and/or juice to be X-rayed or opened.
- Medication may be visually checked or X-rayed and tested for traces of explosives.
- You are responsible for displaying, handling, and repacking after screening.
- You may undergo additional screening including a pat-down and inspection of your carry-ons.
Flying with the bFed™ System:
Using the bFed™ System can make flying with a feeding tube a little easier and less messy. Pre-fill a Bolee™ Bag with the nutrition you need for your trip. Keeping it on ice until you connect it to a Bolink™ Large Cap is one way to go. Label your Bolee™ Bag as medically necessary nutrition and have documentation from your healthcare provider.
You could also pack packaged nutrition (commercial tube feeding or a pureed food pouch). If you are using pureed food pouches you can connect directly to your feeding tube using the Bolink™ Small Cap. If you are using packaged tube feeding, use the Bolee™ Bag and Bolink™ Large Cap as you normally do.
Hopefully the above tips and traveling information on the other websites we referred to will make your trip through the airport just a little bit easier!