Can You Bring an Inhaler on a Plane? TSA Medication Rules


If you have a respiratory condition, such as asthma, and have been prescribed an inhaler by your doctor to use when necessary then you will obviously want to know if you can bring an inhaler on a plane with you when you travel.

TSA medication travel rules permit passengers to take inhalers on a plane with them in either carry on bags or checked bags. If there is any possibility that you may need to use the inhaler during the flight then you must keep it in your carry on with you.

You should take note of the following rules, in particular when taking the inhaler and other medication through the airport security checkpoint.

Can You take an Inhaler on a Plane?

Can you take an inhaler through airport security

Although they contain a liquid, inhalers and spare inhaler canisters are exempt from the TSA liquids rule as they are a prescribed medication. This means they can be larger than 3.4 ounces (100 ml) and they do not need to go in a resealable liquids bag with your other liquids either.

Normally inhalers are actually smaller than the 3.4 ounce liquid limit anyway but it is at least good news that they don’t need to use up valuable space in your one quart resealable liquids bag.

However, they do need to be removed from your carry on bag or pocket and placed in a separate security tray for screening. You must also bring the fact that you have the inhaler, and any other medication, to the attention of a security agent at the security checkpoint.

It is possible that he security agents may wish to conduct additional screening tests on the inhaler before you are allowed to continue into the departure lounge and board your flight.

@AskTSA inhaler questions

The TSA (Transport Security Administration) offer a very good service on Twitter and Facebook where you can ask a specific question about whether you can take something through the security checkpoint and they will respond quickly.

This is an example response to a passenger’s question regarding carrying an inhaler on a plane through airport security:

Can You Bring an Inhaler on a Plane? TSA Medication Rules 1

This passenger asked how and where they should declare their inhaler:

How do you declare an inhaler at airport security

Do you need a doctor’s note/prescription for an inhaler?

You do not need either a doctor’s note or a prescription to show that you are entitled to carry an inhaler with you when traveling. This is the TSA’s response to a passenger who asked if a doctor’s note was required on Twitter:

Do you need a doctor's note/prescription for the inhaler?

Can you take an inhaler in your carry on?

Since there are no restrictions on taking an inhaler through the security checkpoint at the airport, you can take them in the aircraft’s cabin with you in your carry on bag when your flight is called.

Make sure that you can get to it easily in the unlikely event that you need to use it during the flight.

Can you use an inhaler while in flight?

Yes, absolutely you can. If you need to use your inhaler while in the air then there will be no restrictions on its use at all.

So if you need to use your inhaler on a plane then you just go ahead and use it without worrying. Your health will be the most important thing, not only for you but for the airline and the aircraft’s crew too.

Can you take an inhaler in your checked bags?

Although you are permitted to pack an inhaler and spare inhaler canisters in your checked baggage you would be well advised to pack them in your carry on bag instead. If you had an attack during the flight the inhaler is of no use to you in the aircraft’s baggage hold.

The last thing the airline or the crew will want is to have to divert the aircraft en-route to another airport in order for you to be given medical attention. They will do that of course but will not be happy if the only reason is that you packed your medication in your checked bags.

So be safe and at least pack the inhaler in your hand luggage, even if you leave spare inhaler canisters in your checked bags for while you are away.

However, I would not recommend packing even your spare inhaler canisters in checked bags. This is because there have been instances of them being removed by security when the checked bags are screened. his is incorrect of course but that is no consolation if you arrive at your destination and find this has happened to you.

You would then need to try and obtain replacements, which in a strange town or country might be an issue.

So keep them with you at all times.

TSA traveling with medication video

Conclusion

As with all prescribed medication, you will have no problems taking an inhaler and spare inhaler canisters through airport security and on a plane in your carry on with you when traveling. Have a good and stress free flight.

FAQs

How do you pack an inhaler when flying?

You should keep your inhaler either in your carry on bag or in your pocket but make sure that the protective cover is in place to prevent accidental activation.

Will an inhaler explode on a plane?

Absolutely not. Your inhaler will be perfectly safe and will not explode on a plane, even in your checked bags in the aircraft’s hold.

Do asthma inhalers count as liquids?

Because inhalers are prescribed medications they are exempt from the TSA liquids rules, so it doesn’t matter. You can take more than 3.4 ounces through airport security without a problem.

Can you take a nebulizer on a plane

TSA: Nebulizers are allowed in carry-on bags but must be removed from the carrying case and undergo X-ray screening. Facemasks and tubing may remain in the case. You may place the device in clear plastic bag for X-ray screening. A TSA officer may need to remove the device from the bag to test it for traces of explosives.Liquids associated with nebulizers are exempt from the 3-1-1 liquids rule.

John Parker

I have been traveling around the world since the early 70s and living overseas too. I have also been a private pilot for many years. About me page - https://travel-easier.com/about-me-travel-easier/

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