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Old 01-25-2008, 11:02 PM   #1
Arizona Road Warrior
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Default Can you take a nebulizer through security or do you have to check it?

I am wondering if you can take a nebulizer through security or do you have to check it? We are going on a trip and my son is currently using a nebulizer. This week when I was flying back from GEG to PHX, I saw the person behind me with some type of a machine similar to a nebulizer.
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Old 01-26-2008, 06:13 AM   #2
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Thumbs up Nebulizers may be brought through TSA security and carried on the plane.

Good morning ARW. Nebulizers may be brought through TSA security, and on to a plane in, or as carry-on. It is considered a medical device.

This quote is from TSA's regulations, the section on Hidden Disabilities, in the section entitled Medical Oxygen and Respiratory-Related Equipment:

Quote:
Supplemental personal medical oxygen and other respiratory-related equipment and devices (e.g. nebulizer, respirator) are permitted through the screening checkpoint once they have undergone screening.
That being said, I make the following suggestions for you to get through the screening process:
  1. According to the size of the nebulizer, (when my kids were growing up the one we had was about 7"x7"x6" and weighed about 3.5 lbs) if it can't be packed into your carry-on luggage, it may be counted as one of the two carry-on items a person may take through security and on to the plane, however, according to my reading of the regulations, it should not be counted as such. Nevertheless, if it was me, I'd pack it in my carry-on to take it on the plane if I possibly could, to avoid difficulties.
  2. That being said about packing the unit, when you get to TSA screening, I would remove the nebulizer from your carry-on, and place it in a separate tray for x-ray screening, just like it was a laptop computer. TSA does consider nebulizers large electrical devices which need to go through x-ray screening on their own.
  3. The nebulizer should be completely empty of liquid when being brought through security and while on the plane.
  4. TSA has continued "to permit prescription liquid medications and other liquids needed by persons with disabilities and medical conditions." This includes "All prescription and over-the-counter medications (liquids, gels, and aerosols) ..." for medical conditions such as asthmatic conditions. Therefore, you can bring the medication you put in the nebulizer in your carry-on.
  5. That being said about liquid medications, if you're carrying the liquid medication you put in the nebulizer in your carry-on, and it is in a container larger than 3oz it may not be placed in a "baggie," and must be verbally declared to a TSA officer at the beginning of the screening process. I have carried liquid medication with me in a container larger than 3oz and declared it to TSA, and had no trouble getting it through. TSA separately screened the liquid by physically examining the bottle. It had all the original labeling on it, and it was clear what the bottle contained.
I think that should cover it ARW. I hope you and your family have a great time on your trip.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arizona Road Warrior View Post
I am wondering if you can take a nebulizer through security or do you have to check it? We are going on a trip and my son is currently using a nebulizer. This week when I was flying back from GEG to PHX, I saw the person behind me with some type of a machine similar to a nebulizer.
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Old 01-26-2008, 06:17 AM   #3
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ARW, I travel with a CPAP all the time. When I get to security, it has to come out of the bag to go through X-ray, and then (supposedly all of the time, but it depends on the TSA, for me, I'd say at least 98% of the time) it is taken for a swab. I've had no issues getting it through.
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Old 01-27-2008, 12:12 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ned View Post
Good morning ARW. Nebulizers may be brought through TSA security, and on to a plane in, or as carry-on. It is considered a medical device.

This quote is from TSA's regulations, the section on Hidden Disabilities, in the section entitled Medical Oxygen and Respiratory-Related Equipment:

That being said, I make the following suggestions for you to get through the screening process:
  1. According to the size of the nebulizer, (when my kids were growing up the one we had was about 7"x7"x6" and weighed about 3.5 lbs) if it can't be packed into your carry-on luggage, it may be counted as one of the two carry-on items a person may take through security and on to the plane, however, according to my reading of the regulations, it should not be counted as such. Nevertheless, if it was me, I'd pack it in my carry-on to take it on the plane if I possibly could, to avoid difficulties.
  2. That being said about packing the unit, when you get to TSA screening, I would remove the nebulizer from your carry-on, and place it in a separate tray for x-ray screening, just like it was a laptop computer. TSA does consider nebulizers large electrical devices which need to go through x-ray screening on their own.
  3. The nebulizer should be completely empty of liquid when being brought through security and while on the plane.
  4. TSA has continued "to permit prescription liquid medications and other liquids needed by persons with disabilities and medical conditions." This includes "All prescription and over-the-counter medications (liquids, gels, and aerosols) ..." for medical conditions such as asthmatic conditions. Therefore, you can bring the medication you put in the nebulizer in your carry-on.
  5. That being said about liquid medications, if you're carrying the liquid medication you put in the nebulizer in your carry-on, and it is in a container larger than 3oz it may not be placed in a "baggie," and must be verbally declared to a TSA officer at the beginning of the screening process. I have carried liquid medication with me in a container larger than 3oz and declared it to TSA, and had no trouble getting it through. TSA separately screened the liquid by physically examining the bottle. It had all the original labeling on it, and it was clear what the bottle contained.
I think that should cover it ARW. I hope you and your family have a great time on your trip.
Thank you for the information.
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Old 01-27-2008, 12:13 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AaronK View Post
ARW, I travel with a CPAP all the time. When I get to security, it has to come out of the bag to go through X-ray, and then (supposedly all of the time, but it depends on the TSA, for me, I'd say at least 98% of the time) it is taken for a swab. I've had no issues getting it through.
Thank you for the information.
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Old 01-27-2008, 07:23 AM   #6
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Arrow

It was definitely my pleasure. If for some reason you have trouble, please let us know what happened to assist other travelers who like you and Aaron are carrying medical devices when traveling by air.

It should go smoothly, but with TSA's inconsistency, and their agents' lack of knowledge of their own rules (I have trouble with getting my photographic equipment through, such as tripods or monopods, about 25% of the time because of their lack of knowledge at some airports.) you never know for sure.

Good luck, and have a fabulous trip. We hardly ever get to travel with the kids anymore since they're grown, and we miss it. This weekend has been a treat with everyone home.

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Originally Posted by Arizona Road Warrior View Post
Thank you for the information.
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Old 02-03-2008, 03:12 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ned View Post
It was definitely my pleasure. If for some reason you have trouble, please let us know what happened to assist other travelers who like you and Aaron are carrying medical devices when traveling by air.

It should go smoothly, but with TSA's inconsistency, and their agents' lack of knowledge of their own rules (I have trouble with getting my photographic equipment through, such as tripods or monopods, about 25% of the time because of their lack of knowledge at some airports.) you never know for sure.

Good luck, and have a fabulous trip. We hardly ever get to travel with the kids anymore since they're grown, and we miss it. This weekend has been a treat with everyone home.
We didn't had any problems. At PHX, they did a swab test on the unit. At YVR, they didn't do anything.
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Old 02-03-2008, 04:07 PM   #8
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Question

Thanks for the post. That's good to know, that they actually followed their own rules. So, was the trip fabulous?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arizona Road Warrior View Post
We didn't had any problems. At PHX, they did a swab test on the unit. At YVR, they didn't do anything.
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Old 02-03-2008, 04:27 PM   #9
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Actually Ned, I question whether or not they did their job.

I have been told on multiple occasions that it is TSA policy that my CPAP needs to be swabbed. I once asked if there was anyway around it (curiosity, not to try to skirt the rules) and was told it would have to be checked. Each time I go through security without it being swabbed, I verify with the agents before I leave the area that it is all set, based upon being told that it must be swabbed. Personally, I think that on those few occasions, I've run into lazy TSA agents that don't want to do their job properly.
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Old 02-03-2008, 04:44 PM   #10
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Well if we're going to get picky US TSA did it's job. Canadian TSA didn't (isn't YVR Vancouver, BC). I wonder if Canadian TSA has different rules.
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