Flying: Come Early and Be Patient
Two weeks ago, Jan Gambino wrote about joys and burdens of traveling if you or someone in your family is living with acid reflux. At the end of her blog, she encouraged her readers to pack up and head for a vacation destination in spite of the extra preparation which may be required. I couldn't agree more, and just want to add some additional information which may help you if your vacation destination includes air travel.
Just less than a year ago, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) banned liquids and gels on airplanes. Since that initial total ban took effect, the TSA has made some adjustments and now allows travelers to carry 3 ounces or less of liquids in one-quart, zip-top plastic bags, and any beverages purchased in the secure boarding area.
One of the challenges of chronic reflux is that reflux medication must sometimes be taken several times a day. If this medicine comes in a liquid form, or is dissolved into a liquid buffer like Caracream or Zegerid, then the TSA rules may effect you and your family. That's the bad news. The good news is that the TSA has a very easy-to-follow Web site which makes clear their policies and exceptions which may apply.
If special foods or liquid medications are part of your family's everyday life, and you plan to fly anytime soon, I highly recommend the following two websites. The first site clearly spells out what special foods, liquids, and medications are permitted and prohibited for air travel. The second site (PDF), explains the exceptions to the rules for persons with disabilities and medical conditions.
I have traveled through various airports over the past several months with my son who requires special foods and liquid medications. Declaring our items up front and carrying extra one-quart plastic bags seem to have made a positive difference.