Airline Policies: Flying with Dietary and Medical Needs

Are you traveling with mild to severe allergies, dietary needs, or other medical conditions? Don’t let them hinder your ability to fly. You can go with ease as long as you learn the proper procedures to take and how you can best prepare for air travel. Learn how you can travel with confidence despite allergy or medical restrictions.

**If you want to know the policies for a specific airline, download our free PDFs. Each compiles the most up-to-date policies for international airlines.**

Passengers with Allergies and Dietary Needs

  • Review an airline’s allergy policy before booking so you know you can receive proper accommodations.
  • Inform your airline about your allergy soon after booking so appropriate accommodations can get arranged.
  • While booking your airline ticket, look for a space to include your dietary or medical need. If one is not provided, you can call the airline to let them know. Request that your dietary need is communicated to the cabin crew.
  • Although most airlines cannot guarantee an allergy-free environment while onboard, yet many follow strict procedures to meet dietary and medical needs to the best of their ability.
  • If traveling with medical needs and prescription medication, you may need to fill out a medical form or travel clearance form before departure.
  • Many airlines provide alternative meals for those with gluten, peanut, soy, dairy, shellfish, and other food allergies. Such accommodations may not apply on shorter flights.
  • Request a special meal to suit your needs at least 48 hours before departure.
  • Pack travel snacks that meet TSA requirements and your dietary needs.

➡ Download your free copy of the Airline Policies for Allergy Precautions

Passengers with Medication and Medical Needs

  • Keep prescription medications with you at all times by packing it in your carry on. Never put prescription medications in checked luggage.
  • Prescriptions must travel in their original containers.
  • For some prescriptions, you may need to provide a doctor’s note, prescription documentation, or a confirmation card of your diagnosis. Extra precautions and documentation may be required for those traveling with medical sharps, liquid medication, supplementary oxygen, or other personal medical devices.
  • Anticipate a longer screening process at TSA if bringing liquid medication or other medical devices. Arrive at the airport 2-3 hours before departure.
  • Once onboard, inform a flight attendant of your dietary or medical needs.
  • If you cannot self-administer your medication, most airlines require that you travel with a Care Assistant.

➡ Download your free copy of the Airline Policies on Medical Needs

Want to know the peanut allergy policy for your airline? Curious about the regulations for flying with a CPAP machine? Download the Airline Policies for Allergy Precautions and Medical Needs to learn all this and more!