Can You Bring an Inhaler on a Plane? Asthma & Travel 2023

Can You Bring an Inhaler on a Plane?

Worrying about bringing an asthma inhaler on board? Don’t sweat it! We’ve got you covered in this guide on can you bring an inhaler on a plane? We cover traveling with inhalers and for asthma and other medical conditions.

Asthma and Air Travel: Know the Basics

When packing your personal item and hand luggage, keeping your asthma inhalers and other essentials within reach is a good idea. You don’t want to be caught off guard mid-flight! Here’s a rundown of what to keep in mind:

  • Asthma Inhalers: Allowed in carry-on luggage and personal items.
  • Peak Flow Meter: Can be carried on board.
  • Clear Plastic Bag: For liquid medications, follow the 3-1-1 liquids rule.
  • Prescription Label: Ensure your inhaler has a visible prescription label.

Navigating Airport Security

Regarding the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), some specific rules exist for prescription medications and medical equipment. Here’s how to make the process a breeze:

  1. Inform the TSA agent about your asthma inhaler and any other medical items you’re carrying.
  2. If you have a doctor’s note or asthma attack card, keep it handy.
  3. Remove your inhaler from your carry-on baggage for screening.
  4. Keep your inhaler in its original packaging if possible.

Expect some additional screening during the X-ray screening process. Your inhaler might be tested for traces of explosives or other prohibited substances, but don’t worry; it won’t damage your inhaler or affect its function.

Managing Asthma During Your Flight

An airplane cabin can be a tricky environment for people with severe asthma or other respiratory conditions. Keep these tips in mind to breathe easy during your journey:

  • Talk to an asthma nurse or healthcare provider about managing your symptoms during the flight.
  • Inform the flight attendants and cabin crew about your condition in an emergency.
  • Keep a reliever inhaler and any other essential medication within reach.
  • Consider using in-flight oxygen if recommended by your healthcare provider.

International Flights and Local Customs

When traveling on international flights, it’s crucial to be aware of the regulations in different countries. Here’s how to stay prepared:

  1. Research local laws and regulations regarding medical items and prescription medications.
  2. Learn how to say “I have asthma” and “I need my inhaler” in the local language.
  3. If you use an electronic inhaler, check with your airline about lithium batteries and electronic devices.
  4. Consider purchasing travel insurance to cover any unexpected medical emergencies.

Pack Smart: The Best Way to Carry Your Inhaler

It is essential to know the best place to store your inhaler, whether it’s a holiday destination or a business trip. Keep these pointers in mind:

  • Always pack your inhaler in your carry-on luggage or personal item.
  • Store your inhaler in a carrying case to protect it from damage.
  • Keep a spare inhaler and extra canisters in your checked bag as a backup.
  • Avoid storing your inhaler in extreme temperatures or near flammable liquids.
People Walking Through Airport


Q: Can I bring my peak flow meter and other asthma equipment on the plane?

A: You can carry your peak flow meter and other asthma equipment on the plane. Just inform the security personnel and prepare them for inspection during the security screening process.

Q: Do I need a doctor’s note to carry my inhaler on board?

A: A doctor’s note isn’t always necessary, but it can be helpful, especially when traveling internationally. It’s a good idea to have one just in case airport or airline staff request additional information about your medical condition.

Q: What should I do if I have an asthma attack during my flight?

A: First, stay calm and use your reliever inhaler. Inform the cabin crew about your situation and follow your emergency action plan or written asthma action plan. If necessary, ask for medical assistance on board.

Q: Can I bring my asthma medication in my hold luggage?

A: While it’s generally safe to pack asthma medicines in your hold luggage, keeping your essential medication and inhalers in your carry-on baggage or personal item is best. This ensures you have easy access to them during your flight.

Q: How does the 3-1-1 liquids rule apply to my inhaler?

A: The 3-1-1 liquids rule applies to liquid medications, not inhalers. However, if your inhaler contains liquid medication, it’s still exempt from the rule, and you don’t need to place it in a clear plastic bag. Just inform the security agent that you have an inhaler with you.

Can You Bring An Inhaler On A Plane

Q: Is it safe to use my inhaler in the airplane cabin?

A: Yes, it’s safe to use your inhaler in the aircraft cabin. Airplane cabins have reduced air pressure, which may exacerbate asthma symptoms, so it’s important to have your inhaler within reach. Ensure you inform the cabin crew about your condition and any needed assistance.

Q: Can I use a nebulizer on the plane?

A: Using a nebulizer during a flight might require the airline’s permission and coordination with the cabin crew. Contact your airline to discuss your needs and any required documentation, such as a doctor’s note or prescription.

Traveling with Asthma: Additional Tips and Information

Medical Devices and Assistive Equipment

If you use a medical device for your respiratory condition, such as a nebulizer or a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine, you can bring them on board. However, you must check with your airline beforehand and follow their guidelines for carrying medical supplies and assistive devices.

Managing Asthma During Pollen Seasons

For asthma sufferers, traveling during pollen seasons can be a challenge. Keep track of local pollen counts at your destination and plan your business trips or vacations accordingly. Pack your asthma medications and be prepared for any allergic reactions.

Types of Inhalers: Know the Difference

There are different types of inhalers available to manage asthma symptoms. Make sure you know how to use your specific inhaler correctly and consult with a healthcare professional for medical advice if needed.

Travel Tips from Experts

John M. James, president of food allergy consulting and education services, advises travelers with asthma to carry a small canister of hand sanitizer for quick and easy cleaning when needed. He also recommends keeping a copy of your personal action plan handy, just in case.

Domestic Flights vs. International Flights

When traveling on domestic flights, the regulations for carrying inhalers and other medical items are usually more straightforward. However, checking with the TSA website and your airline for specific guidelines is still a good idea.

Airport Security

Airport Security Checkpoint Tips

At the airport security checkpoint, be prepared to present your inhaler and other essential items to the TSA officer. Place your inhaler in a separate security tray for screening, and make sure it’s easily identifiable.

Amount of Oxygen in the Cabin

Airplane cabins have a reduced amount of oxygen compared to ground level. If you think this might affect your respiratory condition, consult with medical professionals before your trip and consider bringing supplemental oxygen if necessary.

Sharp Objects and Dangerous Goods

While packing your luggage, be mindful of any sharp objects or dangerous goods that might be restricted. Always check with your airline and the TSA for the latest rules and regulations.

Liquid Rule and Prescribed Medication

The liquid rule doesn’t apply to prescribed medication, including asthma inhalers. However, informing the TSA officer about your inhaler and other liquid medications is still essential.

Asthma UK and Other Resources

Organizations like Asthma UK provide valuable resources and support for asthma sufferers. Check their website for tips and advice on managing your condition while traveling.

In Conclusion

Traveling with an inhaler doesn’t have to be stressful! Following the tips and advice in this guide, you can confidently navigate airport security, manage your asthma symptoms on board, and enjoy a smooth journey to your destination. Just remember to keep your inhaler and other essential items within reach, and don’t hesitate to ask for help. Safe travels!