Tips for Flying with Urinary Catheters

Woman with her pink luggage in an airport flying with urinary catheters

If you use intermittent catheters and plan on taking a trip by plane, you may wonder what the rules are on flying with urinary catheters. Intermittent catheterization is medically necessary and having access to your catheters is critical. We’ve got some tips for preparation and planning when flying with urinary catheters.

Tip #1: Call the Airline and Airport Security

Before your travels, it is wise to contact the airline you are flying with to notify them that you are traveling with a catheter and/or medication. You can ask them if they require any documentation, such as a doctor’s note or certificate, and request an aisle seat at this time. If you are on a long flight, an aisle seat will make it much easier to take bathroom trips to self-catheterize.

When contacting airport security, inform them that you will be flying with urinary catheters, lubricating jelly, and any other catheter supplies. TSA does allow larger amounts of medically necessary liquids and gels as long as they are declared to the TSA officers at the inspection checkpoint. You might want to use this TSA Disability Notification Card and hand it to the TSA officer at this time. The airport security should be able to let you know if there are any special requirements for the security screening process.

Tip #2: Pack More Supplies Than You Need

Pack extra intermittent catheters, catheter lubricant, and any other supplies required to catheterize, no matter the length of your flight. You can never be over-prepared. When packing for your travels by air, bring enough supplies for one or two days more than the intended length of your trip if unforeseen incidents occur.

GentleCath Hydrophilic Male Catheter KitRemember to pack hygienic supplies as well when flying with urinary catheters. Hand sanitizers and antibacterial wipes are helpful to keep your hands and surfaces clean when you self-catheterize. Using the SpeediCath Compact Sets, the Cure Medical Closed-System Catheter Kits, or the GentleCath Hydrophilic Catheter Kits are all excellent hygienic options for safe and sterile self-catheterization.

Tip #3: Try Using Discreet Catheters

Hollister Infyna Chic catheter poking out of a purse to show the small sizeAnother tip if you are concerned about discretion when flying with urinary catheters, especially during the TSA screening process, is to pack pocket or compact catheters. The Cure Twist, the Hollister Infyna Chic, and the SpeediCath Compact are small in size, fit in the palm of your hand, and resemble a tube of lipstick. The Hollister VaPro Plus Pocket Catheter is another excellent option that fits easily into a purse, pocket, or carry-on.

Tip #4: Consider a Foley Catheter for Long Flights

If your flight is international or extremely long, you might consider using an indwelling catheter to streamline the experience. Using a Foley catheter can cut down on times you need to self-catheterize during your flight. A Foley catheter also dramatically reduces the risk of infection from contact with bacteria in unhygienic bathrooms since you will visit them much less throughout the trip.

You will need to speak to your doctor about whether this option is right for you before using a Foley catheter. And, keep in mind that this is another topic to talk to the airport security about when discussing your concerns about flying with urinary catheters.

Learn more about indwelling catheters in our An Introduction to Foley Catheters blog.

Flying with urinary catheters doesn’t have to add stress to your plans. With some simple preparation and planning, you can relax and enjoy your travels. If you are looking for where to buy catheters, catheter supplies, or other hygienic products, Personally Delivered has got you covered. We are here to help make life a little easier and less stressful. Shop today, and if you need assistance, we are just a phone call away.

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