Generally passengers are permitted to carry medications and associated supplies (including needles, syringes, and auto-injectors) for the treatment and control of their medical conditions onboard.
Passengers who need to carry medications should be aware that the legal status of medicines in countries varies greatly. The requirements regarding carriage of medicines for personal use across international borders are variable and not consistently enforced. This applies to both over-the-counter and prescription medications. Regulations regarding whether a traveller is required to carry a physician’s letter also vary widely. To avoid problems at local security or customs, we recommend that medications be clearly labeled or accompanied by a prescription or letter from your doctor confirming the types of medications carried.
Keep in mind that the effects of certain medications such as tranquillisers may be potentiated by altitude or alcohol. Please consult your own doctor for advice.
Needles and Syringes
Bringing sharps on board may be subject to the local country’s safety and security clearance procedures and it is beyond the control of the airline. Please check with the specific country’s security and customs agencies you are transitioning through.
It is recommended that the syringes and injectable medications are carried together and be clearly labeled to identify your name and the medication OR that you carry a medical certificate or supporting letter from your doctor indicating your name and the medication. Used syringes should be disposed of in the ‘sharps box’, which is carried onboard all of our flights. Please ask the cabin crew for assistance.
NOTE: For flights departing from Australia hypodermic needles can be packed in carry-on bags but passengers must have proof that they are medically necessary. Please see here for more information.
Refrigeration of Medication Inflight
Please note that we are unable to refrigerate medicines for passengers. Any medicines requiring refrigeration should be packed in either a cool bag or vacuum flask. Passengers may bring their own dry ice in quantities of less than 2.5kg (4.41 lbs) which is suitably packed to allow CO2 gases to evaporate freely. Passengers must identify to airport staff that they are bringing dry ice on board at the time of check-in. Ice gel packs may also be used inflight. The allowed volume of each individual ice gel pack should not exceed 100ml and are subject to security control under the carriage of Liquids, Aerosols and Gels (LAG) in hand baggage of departing passengers. For more information: ICAO and Hong Kong International Airport security controls on liquids, aerosols and gels (LAGs)
Advice for Passengers
- Review medication regulations for the countries to which you are travelling with the relevant authorities. This is especially important if intending to travel with a controlled drug.
- Always carry medicines in a correctly labelled container as issued by the pharmacist.
- Carry a copy of all prescriptions, including generic names for drugs, along with the actual medication in the hand luggage, especially for controlled substances and injectables.
- Ensure adequate supplies of medication are carried in both hand and checked luggage.
- Take out an appropriate level of travel health insurance including repatriation and specific cover for any pre-existing illnesses.