Freezers on board? (Medication question)

Reply

Old Dec 13, 17, 11:47 pm
  #16  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Dulles, VA
Programs: UA Life Gold, Marriott Life Titanium
Posts: 2,522
Some of these solutions seem over-complicated. Just get a soft-side cooler, put your meds in it with some ice from the airport and/or onboard, and you should be good to go for quite some time.

Keep in mind that the airline is not responsible for your meds. Beyond giving you some ice, there's not much else they can do, nor should they do.
catocony is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 14, 17, 7:07 am
  #17  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Cleveland, OH
Programs: UA-GS 1MM), Hertz Pres Circle, Starriott Titanium)
Posts: 1,633
There are tons of food and drink thermos products that can keep ice for 18+ hours. I'd look into a product like that.. toss in a few ice cubes and your syringes and close..... if the ice melts, you can always get more ice onboard.
LordHamster is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 14, 17, 7:23 am
  #18  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: DCA
Programs: UA US CO AA DL FL
Posts: 41,911
OP is flying UA which is a US carrier and subject to specific US law (rules) which prohibit exactly what NH did for you.

While it seems like good customer service, under no circumstances should a carrier's employees, including FA's, be handling passenger medications in non-emergent situations, nor should these medications be stored in food containers, even if they are separated by bags and other devices.

There are good safety reasons for this from the perspective of the individual affected passenger, other passengers, and crew.
Often1 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 14, 17, 7:25 am
  #19  
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 303
Per company policy, flight attendants are not supposed to handle or store passenger medications. Flight attendants may provide ice to passengers in a seperate container (eg airsick bag, passengerís tupperware container, etc). Your best option would be to bring your medication in an insulated bag, and ask a flight attendant for ice periodically as your ice melts.
flime2dc is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 14, 17, 8:08 am
  #20  
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Tampa, FL, USA
Programs: Due to current work travel patterns just A-List with WN - and that's enough!
Posts: 9,016
Originally Posted by ual744777sta View Post
At the airline I work for, medicine cannot be stored in the chillers because food for the passengers are there. You can ask for ice for your medicine.
This the case also on UA - no medications can be kept in the chillers.

There are no freezers onboard. Things like ice cream are packed with dry ice in the chillers until it is time to serve them. The dry ice will often evaporate by the end of a long flight so then it is just regular ice and chillers for the remainder.

About all they can do is give you some ice in a motion sickness bag.
Bear96 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 14, 17, 9:20 am
  #21  
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: LAX
Programs: United Million Miler; United 1K, Hilton Diamond, Hyatt Globalist, Bonvoy Platinum
Posts: 468
I've carried medication with me on flights many times, including LAX-NRT-GUM which is about 16 hours and they have remained cold. Your best bet is to bring the frozen cold packs that come when purchased or available online. Wrap them with the meds in ziploc bags. TSA has never given me a problem with these packs.

I once asked the FA's for help and their solution was an emesis bag filled with ice cubes. You can also check on the specific drug you are carrying. Many drugs that require refrigeration can remain stable at room temperature for a few hours without problems.
bloodyeyeballs is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 14, 17, 9:51 am
  #22  
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: LAX / BUR
Programs: UA MM/Gold, Hilton Gold, Marriott Gold, WN A-List, Southwest happy companion pass designee
Posts: 1,135
Originally Posted by Lost View Post
How about bring your insulated bag with your ice packs and several empty quart or gallon size Ziploc baggies, then when the ice packs start warming up ask the FA for some ice to fill the Ziploc bags to keep everything cold?

This way all the crew has to worry about is getting you some ice a few times during the flight, and you don't have to worry about the meds being out of your control.

I think keeping the medicine in an aircraft compartment used for any type of food prep will be a non starter.
This is what I did when traveling with my MIL. I needed to keep her medications cooled. Used a small insulated lunch bag with frozen gel "blue" inserts. As those warmed up, I had the meds in sealed bags, got ice from the FA and double sealed bags, and had no issues. The FA fold me they were not allowed to keep passenger items in the fridge/freezer in the galley. Both flights were business class LAX/SFO-NRT. YMMV. Had it not been a last minute trip, or had I been more experienced, I would have planned for an even better container or dry ice etc. But it all worked.
abaheti is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 14, 17, 1:18 pm
  #23  
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Programs: HH-S WS-G
Posts: 642
I have had good luck with an insulated lunch bag and a few gel packs and some ice cubes.
You can also check with some diabetes supply stores or Amazon. I have seen micro fridges for sale they are based on peltier coolers and are usb powered some even have multi-hour batteries.
Polar Man is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 14, 17, 3:49 pm
  #24  
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Programs: UA 1K
Posts: 89
Smile Donít overthink this.

I’ve been flying Newark to various spots in Asia in the same circumstances for several years now. . First two flights I asked the FA if they could store my small med bad (about the side of the amenity kits) in the fridge. Both times they politely refused saying they are not allow to store or even come in contact with passengers medications.

I was a bit concerned, but it kept well on its own.

Now I just put the medicine vial in one of those soft insulated lunch bags that have gel inside that you freeze in advance. Then I wrap that bag in a shirt and put it in the middle of my carry-on. It keeps fine. So far longest trip was EWR-NRT-MNL-USU (Coron). Over 40 hours door to door. On arrival the insulated bag was soft, but still chilly.

just don’t keep opening the bag to check on it during the flight/layovers. An undisturbed bag is a good insulator.

And btw, I’ve never had problems with this at security checkpoints either.
ErikStratton is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 14, 17, 5:01 pm
  #25  
1P
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: LAX and LHR. UA lifetime Gold 1.8MM 1K , HHonors Gold, Marriott Plat (hah!), Best Western Plat, Hertz #1 Gold PC, Avis Preferred
Posts: 3,003
Medications are completely sealed and could not come into contact with anything like food. But I do understand that a certain paranoia might exist in that area. They are not supposed to be at room temperature for more than 30-45 minutes, and are delivered in a refrigerated van.

Thanks so much to everyone for the detailed input and suggestions! I will plan accordingly.
1P is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 14, 17, 9:32 pm
  #26  
TA
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: if it's Thursday, this must be Belgium
Programs: UA 1K MM
Posts: 6,071
Sure, but how are the FAs to know for sure of that fact? Best to prepare your own methods and not rely on them. Best wishes.
TA is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 15, 17, 5:13 am
  #27  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: NoVA
Programs: UA Global Services 2.5+ MM, Hyatt Globalist, Hilton Diamond
Posts: 2,829
Another source of information is the Drug Information telephone line of the manufacturer of the drug itself. They likely have answers to this question, as healthcare professionals often call to ask this exact type of question on behalf of their patients (or office staff when storage of products that require cooling/freezing is an issue).
meducate is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 15, 17, 5:51 am
  #28  
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: On the Road Again
Programs: UA 1K MM, HH Diamond, Marriott 'clink clink' Titanium
Posts: 695
Originally Posted by 1P View Post
I'll be having to travel in January-February with medication in the form of a small number of syringes for self-injecting. These need to be kept refrigerated, and will be carried in a box inside a small insulated bag kept cool with icepacks. The maximum duration of use for such a bag is about 6 hours, it seems, and some of my flights will be much longer than that. While I'm sure I'll be able to ask FAs to place a small box of syringes in a refrigerated compartment, I don't know if UA planes also have freezer compartments where I could put a couple of icepacks so that the bag has another few hours of use once I am off the plane. And if so, whether only long-haul or short-haul as well. Travel will be mostly in BF and domestic F.

Any wisdom or experience from the board will be much appreciated. (And yes, I will carry documentation to enable me to pass through security with the kit.)
I could be ( most likely) breaking a rule here. But on the TOBB they have a thread covering traveling with medical concerns. @iolaire is a good POC.
Dublin_rfk is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 15, 17, 6:48 am
  #29  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: DCA
Programs: UA US CO AA DL FL
Posts: 41,911
Originally Posted by 1P View Post
Medications are completely sealed and could not come into contact with anything like food. But I do understand that a certain paranoia might exist in that area. They are not supposed to be at room temperature for more than 30-45 minutes, and are delivered in a refrigerated van.

Thanks so much to everyone for the detailed input and suggestions! I will plan accordingly.
Good point, but the rules are a bright line. The crew may not handle passenger meds and they may not store them in containers also used for food even if the passenger is the only person touching the medication.
Often1 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 15, 17, 9:43 am
  #30  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Denver, CO
Programs: Bonvoy Platinum
Posts: 16,194
This was posted in OMNI a while back, but I thought it was appropriate.

Originally Posted by blackjack-21 View Post
A lawyer boarded an airplane in New Orleans with a box of frozen
crabs and asked a blonde flight attendant to take care of them for him.

She took the box and promised to put it in the crew's refrigerator for
safe keeping.

He advised her that he was holding her personally responsible for them
staying frozen, mentioning in a very haughty manner that he was a
lawyer, and proceeded to rant at her about what would happen if she
let them thaw out.

Needless to say, she was annoyed by his behaviour.

Shortly before landing in New York, she used the intercom to announce
to the entire cabin,
"Would the lawyer who gave me the crabs in New Orleans please raise your hand?"
Not one hand went up, so she took them home and ate them.


Two lessons here:

1. Many lawyers aren't as smart as they think they are.
2. Many blondes aren't as dumb as most folks think.
wrp96 and Dublin_rfk like this.
pseudoswede is offline  
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Search this Thread