Simon Calder's Holiday Helpdesk: In the face of long flight delays, what advice do you have for a diabetic?
Every day our travel guru answers your travel questions
Simon Calder is Travel Editor at Large for The Independent, writing a weekly column, various articles and features as well as filming a weekly video diary. Every Sunday afternoon, Simon presents the UK's only radio travel phone-in programme called The LBC Travel Show with Simon Calder (97.3 FM). He is a regular guest on national TV, often seen on BBC Breakfast, Daybreak, ITV News and Sky News. He is often interviewed on BBC Radio, particularly for BBC Radio 4’s You & Yours programme and BBC Five Live.
Monday 26 November 2012
Q You have reported some extremely long flight delays in the past few months. I am a diabetic, and therefore have to take the necessary insulin and the associated equipment wherever I go. I have just decided to start flying again after a long lapse. What precautions must I take?
A Before you go abroad, look at the excellent advice for travellers with diabetes from the NHS, for which I have created the following short link: bit.ly/NHSTravel.
The main points: before you travel, ask your GP for a covering letter that explains why you have to carry insulin, needles and syringes, etc. This will make life much easier at airport security and overseas customs.
When choosing travel insurance, declare your condition to the insurer. Diabetes UK has some good policies (bit.ly/DiaTrav) – though the NHS points out, “Many regular insurance companies do not charge extra for insuring people with diabetes, if they have no complications”. In any event, for European travel you should obtain a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC, through dh.gov.uk).
Now to flight delays: hope for the best but prepare for the worst. Assume you will never see your checked-in baggage again, and carry all your essentials in hand luggage (with that letter from your GP). Don’t pack your extra supplies of insulin in baggage for the hold, in case temperature changes cause degradation.
Some airlines will take items such as insulin and syringes away from you during the flight and return them at the end. “Be prepared for any eventuality e.g. delays, cancellations, re-routing or stopovers,” says the NHS – advising that you “Carry extra food and snacks to ensure adequate intake or perhaps supplement airline food”.
Click HERE to email Simon.
You can also tweet him your questions @SimonCalder
The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations
Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes
Top 10 cheapest cities to visit, according to TripAdvisor
Hashima: Among the ruins on Japan's Battleship Island, the place that time forgot
A commuter is getting revenge on First Capital Connect by Photoshopping its CEO's face every time his train is delayed
48 Hours in: Hong Kong
Win a tailor-made trip to Graubünden, Switzerland’s No. 1 holiday destination
- 2 PornHub begs users to stop uploading video clips of Brazil getting beaten 7-1
- 3 Why I'm on the brink of burning my Israeli passport
- 4 L'Oreal cuts ties with Belgium supporter Axelle Despiegelaere after hunting trip photographs
- 5 The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
War is war: Why I stand with Israel
7/7 memorial defaced on anniversary of 2005 attacks with ‘Blair lied thousands died’ graffiti
Australia facing international condemnation after turning around Sri Lankans at sea
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
Socialist Worker called to apologise over ‘vile’ article saying Eton schoolboy Horatio Chapple's death is ‘reason to save the polar bears’
£45-£55k OTE £75k : Charter Selection: Major London International Fashion and ...
Voluntary, reasonable expenses reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: Are you keen on...
£33000 - £45000 per annum + 8% Bonus, pension: Deerfoot IT Resources Limited: ...
£30K- £40K pa + Commision £10K + Benefits: Charter Selection: Rapidly expandin...