Air travel with incontinence
Travel always poses special challenges for people with special needs. For flights it is a good idea to pack changing kits into discreet plastic bags: A spare diaper, a small package of wipes, care products and a trash bag that can be sealed for hygienic disposal.
You should also consider carrying a doctor's note in your carry on luggage to avoid any hassles at security checkpoints. Make sure that it is easily accessible so that you can present it to security staff should the need arise.
It is often not feasible to buy adult diapers etc. at your destination since the quality of the products available in different countries can vary quite a bit. Finding a suitable source can be quite a challenge. Therefore, we have compiled some information for you on how to request extra hold baggage free of charge from different airlines. The information provided is based on our experience and we cannot be held liable for its completeness or accuracy.
To request extra baggage you need to have a certificate from your doctor that documents your need to take extra incontinence supplies with you. You must send Lufthansa the approximate weight of the extra piece of luggage along with your booking code. They will then send you a confirmation and make a note to that extent in your booking. Here are their contact details:
Medical Operation Center
Deutsche Lufthansa AG
Lufthansa Basis / Tor 21
60546 Frankfurt / Main
Tel.: +49 (0) 69 696 55077
Fax: +49 (0) 69 696 83677
Condor needs a certificate from your doctor, your booking code and an estimated weight of the bag with your supplies to approve extra baggage with medical supplies. Please find their contact information below:
Telefon +49 (0) 6171 - 69 88 922
Telefon +49 (0) 1805 - 707 606*
Medical supplies for your vacation (including diapers and catheters) can be carried free of charge. However, carriage is subject to prior approval and you must notify your intent to carry such items to TUIfly before your flight unless you carry these items on your body (e.g. crutches). If you intend to carry these items as hand luggage, the weight and dimensions must not exceed the hand luggage limitations. The items must be packaged separately for inspection and you must be able to produce a doctor's note regarding these items.
Austrian Airlines needs the dimensions (height x width x length) and weight of the additional piece of luggage. Further, they also need a medical certificate. These details need to be sent to:
PO Box 33
Fax: +43 - 5 - 1766 - 51000
Swiss International Air Lines
Swiss permits extra hold baggage for medical supplies up to 20 kg. They need a medical certificate from your doctor to make the appropriate change in your booking. Your equest must be sent to:
Swiss International Air Lines AG
P.O. Box 4002 Basel
Fax: +41 58 584 26 14
Frequent flyers can also contact Swiss by e-mail:
Frequent Travellers: email@example.com
HON-Circle Members: firstname.lastname@example.org
TAP Air Portugal
TAP does not carry extra hold luggage containing incontinence supplies free of charge. Instead, TAP charges their regular fees for such extra pieces of hold luggage.
In their Terms and Conditions, Cathay Pacific refers to the possibility of carrying "Assistive Devices" for free. Incontinence aids fall into that category. To avoid lengthy discussions at the airport, it is strongly recommended to write an e-mail to email@example.com stating your need for taking incontinence aids with you including a doctor's note as well as the weight and dimensions of the additional luggage. Cathay will then amend the booking accordingly. However, you should take Cathay Pacific's e-mail confirmation to the airport with you to present at check-in.
Air France charges the regular excess baggage fees for the carriage of incontinence aids.
Iberia charges the regular excess baggage fees for the carriage of incontinence aids.
China Southern Airlines
China Southern Airlines charges the regular excess baggage fees for the carriage of incontinence aids.
South African Airways
South African Airways charges the regular excess baggage fees for the carriage of incontinence aids.
Xiamen Airlines charges the regular excess baggage fees for the carriage of incontinence aids.
Experience shows that European airlines approve extra baggage for incontinence supplies much more easily than others. You should ask the airline of your choice about their policy regarding extra baggage for medical supplies before booking to avoid unpleasant surprises. An extra piece of luggage will often cost 70 Euros per direction.
We hope that you will find this article helpful. We would be happy to hear your comments and suggestions!