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Old 07-31-2012, 02:06 PM   #1
Daydreamer64
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Nervous- flying with an Aspie with OCD, Asthmatic, and diabetic- ??? about security

I am flying out of Hartsfield Int AP in Atlanta at the end of August.

My little one has severe food allergies - peanuts, eggs, shellfish, dogs, cats...this matters because if a person who sat in the seat prior to YDS ate any allergic items or they have animals traveling with them or held them and had dander on their clothes and any of these are on the arm rests or seats- he WILL react- he is severe.

He also has asthma, and I have diabetes that requires insulin.

I plan to wet wipe down all the seat/exposed areas that I can before he sits down. Thank goodness he doesn't react to peanut dust unless it is from dry roasted nuts and that gets into the air. He will get his regular allergy/asthma meds and just before the flight a dose of anti-hystimine for an extra precaution.

I will have wet wipes for his hands and will wipe him as needed.

I will also have a travel pillow that he can use for his head to keep his face away from the arm rests and cloth seats to help avoid triggers- I am hoping he will sleep during the flight. I will also place a big beach towel along the back and seat of the chair as further protection.

We are taking the 9pm flight in hope that people will not be eating much since it is late in the evening therefor lessening the chance of an exposure for DS.

Dh is traveling on a business trip to Savannah, Ga. The kids and I are tagging along.

When we planned this trip we were driving back home on a Sunday however, we found out after making plans that our oldest DS has to be at a meeting at his University that Sunday morning- his attendance counts for 1/3 credit toward his grade.

So Dh will stop for a moment and drop us off at the curb of the AP on his way out of town Saturday night .

ODS, YDS, and myself will fly back through Atl HF AP to get him home in time for his class meeting. DH's conference will not end until Saturday afternoon so we had to make alternate plans to get ODS home.

ODS is an Aspie and so along with is obsessive compulsive behaviors, he is usually capable of flying alone if something doesn't get on his mind about the plane or the entry way and starts his thoughts about it in overdrive.

Mom has taught him with behavior modifications to "throw away the thoughts" and he manages to do well in most daily circumstances but flying makes him a nervous wreck.

He will need a companion to help him through as the last time that he flew into Buffalo and landed at 11pm, a plane crashed and killed everyone on board at the airport we were landing at at, just about the same time as we were landing.

He does want to go on the trip and has accepted that he must fly home or not go.

You have to laugh or cry about his behaviors but he would stand there and refuse to get on the plane even though he knows that he must as a reasonable adult, but those thoughts OCD get in his way to reacting normally at times.

We call ODS "Squirrel" - you know how they run in front of the car and then freeze then run back to the side of the road and then back out again- that is how ODS is when his OCD starts up. It is all in love and fun as we as a family laugh at our troubles when we can.

The youngest will fly back with Mom because it is the lesser of two evils -he has other health issues that make it hard for Dad to drive over 1000 miles with him straight through with no one else to help him in the van with his needs.

Anyway, I read that you had to have all medications in their prescription containers?

YDS carries and Epi Pen Jr for his severe reaction to food and asthma triggers. I have to carry my insulin and supplies.

The last time I flew I only had the diabetic supplies and left them in my backpack with no trouble with security- that was years ago and a lot has changed I am sure.

Can I leave the epi pens in the backpack or do I have to remove them as they seem to have a lot of liquid in the shot containers?

Do I put them in a ziplock baggie?

Can we take snacks in allergic YDS BP and leave then in it through security?

I am flying with just my backpack and yds's BP (quite toys, coloring books, 3ds, and snacks) for the flight- Dh will drive home as planned and will have our luggage and so on... so I just need meds and toys.

Thanks for any advice that you can give me. I guess I'm worried that they will not allow the Epi pens through and he HAS to have them- they have saved his life two times already!

Also, with the other issues that ODS will face and that I will help him through with, you might understand why this is such a big deal to me as I want to get through security with no worries/stresses so I can handle the any health related issues as they arise.

Thanks for reading and any advice that you could spare !
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Old 07-31-2012, 05:21 PM   #2
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I can only address one issue--I fly (frequently) with an epi pen and an asthma inhaler. I put them in the ziploc bag and have never had a problem.
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Old 07-31-2012, 05:23 PM   #3
JennyDrake
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As far as snacks, tc. you really need to go to the TSA site and read the official rules.

http://www.tsa.gov/
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Old 07-31-2012, 05:36 PM   #4
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The epipens will be no problem. It's helpful if you have them in the box that has the prescription on them, but I've flown with people who didn't have the prescription and TSA didn't care.

I'm concerned with your younger DS's allergies on the plane with regards to animals. You need to make sure to let the airline know because airlines can allow animals in the cabin if they are in a small enough carrier or if they are a service dog. Hopefully if they know about your son's allergy, they'll manage to make sure no one on your flight has an animal, however, there still may have been animals on an earlier flight that day. Pets need to be in containers, however service dogs are not required to be and don't usually fit into something you can put into a carrier that would fit in the cabin anyway.

There is a chance, as well that the airline will do nothing. I was once on a flight where the flight attendant was allergic to cats, but could control it prophylactically with medication before the exposure. She'd been informed before the flight that there was a family that had 2 small dogs and a cat, but at that point was told that the cat would be in the hold so she didn't take any medication. Unfortunately, she was misinformed and when the family boarded they had all 3 animals (in separate small carriers); she did all the intro announcements while sneezing and having tears streaming down her face.

If you'd come here before booking, I'd have suggested you take the first flight of the day since that would be the one where the plane was cleanest. Also, I'm not sure if the Air Carriers Access Act covers allergies at all. This means the airline may not have any legal obligation to do anything. As well, if allergies are not covered it means that anyone with a service dog has legal right to bring their dog on even your flight, regardless of your son's allergies. Service dog owners are not legally required to inform the airline in advance, although most do and most airlines request that they do. Since you are the last flight out, that could get pretty messy because while most service dog owners would be sympathetic to your son's allergies, they're probably not going to give up their seat since there's no later flight they could take.
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Old 07-31-2012, 07:01 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by WheeledTraveler View Post
If you'd come here before booking, I'd have suggested you take the first flight of the day since that would be the one where the plane was cleanest. Also, I'm not sure if the Air Carriers Access Act covers allergies at all. This means the airline may not have any legal obligation to do anything. As well, if allergies are not covered it means that anyone with a service dog has legal right to bring their dog on even your flight, regardless of your son's allergies. Service dog owners are not legally required to inform the airline in advance, although most do and most airlines request that they do. Since you are the last flight out, that could get pretty messy because while most service dog owners would be sympathetic to your son's allergies, they're probably not going to give up their seat since there's no later flight they could take.
I looked this up once. If there is someone with a service animal and someone with severe allergies on the same flight, neither "trumps" the other. The first suggestion is to separate them as much as possible (i.e. service dog in the bulkhead and person with the allergy towards the back of the plane). If this is sufficient, one will have to served on another flight. The decision about who gets moved is based on a couple of factors, but mainly who told the airline first, since that should have avoided the problem in the first place. For example, if the person with the service animal notified the airline and then a person with an allergy booked a flight (and informed the airline of their allergy), the person with the allergy should have been informed about the service animal and, if the allergy was severe, should have chosen a different flight. Same thing in reverse.
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Old 07-31-2012, 07:36 PM   #6
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You will be able to bring the Epi pen and insulin on board with no issue.
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Old 08-01-2012, 12:36 PM   #7
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Thank you for the advice! The medication advice reassured me and I am glad that there will not be any problems in that area. I've got my baggie ready!

The information on early flights was eye opening as I didn't know there was a set time for cleaning, I thought it was done between flights. I can't afford to fly much and can count on half of one hand how many times I have flown.

Dh's conference does not let out until afternoon. Since we are driving down we do not have two cars. I can't leave Savannah before he can join us. We cannot get to the airport before 5 or so as it is almost 4 hours between Savannah, Ga and Atlanta.

The only choices that we had for that evening were the 5pm or 9pm flight. The next morning's flight would not get us to the University in time as it doesn't leave ATL until after 10am, then we have the flight time, travel time to the school, and ODS would barely get there in time for the bus that is leaving there for the class so we had to leave Sat night.

That's too close to cut it as 1/3 of his grade is depending on his attendance. I think that is ridiculous but it is the school policy that Honor Students attend the first meeting the day before school starts.

We suggested that ODS not go with us but he insisted, I don't blame him as we have not had any vacations for over 4 years now except to visit Grandma's house. This is the first time that a business trip has presented itself during the school break that we could attend.

The service animals may be a problem but as long as he is not petting them and touching his face, he should be ok- otherwise not exposing him to the fur and dander should lesson his exposure. I wonder about the recycled air?

The food allergies are the worst. Again, thanks for the help.
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Old 08-01-2012, 12:39 PM   #8
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I would not worry too much about the chances of an animal on your flight. I fly all the time (usually United) and I have only flown with an animal in the cabin once in the past few years; it was a poodle flying first class in his own seat (CDG-IAD)!

Also airline cabin cleaning is pretty lax; airlines don't deep clean their planes every day, so a plane in the evening isn't going to be that much cleaner than a plane during a morning flight. Your planned wipe down will probably be enough and it's more than the airline does.
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Old 08-01-2012, 12:59 PM   #9
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Thank you for the reassuring information again!

There is no way for everyone to be happy all of the time and I feel that it is our decision to fly knowing DS's health issues. It would absolutely be to our advantage not to sit near a SA. It would also be nice to have a no peanut flight but I live in the real world and realize that this is no one person's concern but ours, while some people would be happy to help, many just simply do not care.

I was going to try to get the bulk head seats with the idea that there would be one less row of people (allergens) to deal with but I was told that many S. animals ride there in flight if they are big so, we will definitely not be sitting anywhere near there.

I would hate to think that any of us would not be able to fly on our chosen flight because our issues affected or were affected by another person's issues. No one person's problems should be more important then another's.

I would love to have the money to fly my pet in it's own first class seat-lol! Actually, I would love to fly first class myself!

We are hoping that the YDS and I can sit together, if Ods can join us it's all the better. We are hoping for seats together-three in a row. I didn't have the money to pre-select and pay extra so Dh says when I check in at the 24 hour mark I can pick my seats then. Here's to crossing my fingers!

I am not so worried about the pets unless there is contact with the fur or dander- so the beach towel will hopefully insulate ds from the seat cover.

It would really be so much easier to just drive home but we were worried that there might be a problem with the van- it's old and sometimes on long trips needs a little love to keep going.
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Old 08-01-2012, 01:41 PM   #10
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With what you describe, you should be fine. I wasn't sure how bad it would be for your YDS to be on the same flight as an animal if that had to happen, but it sounds like he could cope as long as he wasn't near the animal.

If you call the airline now you may be able to request some level of specific seating due to your son's allergy even if you don't pay more. I've certainly done that as a wheelchair user. Otherwise, just explain on the day and they shouldn't have any problems. I've only had a problem with not being able to get the sort of seat location that works best for me once and that was the only time I wasn't in charge of my travel itinerary so had no say on things like length of layover time or seating.
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Old 08-01-2012, 07:43 PM   #11
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You are much braver than I am. I wouldn't take the risks associated with this travel because if 1 child is freaking out and the other runs across a cat hair and has an attack you would be needed in 2 places and unable to help both.

Are you sure you need to do this? Sometimes people want to do things but it isn't in their best interest to do so. Not saying that you will have problems but I wouldn't do what you are trying to do. What if there is a plane issue and you get bumped to the next day? You have no safety time built in to your schedule.


I do know that Aspie/OCD/anxiety young adults have issues with flying, my nephew (in law) announced that he was unhappy with all of the security while he was standing there and went on a 20 minute explanation of why it didn't work and at that point they escorted him to a private screening and that ended up with the police being called. So, aspies and flying is not my favorite idea.


Good luck!
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Old 08-01-2012, 10:30 PM   #12
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if you plan on having backpacks with things for sons to do on plane, remember that with bulkhead seatsthere is no place to put carryons other than in overhead. very hard to get to esp if seatbelt sign has to stay on. would make a very long flight with no ds for my grandsons. backpacks are not allowed on floor of bulkhead seats.
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Old 08-02-2012, 01:58 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by lost*in*cyberspace View Post
I would not worry too much about the chances of an animal on your flight. I fly all the time (usually United) and I have only flown with an animal in the cabin once in the past few years; it was a poodle flying first class in his own seat (CDG-IAD)!.
Within the last year I have flown twice with service animals on the plane. Last Nov there was a man and his daughter who each had a lab. They threw a fit that who ever was in the first row of coach be moved, saying they had a right to sit there due to the service dogs. They were right, but it was irritating the way they just walked up and rather rudely informed the gate agent that they were there, wanted the first row of coach and demanded that whoever was assigned those seats be moved. He didn't even say hello and didn't ask, just immediatey started out with a demanding attitude, informing the gate agent what she had to do. The gate agent was a little irritated with them and let it show, saying that they really should have let the airline know in advance, instead of showing up barely 30 minutes before the flight with two dogs and demanding the space, since those seats had already been assigned and people had boarding passes for those seats, because the airline did not know about the dogs. The man got really snotty with her and said they never notified the airlines in advance because they knew their rights, knew they didn't have to, and that they had a right to those front seats and anyone sitting there just had to move for them. He was really obnoxious. After treating the gate agent so rudely, they then turned and demanded that a couple sitting in the seats right next to the check in desk move, saying they needed those seats, because they had to be close to the gate. I happened to be sitting right next to that couple and was surpised when they just got up and moved for them. With the dad's demanding attitude, I would not have. Their dogs did not even have vest or harness on (which of course they don't have to, but most do). What was also odd was that they also were not even wearing leashes. They were well behaved, but I always thought any dog in the airport had to be on a leash and neither of these labs were. In fact, I posted about it here on the DIS when I got back, asking if service dogs had to be on leashes. They also demanded and got preboarding, which I was surprised they got, because Air Tran usually doesn't preboard anyone but Make a Wish families and wheelchairs. I'm not sure what service the labs did for them, because neither the man nor his daughter had any visible disabilites. Several people that were listening to his exchange with the gate agent made the comments that they didn't think either of them were even service animals.. I chose to give them the benefit of the doubt and thought maybe they were emotional support animals or maybe detected seizures or something. Not sure why they each had one though.

This past May there was a couple sitting right across the aisle from me that had the cutest, tiniest little Yorkie. He sat in their laps the whole flight and had on a little yellow vest that said service dog and also had a plastic ID name tag with his name and picture attached to the vest. He was on leash too and was so well behaved, but so alert, looking around at everybody. You could tell he was really excited, but had been trained well. The FA even made a comment about how all little ones (if they weren't lap babies) had to be in their own seat with seat belt fastened, except this cute little guy (and she then pointed to the little Yorkie, who yelped at her). lol That was the only sound he made the whole flight. This was on Spirit Airlines.

Last edited by aubriee; 08-02-2012 at 08:41 AM.
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Old 08-02-2012, 06:51 AM   #14
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We can add the small horses now to the service animals...it should be interesting on a plane!

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Old 08-02-2012, 07:58 AM   #15
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I think you are taking a large risk not booking your seats together now. I fly somewhat regularly and see parents scrambling on board asking folks to switch for them. Some do, but plenty don't. Be prepared for the worse case scenario in case you are separated.

The money to get your seats is money well spent.
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