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Air Canada CPAP rules - don't plug in
#1
Air Canada CPAP rules - don't plug in
I was recently traveling in business class on Air Canada on an overnight flight and used my CPAP plugged into the airplane power outlet.  I was not disturbing anyone.  An officious flight attendant told me that was not allowed, that I could only use it with a battery pack.  This makes no sense to me as lithium batteries are a fire hazard.  So I wrote to Air Canada to complain and they confirmed that you can only use a CPAP in flight if you use a battery pack.  I have used my CPAP in the past on Air New Zealand, United, and Air Canada.

Do other airlines have this restriction?  If yes, why is a flammable lithium ion battery pack preferable to plugging the CPAP into the plane power outlet? Dont-know
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#2
RE: Air Canada CPAP rules - don't plug in
Just off the cuff ..... I believe the electrical system does not have sufficient power to run cpap machines. It is too bad because lugging a battery is more weight, dollars and as you mentioned a fire hazard.
Sleep-well
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#3
RE: Air Canada CPAP rules - don't plug in
I think it’s partially a power issue, but mostly a liability issue:  power to each seat isn’t guaranteed and there are a number of times when it is disabled, fails or is interrupted.  If an airline chooses to require CPAP users to use a battery it’s only because they are acknowledging that aircraft electrical systems are not reliable enough for medical devices and they will NOT be held responsible for a failure of that system.  

For what it’s worth I find there are quite a few airlines that go battery-only, and a number that allow you to plug in.  The key (and most annoying part) is knowing the policy before you board and being prepared for it!  I fly AC a lot and I’ve gotten away with both.  Now I just use a battery on all flights.
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#4
RE: Air Canada CPAP rules - don't plug in
(06-13-2019, 01:12 PM)whittonm Wrote: ...why is a flammable lithium ion battery pack preferable to plugging the CPAP into the plane power outlet? Dont-know

Why offer the service with an outlet at all?  Who should use that service?  I would have thought that the flight attendant might have supplied you with the corporate reasoning.  My guess is that their underwriters would not approve of medical device users relying on the on-board power or on the state of repair of the outlets. Somehow, it's less costly to them to refuse you to be treated than for them to afford you the least courtesy and opportunity and have it fail for fault.
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#5
RE: Air Canada CPAP rules - don't plug in
(06-13-2019, 02:08 PM)C0mbe Wrote: I think it’s partially a power issue, but mostly a liability issue:  power to each seat isn’t guaranteed and there are a number of times when it is disabled, fails or is interrupted.  If an airline chooses to require CPAP users to use a battery it’s only because they are acknowledging that aircraft electrical systems are not reliable enough for medical devices and they will NOT be held responsible for a failure of that system.  

For what it’s worth I find there are quite a few airlines that go battery-only, and a number that allow you to plug in.  The key (and most annoying part) is knowing the policy before you board and being prepared for it!  I fly AC a lot and I’ve gotten away with both.  Now I just use a battery on all flights.

I agree with your thought.
One ME airline I fly with states battery power only, but I'm flying with BA next week, their website states the following, which I think is the best advice one can offer:
CPAP machine
  • You do not need medical clearance to travel with or use a CPAP machine for sleep apnoea.

  • These machines can use an adaptor to plug into a laptop power point if it’s available. We do recommend using a dry cell battery to operate your machine just in case the power point near your seat is not working.

  • The maximum power output of our laptop point is 75 watts. If your machine needs more power than this then the power point will automatically switch off.
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#6
RE: Air Canada CPAP rules - don't plug in
Some airlines will run a cable for you if you give them notice. Most won't, but the airline that obliges most is the Russian State Airline. But even that may have changed these days.
I am NOT a doctor.  I try to help, but do not take what I say as medical advice.


Every journey, however large or small starts with the first step.

Sleep-well
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#7
RE: Air Canada CPAP rules - don't plug in
It is a power thing as the power points are only designed to give a maximum of 70w and voltage mighe variy a bit. There is not enough power if there was a lot of power being drained. The wiring is not that heavy and runs along all the sockets.
So a few users would be a big load on the wiring.
They once added an entertainment system to an aircraft and it came off existing wiring, the aircraft caught fire.
I am NOT a doctor.  I try to help, but do not take what I say as medical advice.


Every journey, however large or small starts with the first step.

Sleep-well
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#8
RE: Air Canada CPAP rules - don't plug in
It's a shame though, it would be handy. But if you were the only one using one and the power point is coping I see no harm in using it off the power point.
I am NOT a doctor.  I try to help, but do not take what I say as medical advice.


Every journey, however large or small starts with the first step.

Sleep-well
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#9
RE: Air Canada CPAP rules - don't plug in
You are exactly right. The only thing those outlets are good for is charging a phone or something very low wattage.

Look how small the wire is on the charging cable for an iPhone. Someone sold really long cables for iPhone but they didnt last very long at all. They said that iPhone burnt the cables up because they weren't made by iPhone. The reality is that the cable is as long as it can be with that size of diameter of wire. When the Chinese made these longer cables they didn't take into consideration the 'Voltage Drop' and didn't increase the wire size so the cable failed; Now we have the apple conspiracy that it knew the cable wasn't made by apple. The best way to think of those outlets are not electrical outlets but rather "convenience outlets"

Where
P = power in watts
E = voltage in volts
I = current in amps
R = resistance in ohms

P = I, E
E = I, R

A good read for travelers https://truckersinsider.com/how-many-wat...-cpap-use/
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#10
RE: Air Canada CPAP rules - don't plug in
I wasn't aware of this. We are leaving soon on a long overnight flight (11 hour) to Asia. I have been on cpap for about 30+ years now and have managed (without sleep) on the 8 hour flights to Europe quite a few times. This time, we will be taking two connecting flights before the 11 hour flight so it will be a long day plus missing a night.
How do others deal with this? Is it possible to rent a small cpap with battery pack?
Thanks
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