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Traveling/Flying with CPAP Machine
12-10-2013, 03:42 PM
Will be flying (within the U.S.) with CPAP machine soon. In preparation, is there any advice/tips? What should I expect at security checkpoints. I am already planning to take an extra surge protector strip and extension cord since I have noticed hotel rooms are not abundant with outlets ... even for mobile devices. And usually spare outlets are difficult to find near the beds.
12-10-2013, 04:26 PM
I have not driven across US and suppose the same apply here
spares filter, mask/cushion, hose
copy of Rx
don,t put machine/humidifier in the luggage, baggage handlers can be bit rough, put in the carry black bag, pass through xray machine, take with you on the plane and of course empty the water tank
lastly don,t forget to have a good time and enjoy yourself
12-10-2013, 04:42 PM
On the bottom of machine it'll say medical device so you shouldn't have too many drama's if any.
I'm not a Doctor but a fan of The Doctor. any views,comments etc are my own
12-10-2013, 05:18 PM
Travel with CPAP Wiki
Traveling with CPAP / Using CPAP on Aircraft
Thanks Zonk and Dr. Who?
Good idea to take extra filters. Probably would not have thought of that. We are going cross country so there will be a 3 hr. time change. I will still be in the compliance monitoring stage. I wasn't sure how that would work or if there was a clock I needed to set. The first night we are flying through most of the night. Will be sleeping once we get there. I didn't know if that would mess up a timeline for compliance. The DME claims it won't matter. I did send away for a Medical Alert ID tag to hang on my case as well as of course putting my contact info. with it. I will need to get some distilled water although the first night will have to be tap water since we will be getting there in the middle of the night and won't have a car right away.
I called my General Pysician's office the day I brought the machine home (Nov. 27) about getting a letter as backup documentation for airport security. I know they have to allow it but the therapist suggested it doesn't hurt to have it on hand. My GP's nurse was great and said no problem they would send one out and I never got it. I decided to check with the sleep doctor's office this week instead since he is the actual doctor to prescribe it. They told me I shouldn't need anything and suggested I could carry a copy of my sleep study that I already had. When I pressed the issue, they said they would call the main office and ask for a letter. Later in the day, I had a message left on voicemail telling me again I don't need anything. I am kind of annoyed from the standpoint of it is a simple request and the therapist had suggested it. How hard is it to write a little letter?! I never got a copy of my prescription. I have my sleep study copy and also a followup letter from the DME to me thanking me for choosing them for my therapy equipment which includes phone numbers. If I get hassles, the doctor will be hearing from me.
I definitely plan on carrying it on. They count medical equipment as an allowed extra carry on. I always try to avoid carrying on anything I think will cause extra time and hassle going through security. Including a laptop. I love my iPad for traveling ... not having to remove from the case or even remove it the carry on bag. Guess traveling with CPAP will be extra hassle as we have to remove from carry cases ... then pack it up again on the other side.
12-10-2013, 08:51 PM
You do not need a medical letter. It is not required. They won't ask for it. I doubt they even know what one looks like. The process of getting stuff through check points now is so quick and processed. They know what a CPAP looks like. The guys in Dallas recognized mine from just the bag.
It will be easy to go through. Will you be going alone? If so, be prepared ahead of time. Have nothing in your pockets. Put everything in the computer bag or personal bag but don't have anything loose but in other bags or pockets. Cell phone, everything. All that needs to come out of your computer bag is the computer and the iPad. Take them out, put in bin. Put bag in another bin. Take CPAP out of bag. Put in bin, put bag in another bin. Take off shoes, they go in bin. Yes, they go through the bins. Go through check point. Gather stuff, put back together, done. They may or may not want to swipe the CPAP for bomb residue. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don't. They used to do mine every time but the last time I flew, one airport did, the other did not. If you are going through with someone else, bonus! Divide the bags between the two of you. Perhaps you could keep track of the CPAP and whoever can keep track of everything else just this once. That way you can see what they do and understand the procedure.
Your CPAP bag does not count toward your bag allotment as long as only medical equipment is in there. Most of the CPAP bags are so small, that's all that fits anyway. Your S9 bag has a strap on the back that lets it slip over the handle of a rolling bag. Real handy.
The one thing to remember is if you have any problems with the airline, ask to speak to their Conflict Resolution Officer, their CRO. There is to be one on duty whenever the airport is open. Don't leave the airport until it is settled. Don't let them check your CPAP bag at the gate. Tell them it is medical equipment. There is a closet up front where medical equipment can be put if there is no room anywhere else. Except for passengers who were already on board (if it is a flight they were already on from another city, not that they were boarding ahead of you), any other passenger's stuff there has to be moved to make room for medical gear. They don't like that passengers know this, though. If they get snippy about the gate check, ask about the medical equipment closet or locker.
If you are staying at a hotel, the tap water will be just fine for your humidifier. If the water smells of chlorine, you can use bottle water. Locating distilled water is not necessary in my opinion. It is a personal choice, really.
I did a post a while back on what I travel with in my CPAP bag (or for my CPAP)
And a guy did a post once about a suitcase he designed for CPAPs. I never got around to getting one since I don't travel that often and it wouldn't work out for me in the long run.
Apnea Board Moderator
Breathe deeply and count to zen.
12-10-2013, 08:51 PM
I have been doing this for years.
It's similar to traveling with a laptop.
Since it is "medically necessary equipment" it is best to carry on. Just take it out (the blower only) and place it uncovered in its own bin through the X-ray. The TSA agent on the other end will swab it with a cloth and check for explosives then give it back. Keep the rest in its carry bag and send through the X-ray. If you are carrying a battery pack for it, I suggest leaving it in the carry bag. They may want to inspect it but I have never had any issues going through. Only one did I actually have to hook the battery pack up and run the machine. They are pretty good with these things. There are enough people using them that it is common place for them. Have an enjoyable trip and never let your CPAP keep you from doing what you want to do!
12-10-2013, 09:06 PM
(12-10-2013, 07:39 PM)ImaSurvivor Wrote: We are going cross country so there will be a 3 hr. time change. I will still be in the compliance monitoring stage. I wasn't sure how that would work or if there was a clock I needed to set.The clock on your machine set to your local NY time. CPAP new day (24 hour period) start at noon, anytime you use the machine after that time until noon the following day count as one day http://www.apneaboard.com/wiki/index.php..._the_clock
Sorry cannot work out if the 3 hours difference affect compliance, my brain is not working with all this hot weather we,re having but why bother if DME said its okay, you,ll have to set the clock back on your return
12-10-2013, 09:46 PM
What zonk means is that the S9 sees noon as the start of the next day. So as long as you get up before noon according to the machine, you should be fine. Even then, it would add that time to the next day so in the end, it would even out but would look kinda messy. The DME would be able to do the math if they were smart enough and/or willing.
If you do set it, decide to set it, make a backup copy of your SD card first. Download all the data while you are at it, that way you only have to deal with the data from while you are gone. Change the time before you leave, that way you have it done and all you have to do when you get there is collapse and sleep.
The only problem would be if where you are going is 3 hrs behind you and there is data for that time period. The machine won't let you set the time for that. For example, if you got up at 9am and at 11am you want to set the clock 3 hrs back, that would be for 8am. You have data for that time period and the machine won't let you.
Here's how to change the time:
Apnea Board Moderator
Breathe deeply and count to zen.
12-10-2013, 10:26 PM
Last summer, I flew to Washington state last summer. On my next trip, I will take the SD card out of my CPAP machine and make them hand inspect it. I will never let it be X-Rayed again. On the way there, it was fine and I had no problem reading it every week.
Fortunately, I made copies of the reading because on the flight home, something happened when it went through X-Ray. Right afterwards, it couldn't be read. The doctor tried to read it...nothing. Now I am getting another Resmed SD card and I hope that will record properly.
Have a great trip!
:Using cpap then vpap since Feb.2013,
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