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Traveling with CPAP
#1
Hi

Next week, I will be traveling to Hawaii and will be bringing my CPAP machine. I have received a note from my dr to carrry it on the plane instead of checking it in. I have been told that it won't count towards my carrry-ons because it is medical equipment. Is that correct?

What can I expect going through security? I was thinking of putting the CPAP in it's carry bag that it came with and then put that in my duffle bag. Is that OK? OR do I need to keep it out for security. Trying to figure out what I will need to take out when I approach security as I will have a camera and a laptop.

Tanks
Jennifer
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#2
Hi Jennifer,

I can pass on a couple of thoughts from my travels. CPAPs don't count as part of your carry on....they are medical equipment and in my flying since I began treatment I've never had an issue. Do keep it separate....just like a laptop, they like to x-ray it separately to make sure you aren't hiding anything in it.

Suggestions to make life easier:
1) Let the airline know in advance that you are bringing your CPAP regardless of whether you need to use it on the flight or not. They are usually quite discrete and it saves some over-enthusiastic flight attendant getting mad at you thinking you have more luggage than you are allowed.

2) If you have time, you can get or make a tag for the CPAP carrying case (there are lots of pics online to give you ideas) that identifies it as medical equipment. Security has seen enough of them and even for the newbie screeners, it means less questions.

3) Your water (if you choose to bring distilled with you) is also exempt from the container rules...just make sure that you declare it when you get to security. I have some medicine bottles from my local pharmacy (1/2 quart / 500 ml ones) that use. I put identifying stickers on...distilled water, for CPAP etc....and the worst any screener has done is swabbed them for explosives testing.

4) Pack your mask in a clear ziplock. If they want to open the bag and handle it at all, you are well within your rights to ask them to put on a fresh set of gloves before they do.

5) Relax. The airlines and security have seen CPAPs before and it'll be more new for you than them Smile

Happy flying Smile

Mike
INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEB SITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.
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#3
I put my ResMed AirSense 10 in a gallon zip lock and toss it in my roll-aboard. At the X-Ray machine, I pull it out and put it in a tray along with my liquids. The TSA sees tons of CPAP machines.

If I have a crap boarding zone, I just go to the gate agent, tell them I have medical equipment in my roll-aboard I would prefer not to check, and ask to board early. I just board immediately after the elite frequent flyers and nobody has ever said a word. I toss a canvas bag in my roll-aboard so I can pull the CPAP machine out if I'm forced to check my bag for some strange reason. I see no point in burdening myself with anything beyond my laptop computer bag and my roll-aboard. I've never flown with the soft case that comes with the unit. I do use that for drive-to destinations.
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#4
Does not count against you.

Screening can vary. I have had them pull it out and xray it, I have had them swab it, and I have had them ignore it as it whipped through in my carry on. No, I don't worry about other people touching it or it going through in one of the bins. Nothing is gong to get into it.

No big whoop in any case.

OMMOHY
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#5
It does not count against your luggage, but it must be able to fit under the seat or in the bin. Never let your medicine or CPAP leave your company. Things get lost in transit.
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#6
The only place I had a problem was on a stop over in England they counted it as my 1 piece of carry one so I had to check my real carry on. Never a problem in the U.S.
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#7
(05-25-2015, 07:10 PM)accumack Wrote: The only place I had a problem was on a stop over in England they counted it as my 1 piece of carry one so I had to check my real carry on. Never a problem in the U.S.

That must have been a while ago. Heathrow had a bizarre "one carry-on bag" rule from 2006 to early 2008. I remember having to get really creative to jam everything into my roll-aboard to get through security while changing terminals. I was "wearing" about 6 layers of clothing with all kinds of things stuffed in the pockets and looked like the Michelin Man.

Heathrow is optimized to make travel as miserable as could ever be possible. Easily the worst airport in the world to fly in the economy section with a US passport.

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#8
I have a rolling case for my CPAP and it holds everything including the extension cord and surge protector. When we travel together we also add our meds and my wife's spinal cord stimulator charger. All medical so it is no problem. I also keep a copy of my script in the pocket of the bag. We usually board early due to my wife's mobility issues so finding the spot is not an issue. I always tell the gate agent what I have and when I put it in the bin, I make sure the med device tag is showing. Had a TSA agent on the last trip mention it was nice seeing someone who had everything together.
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#9
Go to the airline website and print out the page where it states the exception for medical equipment anpd supplies including the distilled water. Print out the whole psge so it includes the airline logo or other specific identifying mark. Be sure, if it is a codeshare flight (Airline A operates the flight but Airline B also sells tickets on it under its own flight number) that you print the page for the airline actually operating the flight.

Then go to the manufacturer's website. They will have a page identifying your machine as authorized medical equipment. Print out the specific page.

Get a letter from you sleep specialist or physician stating that you are prescribed CPAP (or whatever you use) and that it must travel with you.

TAKE ALL THE DOCUMENTATION WITH YOU, with the equipment.
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#10
(05-26-2015, 10:47 AM)GeoffD Wrote:
(05-25-2015, 07:10 PM)accumack Wrote: The only place I had a problem was on a stop over in England they counted it as my 1 piece of carry one so I had to check my real carry on. Never a problem in the U.S.

That must have been a while ago. Heathrow had a bizarre "one carry-on bag" rule from 2006 to early 2008. I remember having to get really creative to jam everything into my roll-aboard to get through security while changing terminals. I was "wearing" about 6 layers of clothing with all kinds of things stuffed in the pockets and looked like the Michelin Man.

Heathrow is optimized to make travel as miserable as could ever be possible. Easily the worst airport in the world to fly in the economy section with a US passport.

It was 2007 we were in Business Class I had a carry on and my CPAP and they made me check one. it was only a stopover. The airline handed us bottles of water as we got off the plane and as we got inside the terminal they made us throw them away. Security said it was a US rule on 1 carry on and if i wanted to question it they assured me I would not make the flight. As a result I promised to never visit England again and haven't.
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