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Traveling with CPAP / Using CPAP on Aircraft
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zonk Offline

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Posts: 7,908
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Machine: A10 AutoSet
Mask Type: Nasal mask
Mask Make & Model: Activa LT
Humidifier: Integrated /ClimateLineAir
CPAP Pressure: 9/13
CPAP Software: ResScan

Other Comments: CPAP since Nov 2010

Sex: Male
Location: Australia

Post: #1
Traveling with CPAP / Using CPAP on Aircraft
[parts of this thread were copied from our old forum]

10 tips traveling with your cpap machine
(from a article by Dr Steven Park )

Flying with Your CPAP

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recently ruled that airline passengers must be allowed to use respiratory assistive devices, such as a CPAP machine (Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability in Air Travel – May 13, 2009). However, don't think that you'll just breeze by security checkpoints at the airport. Here are some common tips that are recommended when you fly with your CPAP machine:

1. Never check your CPAP machine.

2. Always have with you a prescription for your CPAP machine and your latest sleep study. You never know if your unit gets lost or stolen, or breaks down.

3. Attach a medical equipment tag, identifying the contents as such.

4. Let the TSA security agent know that you have a CPAP machine. Remove it from the back and have it scanned separately.

5. Request that security agents change gloves and wipe down the table before inspecting your machine. Wrap your device in a clear bag while being scanned to prevent contamination with germs and other chemicals.

6. Keep a record of the model and serial number in hand, just in case.

7. If you're going to use your CPAP machine in-flight, check beforehand if there's an outlet next to your seat, and if you have the right adaptor.

8. If the flight attendant says something about your CPAP being another carry-on, let him or her know that it's a CPAP machine and under the Americans with Disability Act, it's not counted as an added carry-on.

9. Consider having your doctor give you a letter describing the need for your CPAP machine.

10. Most CPAP units will automatically convert to the correct local voltage. Check with your instruction manual or manufacturer to confirm this. You may, however, need a plug adaptor, as well as an extension cord, in case your outlet is far away.
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JudgeMental wrote
Good info Zonk, especially this time for year for summer travelers..
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moeschmoe wrote:
Agreed. What about traveling with a cpap battery pack? I have a lithium-ion battery pack that I might bring if and when I travel.
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HeadGear wrote:
On air travel with CPAP battery see the following:
http://z5.ifrm.com/5902/67/0/p1028445/FLYINGFAQ.pdf

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moeschmoe wrote
Thanks for the info, HeadGear! I have the CPAP battery they referred to on that website...
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HeadGear wrote:
Your are the lucky one! That beats me travelling with a small lead acid (gel cel) battery, about 150 Watt hours capacity. Mine weighs 8 lb., relatively bulky, but, unlike a Li ion cell, can be packed in checked luggage. A similar weight Li ion pack has triple the capacity!!! Needless to say, I would love to have on of those super batteries, 'though the gel cel cost only $35.

When travelling by car, I usually take an Optima deep cycle marine battery. Now, that is heavy and costs about $175. I keep two of those at home, charged at all times. You never know when
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PaulaO wrote:
Well, 5 is odd although the TSA suggests it, too. I guess it is to protect it while in the bin. Why, though? That is one step too many that will slow you (and everyone behind you) down. I also disagree with the glove change. Far too much time and energy when by the time the gloves are changed, you could be done and going on. All they do is they put it in a bin. It goes through xray. They take it out of the bin. They wipe it once or twice with a cloth (which is usually on a stick) that detects explosives. They put it back in the bin. They hand it to you. That's it. Big whoop. Your laptop gets handled the same way except they often open it and have been known to turn it on. I've never seen them do anything to the CPAP but swipe the cloth. If you are that concerned about possible germs, take out the filter or change the filter before you use it the next time.

8 is wrong, too. The ADA doesn't cover airplanes. That's the Air Carriers Access Act (ACAA).

I also disagree with 9. You don't need a letter. You have the machine that can only be obtained by prescription. Letters set precedent.

A much better, and accurate, how to article can be found here:
http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/specialneeds/cpap.shtm

I travel with a power wheelchair, charger, CPAP, crutches, and a bag of medication. And laptop and Service Dog. LOL I'm a mess. The poor TSA agents see me coming and prepare themselves for the onslaught. I do have a tag from #1 on the supplier list for the CPAP bag. And, you know, they swipe down the CPAP, the laptop, and the wheelchair but never even look at the bomb sized battery charger.

That said, how do you handle the two piece barely put together S9s and similar? Hand them both pieces or assemble it first? They are put in the carry bag separated, right? I would say hand them the two pieces. Assembly takes time and, if not done right due to rushed atmosphere, it could cause damage. Heck, I'm not even sure how to take mine apart. Gotta go look now. LOL
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mckevin32 wrote:
Last time I went through security had my wife and I take our twin s9s out of our carry on and ran them through the scanner in their (factory) bags. Never even opened the zipper. Don't know how it wil be in the future, but it was the same procedure leaving from ICT and returning from LAS.

We had both CPAPS, the only items in a single carry on size bag. When we got to the end of the jetway Allegiant had started gate checking as the overheads were full. The attendant didn't give a flip about medical equipment or anything else, they were going into the hold. Period..
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JacoSZ wrote:
Airlines differ on how they handle and accept CPAP devices. Best is to inform them at the time of booking that you will be traveling with a CPAP device. In these cases I have always got a seat with a power outlet and did not have to use a battery on the plane once. But yes, getting it onto the plane has so tales to tell and questions to answer, but it has always accompanied me wherever I went.

In some countries, having a prescription handy does do the trick, as none of the airlines want to try and answer to a court what gave them the advance knowledge of medicine to question a registered medical practitioner’s prescription
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Yaatri wrote:
Some airlines allow passengers to use CPAP and some don't. I am old United will even make arrangements to provide power for your CPAP, even if there is no in seat power, provided you inform them in advance.
Northwest and KLM never did allow me to use CPAP aboard their aircraft even when there was in seat power.
Delta had to be nudged. The check-in agent in Washington, D.C. and the gate agents in JFK and LAX were not only clueless but found it safer to say "NO". I continued to insist politely. The gate agent asked the crew, who said "Oh yeah. It's allowed. We see passengers using it all the time". This was on a flight from Los Angles to Sydney, Australia. Delta allows it only of there is power in the seat. Business Class on all international flights have power in the seat. Airbus 330-300, Airbus 330-200 and all Boeing 777 have power in the premium economy section too.
Fortunately for me, I fly Delta most of the time.
But the problem is that aircraft air is too dry and the power provided in the seat is not enough to power the humidifier. It's not very comfortable to use CPAP without a humidifier on a plane.
Does anyone have any suggestions about how to get around the issue of dryness?

Airlines employees are still very poorly informed. Numerous calls to NW and now Delta resulted in denial of using CPAP on board, sometimes stating it can be used only of it has a battery. It's frustrating to have to argue with employees who insist you don't know what you are talking about.
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tomram486 wrote:
I have an Elite II and have traveled with the cpap and the heater for the last two years. Until about 6 months, I had to take out the cpap and have it scanned much like a computer. Then they would take the cpap and a residue test. The TSA did not even want to look at the heater. An agent said that they see through the heater, no problem. About 6 months ago, an agent at the KC airport said that they did not need me to take the cpap out of my luggage. At the Baltimore airport, they still took out the cpap machine and did the residue test. So what I do now is to take the cpap out of my luggage and run the machine like a computer through the scanner. TSA does not even do the residue test anymore.
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PaulaO wrote;
If the airline is based out of (in nearly any way) the US, they must conform to the Air Carrier Access Act.

After a LOT of searching, I finally resorted to the document itself.
http://airconsumer.dot.gov/rules/Part%20382-2008.pdf (which became effective in May 2009)

I got it here: http://airconsumer.dot.gov/rules/rules.htm

My search of that document included both CPAP and Section 132.133, the section that is supposed to cover CPAP machines (and other Medical Portable Electronic Devices M-PEDs). However, this document is mostly covering the reasonings and discussions about the changes that were made. It is interesting to read!

Another document:
http://airconsumer.dot.gov/rules/FAQ_5_13_09.pdf

is the Frequently Asked Questions document. Scroll down to page 19 where it discusses these M-PEDs. Note that it says the device must have its original manufacturer label and that label must say it complies with RTCA/DO-160. I just went and checked my relatively new S9. On the bottom, in the text that is part of the plastic, it says it complies.
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Yaatri wrote:
many many thanks to you both, Zonk and PaulaO. I too have seached some document, but they are different from what you have provided. I will go through them. The label issue comes up. There are two interpretations to the statement about the label.
[Quote: DOT final rule, section 382.133 requires that air carriers conducting passenger service (on aircraft originally designed to have a passenger capacity of 19 or more seats) must permit someone with a disability, to use a ... (CPAP) machine, ... unless the device fails to meet applicable FAA requirements for Medical Portable Electronic Devices (M-PED) and does not display a manufacturer’s label that indicates the device meets those FAA requirements.]

The above is from the final DOT rule. The document that you provided has, in my opinion, misinterpreted the rule and enables the airline to say NO to CPAP use on aircraft if the CPAP does not have a label. The wording of the final rule confuses people. In my opinion, what it means is that the airline, subject to the U.S. rules, may prevent a passenger from using CPAP on an aircraft, only if
The device fails to meet FAA requirements
and
The device does not have a label that indicates compliance with the FAA requirements.

The operative word is "and", not "either", "or" .
If the CPAP does not have a label that indicates FAA requirements, the airline must know, (not believe), that the device does not meet the FAA requirements for emission.
Most people read that rule and say "You can't use it has your device does not have the label".

However, Resmed's website has a travel letter in pdf, that says the device meets FAA requirements.
................................................................................​...
Quote:[ I also disagree with 9. You don't need a letter. You have the machine that can only be obtained by prescription. Letters set precedent.]
Steven wrote:
I actually agree with your entire response including that you do NOT need a letter.
And, I do not have such a letter from my Sleep Doctor.
But on 1 U.S. flight a couple of years ago, I was was told that my CPAP did not count as a carry-on because it was not a medical device.

The copy of my prescription and the copy of my purchase of the CPAP from a Medical Supply Company (DME) quickly brought that discussion to a conclusion.
Sadly, the competence of the people you will encounter on an airline flight is sometimes lacking (OK, maybe I am being too nice). And it certainly would not be to my advantage to get involved in an argument with any of them - they have too much power. So, I carry those 2 copies in my CPAP bag. Have only had to use it once. But it helped to have it.

Now, when I am not in a hurry to get somewhere & risk missing my flight, I will fight tooth & nail with anyone who is wrong.
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Quote:[ We had both CPAPS, the only items in a single carry on size bag. When we got to the end of the jetway Allegiant had started gate checking as the overheads were full. The attendant didn't give a flip about medical equipment or anything else, they were going into the hold. Period..]
Steven wrote:
Didn't the fact that they were both in another bag keep the attendant from recognizing that they were medical equipment?
"I" would have requested that they take someone else's non-medical equipment carry-on & gate check it so that my medical equipment (CPAP) could fit in the overhead bins.
I have also been successful in them allowing me to pre-board to make sure that my CPAP would NOT have to be gate checked.
Just go to the attendant at the gate & VERY HUMBLY request that. Your tone should reflect that you know that your "medical equipment" will NOT survive being gate checked & that you absolutely canNOT do withOUT it.
Just the fact that you have to carry medical equipment with you everywhere you go will elicit some sympathy.
I am sure you have seen some of the extreme sizes of carry-on luggage some people try to cram into those overhead bins. Those should be gate checked & your CPAP be given priority over them.

Once I had pre-boarded & put my CPAP in the overhead bin. Someone boarded later & tried to FORCEFULLY stuff a HUGE bag in the same bin. I stood up & politely said: I have some medical equipment in there & you are going to harm it by trying to get that oversized bag in there. The flight attendant took it & had it gate checked for him.

If they would better police what people try to carry-on, there would be enough room in the bins.
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PaulaO wrote:
I wonder if that's why the sticker on my S9 says "RX only"? Proof it is a medical device.

In case of any issues with an airline or the airport, every airport (in the US) has a Conflict Resolution Officer (CRO) that is on duty whenever the airport is open. Do not let them tell you that person is not there. It is a HUGE federal law. Do not leave the airport until you have seen this person. Often, just letting them know you know of the existence of this person is enough to settle any dispute.

If I had to be on a long enough flight that I would need to sleep and therefore use my CPAP, and if they denied it, I would then say I needed on-board oxygen (which is a bigger PITA for them than my simple CPAP). I would tell them that my condition, without the CPAP, causes my O2 levels to dangerously drop and, while the O2 would not resolve the issue, I would at least not have a heart attack or stroke. I would also tell them that they need not stock the plane with pillows because if I am sleeping without my machine, NO ONE ELSE will be sleeping due to the snoring, a symptom of my condition. I'd also tell them that I would be encouraging each passenger to speak with the CRO when they land so they could complain about how I was denied the use of a medical device which meant they all got no sleep and was tortured by my symptom. This would also be when I told them I was filing a complaint about their denial of use and would file another one when the flight was over. Oh, and I'd say "Have a nice day." when I was finished.

From what I read, the "and" is correct. They want that label on the machine vs a letter because a letter takes time to read. That label, with the big embossed "complies with..." is easy to read and I bet is the same on nearly every machine that has it. They want consistency. ResMed's letter is probably worded differently from Fischer's or Respironics. A letter from one user and a label from another is confusing to the overworked, underpaid, and mocked employees.
................................................................................​..............
SuperSleeper wrote:
I combined the two topics "Traveling with CPAP" and "Using CPAP on Aircraft" because they are very similar topics.
Thanks.
Smile
................................................................................​.........
Quote:[From what I read, the "and" is correct. They want that label on the machine vs a letter because a letter takes time to read. That label, with the big embossed "complies with..." is easy to read and I bet is the same on nearly every machine that has it. They want consistency. ResMed's letter is probably worded differently from Fischer's or Respironics. A letter from one user and a label from another is confusing to the overworked, underpaid, and mocked employees.]

Yaatri wrote:
I am not saying "and" is wrong, but that the co-ordinate clause following "and" is mis-interpreted.
Here it is again

DOT final rule, section 382.133 requires that air carriers conducting passenger service (on aircraft originally designed to have a passenger capacity of 19 or more seats) must permit someone with a disability, to use a ... (CPAP) machine, ... unless the device fails to meet applicable FAA requirements for Medical Portable Electronic Devices (M-PED) and does not display a manufacturer’s label that indicates the device meets those FAA requirements.


What it means is that absence of a sticker cannot be used as evidence that the device does comply with FAA's emission requirements, but the airline must permit use of CPAP unless the device is non-compliant.
I can't remember the document where this was discussed but the point was that since most manufacturers do not label their machines with a sticker that indicates compliance, the above rule is to be used until such time that the sticker becomes the norm.
If absence of sticker alone was sufficient to not permit use of CPAP on board, the rule would say "or" in place of "and":

Quote:
DOT final rule, section 382.133 requires that air carriers conducting passenger service (on aircraft originally designed to have a passenger capacity of 19 or more seats) must permit someone with a disability, to use a ... (CPAP) machine, ... unless the device fails to meet applicable FAA requirements for Medical Portable Electronic Devices (M-PED) and or does not display a manufacturer’s label that indicates the device meets those FAA requirements.

I showed the rule to the gate agent, who immediate concluded that since there is no sticker, they don;t have to allow it.
................................................................................​................
ResMed Power Station II (RPS II)

The ResMed Power Station II (RPS II) is an external lithium-ion battery that allows operation of compatible ResMed devices where mains power is not available, and provides a backup power in case of an unexpected mains power failure.
The RPS II is intended for single patient re-use in the home environment and multi-patient re-use in the hospital or institutional environment.
DC output voltage & DC cables
http://www.resmed.com/au/products/resmed...c=patients

ResMed Power Station II (RPS II)
External battery pack for ResMed ventilators and sleep devices
User Guide :
http://www.resmed.com/au/assets/document...ow_eng.pdf
Fact Sheet :
http://www.resmed.com/au/assets/document...nz_eng.pdf
................................................................................​......
(This post was last modified: 02-28-2012 03:08 PM by zonk.)
02-28-2012 02:34 PM
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zonk Offline

Advisory Members

Posts: 7,908
Joined: Feb 2012

Machine: A10 AutoSet
Mask Type: Nasal mask
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Humidifier: Integrated /ClimateLineAir
CPAP Pressure: 9/13
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Other Comments: CPAP since Nov 2010

Sex: Male
Location: Australia

Post: #2
RE: Traveling with CPAP / Using CPAP on Aircraft
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) Machine
Travelers with Disabilities and Medical Conditions
http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/specialneeds/cpap.shtm

CPAPs are allowed through security checkpoints once they have undergone screening.
Passengers will be required to take their CPAP machine out of its carrying case and place the device in a bin for x-ray screening. Facemasks and tubing can remain in the carrying case.

In addition to x-ray inspection of your CPAP machine, a visual and physical inspection, and Explosive Trace Detection (ETD) sampling will be required.

To facilitate CPAP machine hygiene and cleanliness:
Once out of the carrying case, you can place your CPAP machine in a clear plastic bag before placing the device in the bin. You will need to provide/bring your own plastic bag.

Upon request, TSOs will change their gloves prior to performing the visual and physical inspection, and ETD sampling of your CPAP machine. The CPAP will need to be removed from the plastic bag by the TSO to conduct the ETD sampling.

Upon request, TSOs will clean the table where the ETD sampling will be conducted.
Upon request, TSOs will change the ETD sampling media before conducting the ETD sampling.
03-03-2012 04:49 PM
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zonk Offline

Advisory Members

Posts: 7,908
Joined: Feb 2012

Machine: A10 AutoSet
Mask Type: Nasal mask
Mask Make & Model: Activa LT
Humidifier: Integrated /ClimateLineAir
CPAP Pressure: 9/13
CPAP Software: ResScan

Other Comments: CPAP since Nov 2010

Sex: Male
Location: Australia

Post: #3
RE: Traveling with CPAP / Using CPAP on Aircraft
Travel [Source: ResMed]
Positive airway pressure (PAP) treatment doesn't need to interfere with your life. PAP systems are fully portable, so you can travel with them.

Air Travel
When PAP treatment is needed in-flight, please contact the airline at least two weeks prior to traveling to allow airline reservations personnel to obtain approval from the airline’s Medical Services department and check whether any special requirements or restrictions apply. Follow these recommended preparations:
Carry a letter from your doctor certifying your need for PAP treatment.
Obtain approval from the airline's Medical Services for use on the flight.
Carry a copy of the approval letter from the airline (if they provide one).
Arrange seating close to a power source on the aircraft.
Confirm the type of power cord or adapter required by the aircraft.

Note: Humidifiers should not be used with PAP devices during travel, due to the increased possibility of spilling water into the tubing or into the machine.

International Travel
PAP devices run on virtually any power supply in the world without the need for a power transformer. However, you will need a plug adapter appropriate for the country you are visiting. You can purchase plug adapters at electronics and travel stores.

You should have the following information with you when traveling:
Your treatment pressure
Your mask type and size
Your home medical equipment provider's contact details
Your sleep specialist's contact details
Your general practitioner's information
Your health insurance information

Travel FAQs
http://www.resmed.com/us/service_and_support/travel.html?nc=patients
03-27-2012 03:33 PM
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pssnn Offline
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Machine: ResMed S9 Autoset
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CPAP Pressure: 14 - 18
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Location: Missouri

Post: #4
RE: Traveling with CPAP / Using CPAP on Aircraft
I just recently did a bit of traveling with my CPAP equipment. I do not know if the TSA has relaxed the CPAP screening or not but I found that at both airports where I went through security screening they never even took the Autoset or the humidifer out of the ziplock bags I had them in.

Also it did not appear that the hotel staff moved or otherwise messed around with the equipment when they made up the rooms.

Traveling was way easier than I had expected it to be.

"Goodnight Chesty wherever you are!"
05-12-2012 02:37 PM
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PaulaO2 Offline
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Machine: S9 Autoset
Mask Type: Full face mask
Mask Make & Model: F&P Simplus
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CPAP Pressure: 14-20
CPAP Software: SleepyHead

Other Comments: Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, Hypermobility Type; chronic sarcasm

Sex: Undisclosed
Location: western NC, USA

Post: #5
RE: Traveling with CPAP / Using CPAP on Aircraft
I have been in a rush and left the hose and mask draped over onto the bed. I came back to find it neatly coiled around the machine and the bed made. Other than that, they never mess with it.

Good to know about the TSA thing. I am flying to Minneapolis in June and not looking forward to it!

PaulaO2
Apnea Board Moderator
www.ApneaBoard.com


Breathe deeply and count to zen.

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.
05-12-2012 02:41 PM
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