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Trouble with getting my machine through airport screening
#1
Trouble with getting my machine through airport screening
I don't travel a lot by air and when I do I take my CPAP in an additional carry on bag. The last 2 times through security I have been held for secondary exam and finally got out of the security people that my machine is setting off alarms for RDX (a high explosive). Obviously I have not knowingly come into contact with this product and was told to give my machine a good wipe down with rubbing alcohol. Any one else have this issue?
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#2
RE: Trouble with getting my machine through airport screening
No problems here. The security folks didn't seem to give my machine even a second glance except for the new guy getting trained.
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#3
RE: Trouble with getting my machine through airport screening
Sometimes they wipe it, sometimes they don't (when I fly). I'd suggest you do as they say and just get a packet of alcohol wipes and clean it down before packing it away. And toss the bag into the washer, too. Don't dry it though!

Wonder what you came in contact with? I've heard of wheelchair users who get flagged because they live on a farm and there's chemicals on the tires.

They wipe the CPAPs because they suck in air. If there's any evil stuff in the air, it will gravitate toward the machine. In theory.
PaulaO

Take a deep breath and count to zen.




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#4
RE: Trouble with getting my machine through airport screening
Never had any trouble, but sometimes someone new will take the machine out and look at it.
First time anyone saw a CPAP I had to take it out and they read the letter I had, then went away to make a phone call, they placed a sniffer inside the bag before asking me to unpack it ( all a bit frustrating in front of everyone), then they wiped it and went away to do a drugs test.  They then put it through the x-ray machine, which I was not sure about the first time, but it worked fine afterwards, so it survived, phew!  However, after a phone call and negative test for drugs they read the letter again and asked how I used it, satisfied they let me go through.  The airline never bat an eyelid, and when I was struggling to get it into the overhead rack one of the staff took it into the back with them, returning it when the aircraft landed.  Can't say I have had any real problems, security are just doing their job and as long as you are patient with them, it smooths the way a lot.
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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#5
RE: Trouble with getting my machine through airport screening
Never had a problem with screening. Oh, and I have never had to take it out of the bag and send it through separately. I just put the bag on the conveyor belt and let it go through x-ray. The only time they asked about it was when I also had my wife's spinal chord stimulator hardware in the bag. No problems at all.

Homer
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#6
RE: Trouble with getting my machine through airport screening
I fly to europe regularly, the CPAP goes through the Xray in its bag, never asked to take it out, sometimes it gets swabbed,even comes as a free extra bag with Ryanair who charge for everything. If i get asked at the gate I just say it's medical equipment and go on my way, I do have a letter from my doctor in the bag but it's not been looked at.
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#7
RE: Trouble with getting my machine through airport screening
So far, what strikes me is the wide variance in discretion and protocol from agency to agency and from place to place.  I was told to display my larger electronics, including personal smart phone, out in the open on separate trays, just like they want for laptop computers.  So, the only time I have flown in the six-plus months I have been on PAP therapy I simply opened the lid of the travel case for the PAP machine for display and sent it through the machine.  Nary a comment was made.  I packed it all up after going through the detector and was on my way in a jiffy.
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#8
RE: Trouble with getting my machine through airport screening
If I'm asked to take out my cell phone / e-reader, then they want the CPAP out of the bag too. Otherwise, I just let it all go through x-ray. Chatting with the tech once (the machine was having glitches & stopped) he said that CPAP machines were becoming much more common, at least in North America. Overseas - different story. "Breathing machine" is much easier to translate.

Never heard of someone getting tagged for RDX though. I have some professional friends who do sales for thermite welding supplies - they have some horror stories about air travel. And a strict cleansing routine before heading to the airport.
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#9
RE: Trouble with getting my machine through airport screening
The only place, internationally, where I have been asked to take the machine out of my backpack is Dubai. I was transiting to the UK. When i came back through Dubai again, also in transit, nothing happened.
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#10
RE: Trouble with getting my machine through airport screening
Sorry no one’s ever mention something like that when I travel. They will often asked to search and go through the CPAP machine, but that is the extent of it
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