I carry my CPAP in a case I got from my travel agent.
My CPAP machine came with a case specifically for the machine. I would think that you would be able to get a medical device authorization from the airline and keep it with you and not in the overhead. People keep their laptops with them and even use them on the airplane. Just a thought for your next trip.
In the US, you don't need an "authorization". You just tell them it is your CPAP or that it is medical equipment. On mine, I have a tag I got from one of the suppliers. It looks official and all that jazz. I let them put it in the overhead just so I have my other stuff with me.
NEVER let them check it through, even at the gate.
If your gear is ever damaged while flying commercial, ask (demand politely) to speak to the Conflict Resolution Officer. One is to be on duty at any time there are passengers in the airport. It is this person that will help you get the item fixed and/or replaced. Once you leave the airport, you have no standing for a claim.
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