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General Discussion on any topic relating to CPAP and/or Sleep Apnea.
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StuUnderPressure
 
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OT - Southwest Airlines & CPAP (Boarding & Stowing)

Postby StuUnderPressure on Mon Mar 24, 2014 6:07 pm

I fly a few times a year, so I know the CPAP rules Re not counted as a carry-on.

My problem is I may have to fly Southwest Airlines for the very 1st time in May (including the Memorial Day Monday).

I will be flying into Milwaukee, but my ultimate destination is Sheboygan (I just love saying that) to attend a business meeting at the Blue Harbor Resort.

Because Southwest does not pre-assign seats nor boarding order, I am concerned about whether I can be assured that I will be able to keep / stow my APAP on board without fear of them wanting to gate check it.

With all of the other airlines I have flown, I have always been allowed to pre-board based solely on my having an APAP.

I will check-in as soon as I am able to try to get a better boarding order & seat.
But, I assume that all of the people who fly Southwest will also be checking in very early to try to do the same thing.

I have read all of the stuff on the Southwest website Re CPAPs.
I also called Southwest, but the lady I spoke to knew almost nothing about CPAP boarding & stowing.

So, at the very least, I am a little leary about this trip.
I can fly on another airline, but the tickets are almost 3 times the Southwest price and I have to buy 2 tickets. Don't you just love flying on a Holiday?

Has anyone flown Southwest Airlines lately?
Can you reassure me that I will not have any problems?

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NameGoesHere
 
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Re: OT - Southwest Airlines & CPAP (Boarding & Stowing)

Postby NameGoesHere on Mon Mar 24, 2014 6:13 pm

I don't fly southwest but I thought the airlines were required to allow you to keep medical devices with you in the cabin and that wasn't left to airline discretion. The legacy carrier I fly with has never given me any trouble but my frequent flier status (and tendency to fly F class) usually has me on the plane before most others. I'd expect that even if you are last on and all overhead space it taken you could politely ask the flight attendant for assistance and they would stow your bag in crew storage or one of the other nooks and crannies on the plane.

Also, even if you gate or valeted the rest of your luggage, isn't your cpap small enough to stow under the seat?

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Leadhead
 
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Re: OT - Southwest Airlines & CPAP (Boarding & Stowing)

Postby Leadhead on Mon Mar 24, 2014 6:19 pm

For an extra $10 you can upgrade your boarding status to assure you of an "A" level boarding spot...this will guarantee you enough room in cabin overhead bin space.

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Re: OT - Southwest Airlines & CPAP (Boarding & Stowing)

Postby sleeplessinaz on Mon Mar 24, 2014 7:58 pm

I have flown Southwest and they will make room for your CPAP machine. Do not worry.

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OT - Southwest Airlines & CPAP (Boarding & Stowing)

Postby ubnoxus on Mon Mar 24, 2014 8:21 pm

Just flew Southwest this weekend, they asked if I would like to put it in the overheard or they could store it on the crew cabinet if I liked. Told them overhead was fine and they moved some bags to make room.
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StuUnderPressure
 
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Re: OT - Southwest Airlines & CPAP (Boarding & Stowing)

Postby StuUnderPressure on Tue Mar 25, 2014 9:19 am

NameGoesHere wrote:I don't fly southwest but I thought the airlines were required to allow you to keep medical devices with you in the cabin and that wasn't left to airline discretion.


I am not a "frequent flyer" by any means.
But, I fly often enough to be very well versed in the rules & nuances of traveling with an APAP.

That requirement is assuming there is enough room to do that.

Southwest's boarding rules make it a distinct possibility that someone who is towards the back of the boarding line could find when they get on the plane that there is NOT any room left.

More information in the responses to others.

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Machine: S9 AutoSet™ CPAP Machine
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Additional Comments: ResScan Software 4.3.0.7081 APAP Pressure 14 - 20 Respironics Deluxe Chinstrap 3
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StuUnderPressure
 
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Re: OT - Southwest Airlines & CPAP (Boarding & Stowing)

Postby StuUnderPressure on Tue Mar 25, 2014 9:23 am

sleeplessinaz wrote:I have flown Southwest and they will make room for your CPAP machine. Do not worry.


What did make me start to worry were the following 2 statements on the Southwest website:

"IF" the wheelchair stowage was not full with wheelchairs, I could place my APAP there.

If there was no room onboard & I had to gate check my APAP, I should tell them what it is so it could be identified as such.
I assume that requirement is only to motivate the bag handlers to throw it around even more.

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Additional Comments: ResScan Software 4.3.0.7081 APAP Pressure 14 - 20 Respironics Deluxe Chinstrap 3
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StuUnderPressure
 
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Re: OT - Southwest Airlines & CPAP (Boarding & Stowing)

Postby StuUnderPressure on Tue Mar 25, 2014 9:28 am

ubnoxus wrote:Just flew Southwest this weekend, they asked if I would like to put it in the overheard or they could store it on the crew cabinet if I liked. Told them overhead was fine and they moved some bags to make room.


That was my initial thought.

But, I will be flying out of a very large international airport and I am assuming from the CPAP bags I have seen on other flights that there will probably be MANY more just like me jockeying for the same stowage space.

I guess I could always resort to putting it under the seat in front of me.

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Machine: S9 AutoSet™ CPAP Machine
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Additional Comments: ResScan Software 4.3.0.7081 APAP Pressure 14 - 20 Respironics Deluxe Chinstrap 3
Medicare DMEs in your area: http://www.medicare.gov/Supplier
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Re: OT - Southwest Airlines & CPAP (Boarding & Stowing)

Postby Bobby269 on Tue Mar 25, 2014 9:56 am

I fly South West 2-3 times a year. I have never had a problem. I use the ResMed carrying case and it fits under the seat in front of me. The first row has no place to put the bag so it goes in the overhead baggage. :D

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Re: OT - Southwest Airlines & CPAP (Boarding & Stowing)

Postby Guest on Tue Mar 25, 2014 5:17 pm

I fly Southwest often and have always been able to place my Resmed S9 under the seat in front of me. I don't put it in the overhead bins. Sometimes it is in the carrying case and sometimes it is in my small wheeled tote bag.

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StuUnderPressure
 
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Re: OT - Southwest Airlines & CPAP (Boarding & Stowing)

Postby StuUnderPressure on Wed Mar 26, 2014 11:22 am

THANKS everyone for the input of your experiences.

I booked 2 tickets on Southwest yesterday.

_________________
Machine: S9 AutoSet™ CPAP Machine
Mask: Mirage Activa™ LT Nasal CPAP Mask with Headgear
Humidifier: S9™ Series H5i™ Heated Humidifier with Climate Control
Additional Comments: ResScan Software 4.3.0.7081 APAP Pressure 14 - 20 Respironics Deluxe Chinstrap 3
Medicare DMEs in your area: http://www.medicare.gov/Supplier
ORIGINAL Medicare - Complying with Doc & Cov Requirements: http://www.cms.gov/Outreach-and-Educati ... 905064.pdf

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Re: OT - Southwest Airlines & CPAP (Boarding & Stowing)

Postby JohnBFisher on Wed Mar 26, 2014 3:53 pm

I definitely agree it should not be a problem. Even if everyone else has an xPAP device, they still are not allowed to store it underneath the plane. If you want it to stay in the cabin, then stay it must. But I've never had any problem with that in the twenty some years that I've flown with an xPAP device.

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Ticman
 
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Re: OT - Southwest Airlines & CPAP (Boarding & Stowing)

Postby Ticman on Wed Mar 26, 2014 4:49 pm

SW is 737's. I always store my CPAP under the seat in front of me. It never leaves my sight. Never had a problem doing that even in puddle jumpers.

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StuUnderPressure
 
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Re: OT - Southwest Airlines & CPAP (Boarding & Stowing)

Postby StuUnderPressure on Wed Mar 26, 2014 4:56 pm

Ticman wrote:SW is 737's.


THANKS!

I figured it had to at least be that.

But, I could not find anything that told me what type of plane my flights would be on.

_________________
Machine: S9 AutoSet™ CPAP Machine
Mask: Mirage Activa™ LT Nasal CPAP Mask with Headgear
Humidifier: S9™ Series H5i™ Heated Humidifier with Climate Control
Additional Comments: ResScan Software 4.3.0.7081 APAP Pressure 14 - 20 Respironics Deluxe Chinstrap 3
Medicare DMEs in your area: http://www.medicare.gov/Supplier
ORIGINAL Medicare - Complying with Doc & Cov Requirements: http://www.cms.gov/Outreach-and-Educati ... 905064.pdf

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Re: OT - Southwest Airlines & CPAP (Boarding & Stowing)

Postby SleepyCPAP on Wed Mar 26, 2014 5:53 pm

Hi StuUnderPressure,

You can pay to be assigned a boarding number in advance, as mentioned above by Leadhead. Or sign in exactly 24 hours in advance online, and you might be at the back of the "A" boarding list or beginning of the "B" group. Both those options should still leave plenty of room for your CPAP and carry on (at least in my experience). I tend to want my CPAP bag under the seat in front of me -- it does not get jammed or crushed by other people's bags that way.

--SleepyCPAP

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