Tips for flying with CPAP?

General Discussion on any topic relating to CPAP and/or Sleep Apnea.
User avatar
waltschwager
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed May 05, 2010 4:30 pm
Location: Sherman, IL 62684

Re: Tips for flying with CPAP?

Post by waltschwager » Fri May 21, 2010 2:23 pm

I have flown with my wife and cpap and meds and had no problems with TSA. We pack our medicatons in a separate bag and the cpap in the bag that came with it. If we are going for 7 days or less we take our meds in our 7day pill organizer and then only take container of individual medications that we may also require on the trip. This reduces the bulk of taking all the individual medicine containers with you.

I am disabled and usually I am using a scooter or wheelchair. I have never had any problems with medication, my cpap, my laptop computer and crutches. My experience has been limited to ORD=Chicago, RDU-Raleigh, North Carolina, Hartsfield in Atlanta, Detroit and Cleveland,OH.

_________________
Mask: Swift™ LT Nasal Pillow CPAP Mask with Headgear
Additional Comments: Also have 2nd system: Orion cpap, Bravo nasal mask, non-heated hmidifier. Slso sue oxygen

User avatar
sleepyinstlouis
Posts: 57
Joined: Sun May 31, 2009 5:38 pm

Re: Tips for flying with CPAP?

Post by sleepyinstlouis » Fri May 28, 2010 9:56 pm

I'm wondering what airlines people are flying that they aren't encountering any problems. I had a hell of a time with American Airlines on both legs of my trip. On one leg, the attendant at the counter tried to get me to check my machine. There was no way in hell I'd allow that and I told the attendant that if they could guarantee that the equipment I had was not going to be damaged once it was tossed down the luggage chute, that I'd be more than willing to check it. I even pulled out the info from their website I'd printed up where it states that it's allowed.

I have enough clothes in my suitcase that I can cushion it for my flight back. I'm not going through that hell again. And I think I'm going to look into getting a hard case for my cpap machine in case I ever have to fly anywhere again (I doubt it, but you never know).

_________________
Mask
So you get one chance in a lifetime to spend time with the sexiest man of the Boeshane Peninsula or traveling around in a TARDIS. Which would you choose?

User avatar
plr66
Posts: 1339
Joined: Sun Sep 07, 2008 6:33 pm

Re: Tips for flying with CPAP?

Post by plr66 » Sat May 29, 2010 8:18 am

sleepyinstlouis wrote:I'm wondering what airlines people are flying that they aren't encountering any problems. I had a hell of a time with American Airlines on both legs of my trip....

I have enough clothes in my suitcase that I can cushion it for my flight back. I'm not going through that hell again. And I think I'm going to look into getting a hard case for my cpap machine in case I ever have to fly anywhere again (I doubt it, but you never know).
I think the greater wisdom here is to not even think about checking your cpap in baggage. Sounds like your experience created a lot of stress for you, but I doubt it would equal the "hell" of having your cpap damaged or lost with your luggage and having to spend your trip without sleep, gasping for air, or trying to find a quick replacement. From the hundreds of travel threads I've read here over the past couple of years, I'd bet that the number of truly awful experiences with airlines would be about equal to the number of truly great experiences with DME's. I've not had a bad time of it, and I have flown a number of different airlines, both in the US and abroad. Might be good to address your complaint to American Airlines.
DeVilbiss IntelliPap Std Plus with Smartflex; Transcend miniCPAP & Everest2 w/humidifier & batt for travel. UltraMirage FFM; PadACheeks; PaPillow. Using straight CPAP at 13.0/passover humidifier. AHI consistently < 1.5. Began CPAP 9/4/08.

User avatar
billbolton
Posts: 2240
Joined: Wed Jun 07, 2006 7:46 pm
Location: Sydney, Australia

Re: Tips for flying with CPAP?

Post by billbolton » Sat May 29, 2010 9:46 am

sleepyinstlouis wrote:I'm wondering what airlines people are flying that they aren't encountering any problems. I had a hell of a time with American Airlines....
I've flown with American Airlines numerous times without any issues with carrying on my CPAP kit.

Did you have your CPAP kit in dedicated bag without other stuff in it?

Cheers,

Bill

_________________
MachineMask
Additional Comments: Airmini, Medistrom Pilot 24, CMS 60C Pulse Oximeter, ResScan 6

djr1215
Posts: 165
Joined: Tue May 11, 2010 8:19 am
Location: Pineville, LA
Contact:

Re: Tips for flying with CPAP?

Post by djr1215 » Sat May 29, 2010 10:14 am

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) Machine
Travelers with Disabilities and Medical Conditions

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) Machines

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.
http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/ ... /cpap.shtm

_________________
Mask: Swift™ LT For Her Nasal Pillow CPAP Mask with Headgear
Additional Comments: Pressure 15.5

dtsm
Posts: 1097
Joined: Sun Mar 08, 2009 8:34 am
Location: CT

Re: Tips for flying with CPAP?

Post by dtsm » Sat May 29, 2010 11:13 am

Posted this on another related thread:

Took my first overseas trip with cpap in May - flew out of JFK on JAL, with stops in 6 Asian cities, carriers including CX, and MAS, not once hassled. Only time I removed cpap unit was at JFK.

I hand-carried:

1. S8 (no humidifer)
2. two sets of hoses
3. 2 nasal pillow masks
4. power cord
5. 10 ft extension cord
6. surge protector
7. bunch of meds in ziplock bag
8. toothbrush/toothpaste
9. roll of blue painter's tape
10. extra pair of glasses and another empty eye glass case
11. ResScan smart card and card reader

All packed in the ResMed carrybag.

User avatar
WilsonVilleUSA
Posts: 158
Joined: Sat Dec 17, 2005 5:16 pm
Location: Marysville, WA (near Everett)

Re: Tips for flying with CPAP?

Post by WilsonVilleUSA » Sat May 29, 2010 6:18 pm

Here is some good info from the TSA website:

http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/ ... /cpap.shtm
http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/ ... index.shtm
http://www.tsa.gov/assets/pdf/special_needs_memo.pdf


Personally, I have never had any problems with my CPAP bag and associated gear. I will continue to carry distilled water, I keep it in the 16 oz bottles and have it labeled as "Distilled Water For CPAP Use". I tell the TSA folks about it and have not had any problems.

Distilled water is a liquid "... needed by persons with disabilities and medical conditions." The TSA website specifically mentions "* Liquids including water... for passengers with a disability or medical condition" as being allowed to bring through the checkpoint. You just have to declare it if it is more than 3 oz.

I also carry printed copies of the info from the TSA website, but have never had need to pull them out.

_________________
MachineMask
Diagnosed with an AHI of 114! AHI now holding at <2 for over 4 years!

User avatar
sleepyinstlouis
Posts: 57
Joined: Sun May 31, 2009 5:38 pm

Re: Tips for flying with CPAP?

Post by sleepyinstlouis » Sat May 29, 2010 8:08 pm

I'm at my destination right now. I don't plan on going home until Thursday. I'm just irritated by the fact that the whole thing was treated as a joke by American Airlines.

I only have my CPAP machine in the bag. The bag says Respironics on the flap and I have documentation that I was more than willing to provide to the gate agents about the machine. There are no other items in the bag other than the following:

CPAP machine with humidifier tank (empty of course)
hose
mask
cord for CPAP machine

Now if any of that isn't supposed to be in the bag, then I'm not sure what else is supposed to be in the bag. I had no issues going through security. The TSA screener even commented that his wife has the same machine and how was my sleep since I started my therapy. There are TSA agents who are aware of CPAP machines. I also had the TSA memo printed up and with me just in case too.

Let me make it clear that my issue is not with TSA at this point, but with American Airlines.

ETA: I've decided that rather than deal with packing the CPAP in my suitcase, I'm just going to stuff all the items that I won't need to carry with me in my laptop case and just toss the empty purse in my suitcase. If someone from TSA wants a worn and beaten Walmart purse, they're welcome to it.

_________________
Mask
So you get one chance in a lifetime to spend time with the sexiest man of the Boeshane Peninsula or traveling around in a TARDIS. Which would you choose?

brazospearl
Posts: 704
Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2009 5:51 pm

Re: Tips for flying with CPAP?

Post by brazospearl » Sat May 29, 2010 10:11 pm

SleepyinStLouis,
It sounds like you're having a tough journey in many ways. You have my sympathy for your recent loss. It's heartbreaking that at this time you had to have an unpleasant experience with an airline employee who clearly needs more training to do her job. Stay strong and be gentle with yourself. And stick to your guns about keeping your equipment with you.

dtsm
Posts: 1097
Joined: Sun Mar 08, 2009 8:34 am
Location: CT

Re: Tips for flying with CPAP?

Post by dtsm » Sun May 30, 2010 5:58 am

sleepyinstlouis wrote:Let me make it clear that my issue is not with TSA at this point, but with American Airlines.
Sorry to hear about your plight with AA - this might help: http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/ ... index.shtm. Halfway down there is a pdf file that you can download, print and shove into the face of any idiot AA supervisor that states you are permitted to hand carry cpap.

Good luck

bob007
Posts: 44
Joined: Mon Mar 22, 2010 1:55 pm

Re: Tips for flying with CPAP?

Post by bob007 » Wed Jun 02, 2010 7:05 pm

Thanks for all the tips. I'm hoping the security personnel on my trip will be willing to use new gloves and clean the table before inspection. When did you tell them, because usually your things go through the machine while you are still going through the body check devise.

On another subject, when I store luggage in the overhead rack they ALWAYS come off the plane smelling like mildew. I don't know what it is but that smell will not come out of anything I store up there. Even items in the bag smell of it. What do you guys usually do in terms of storing your CPAP once on the plane? I'm thinking I'll need to keep it under the seat in front of me.

Thanks,

Bob

User avatar
LinkC
Posts: 3155
Joined: Wed Oct 29, 2008 1:06 pm
Location: Amelia Island, FL

Re: Tips for flying with CPAP?

Post by LinkC » Thu Jun 03, 2010 6:55 am

Bob- I've never noticed any mildew odor. But I would guess it wouldn't permeate a zipped CPAP bag. Maybe your nose is more sensitive than mine.

*StLouis-- Maybe I'm missing part of the story, but it sounds like the gate agent questioned your bag, then allowed it. I'm surprised s/he didn't recognize the case immediately--they've all seen them before--but the magic words "medical equipment" have always worked for me. Usually, it also gets pre-boarding without even asking. I fly Delta most often, but nave gone AA (as well as many others). But problems on BOTH legs? Maybe you and I have different definitions of "hell".

The ONLY issue I've ever had traveling with CPAP is when I had to trash the plastic water bottle refilled with distilled. And that was because it wasn't sealed. No big deal. (Aside from losing power during an overnight train trip...a story for another time!)

_________________
MachineMaskHumidifier
Additional Comments: 11-14 cmH2O
The OSA patient died quietly in his sleep.
Unlike his passengers who died screaming as the car went over the cliff...

User avatar
TheDreamer
Posts: 686
Joined: Sun Dec 28, 2008 9:08 am
Location: Manhattan, KS
Contact:

Re: Tips for flying with CPAP?

Post by TheDreamer » Thu Jun 03, 2010 6:30 pm

I've always kept my machine under the seat in front of me....I don't trust that the other people forcing their bags to fit into the overhead will take care of my CPAP.

Ignore that most of the flights I've been on recently are the kind that don't have that kind of space in the overhead....so still keep my cpap for putting under the seat in front, while gate checking my other bag.

The Dreamer.

_________________
Mask: Bravo II Nasal Pillow CPAP Mask with Headgear
Humidifier: HC150 Heated Humidifier With Hose, 2 Chambers and Stand
Additional Comments: 95% Pressure=7.5cm - Max Pressure 15cm - HoZer/Hose Cover/Repti-Cord - M Series APAP/AFLEX w/Humidifier & Hose Lift for travel
You may be a dreamer, but I'm The Dreamer, the definite article you might say!

73 de W0LKC

User avatar
billbolton
Posts: 2240
Joined: Wed Jun 07, 2006 7:46 pm
Location: Sydney, Australia

Re: Tips for flying with CPAP?

Post by billbolton » Thu Jun 03, 2010 10:02 pm

I flew two sectors today with American Airlines between Vancouver, BC and Orlando, FL. I had no problems with taking my Resmed S9 in its Resmed bag into the cabin as a second carry-on for both sectors.

At Vancouver I had to check in really early (5:40am) and wasn't thinking that clearly. When I got to the US scanning point I just plain forgot to get the S9 out of the carry bag and the bag went through the scanner with everything in it...... but no one said anything!

Cheers,

Bill

_________________
MachineMask
Additional Comments: Airmini, Medistrom Pilot 24, CMS 60C Pulse Oximeter, ResScan 6

User avatar
sleepyinstlouis
Posts: 57
Joined: Sun May 31, 2009 5:38 pm

Re: Tips for flying with CPAP?

Post by sleepyinstlouis » Fri Jun 04, 2010 12:51 pm

deleted

_________________
Mask
Last edited by sleepyinstlouis on Sun Jun 06, 2010 4:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
So you get one chance in a lifetime to spend time with the sexiest man of the Boeshane Peninsula or traveling around in a TARDIS. Which would you choose?