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The Snoring & Sleep Apnoea Forums

Air Security (Travelling with CPAP)

Share your experiences with CPAP, request help, find out the latest developments ....
Alsacienne
General Snorer
Posts: 2636
Joined: Sun Dec 11, 2005 10:26 pm

Re: Air Security (Travelling with CPAP)

Post by Alsacienne » Thu Feb 25, 2010 7:45 pm

Security checks on CPAP seem to vary from day to day, person to person and are unpredictable.

I ALWAYS declare my CPAP to the person in charge of lining up the trays, and more often than not, I get asked to take it out of the (big) bag I am carrying it in. It often then gets pulled to one side to be swabbed as happened in your case Kimberlina, and sometimes I have to assemble it and demonstrate it to all and sundry ......... thank you John Lennon Airport (Liverpool) at 6H30 in the morning!!! NOT ...

Swiss and German airports are pretty blasé, but the UK airports are usually very suspicious. That said, I went through Stansted this last Sunday and they didn't even want me to take it out of the big bag!

Bill Bolton

Re: Air Security (Travelling with CPAP)

Post by Bill Bolton » Fri Feb 26, 2010 4:25 am

kimberlina wrote:Coming back, a woman took me aside and ran a hand a hand held scanner through the bag. It was very clever, she inserted a chip thing from the scanner into a computer which obviously said what it was and I was free to go.
That was a swab for suspicous substance residues (drugs, or explosives).

Cheers,

Bill

NannyJo

Re: Air Security (Travelling with CPAP)

Post by NannyJo » Sun Feb 28, 2010 4:26 am

Does anyone have experience flying in 2010 and carrying a CPCP machine on board? Was it counted as the only carry-on bag allowed, or was the medical device not counted in the minimum.

I am flying BA from London to Bucharest in April 2010, and trying to figure out what I can carry on the plane and what I can't.

I hope to hear from someone who has carried his/her CPAP and a small roller bag on the plane.

Thank you very much for your response.

Alsacienne
General Snorer
Posts: 2636
Joined: Sun Dec 11, 2005 10:26 pm

Re: Air Security (Travelling with CPAP)

Post by Alsacienne » Mon Mar 01, 2010 1:10 pm

Hi NannyJo!

I have travelled in 2010 and always carry my cpap in its official case in another bigger bag - sometimes my local equivalent of a 'bag for life' or a sports bag that will fit into the baggage sizing container.

No problems.

I have also flown BA with my cpap as hand baggage. They are only interested if you were thinking of plugging it into the aircraft's electrical system during a long haul flight, but as you are flying to Bucharest, don't even bother mentioning it to them - I presume you weren't thinking of using it inflight, but if you were, take a laptop battery to run it from.

Take a letter from your doctor explaining that it is your machine and that you need to have it with you at all times and don't forget your plug adapter and an extension cable.

Happy landings!

Bill Bolton

Re: Air Security (Travelling with CPAP)

Post by Bill Bolton » Tue Mar 02, 2010 12:14 am

NannyJo wrote:Was it counted as the only carry-on bag allowed, or was the medical device not counted in the minimum.
You'll probably be OK with BA. I had no problem boarding with my CPAP bag and another small carry-on for a BA Rome to London flight a few years back.

However, if you fly with one of the low-cost carriers you may have very different experience.

Cheers,

Bill

ceejayblue
Major Snorer
Posts: 164
Joined: Sun Aug 08, 2004 9:34 pm
Location: Erith, Kent

Re: Air Security (Travelling with CPAP)

Post by ceejayblue » Sat Mar 20, 2010 1:57 pm

Bill Bolton wrote:
NannyJo wrote:Was it counted as the only carry-on bag allowed, or was the medical device not counted in the minimum.
You'll probably be OK with BA. I had no problem boarding with my CPAP bag and another small carry-on for a BA Rome to London flight a few years back.

However, if you fly with one of the low-cost carriers you may have very different experience.

Cheers,

Bill
I have travelled with my CPAP on Easyjet many times. Since the one bag rule I have used my CPAP bag as my one bag, except for the last two times when I emailed them and got permission to take the CPAP bag plus another small bag. As long as you let them know and have a letter from your clinic or GP and take a copy of their permission with you, you should have no problem.

I just get very annoyed when I've made the effort to use only one bag and then see someone getting on with a bag which clearly doesn't fit the size limits plus another bag! If I did it I'm sure I'd get stopped.

Albert

Re: Air Security (Travelling with CPAP)

Post by Albert » Mon May 17, 2010 4:28 pm

CPAP Travel Checklist:

-Travel letter from you prescribing Dr. certifying your need for CPAP treatment.

-A plastic bag large enough to fit your CPAP in. (See TSA link below)

-Make sure you have the right power adapter for your destination, especially internationally.

- Bring an extension cord, just in case an outlet is not close enough to your bed.(Very hard if you’re traveling internationally, to get the right one!)

-Check to make sure that all your CPAP equipment and accessories are packed.

-Make arrangements to get distilled water at your destination. (More on this below.)

Hotels and CPAP:

I have heard of cases in which the lamps and alarm clocks in hotel rooms are hard wired to the wall and there was no outlet by the bed. Outlets were supplied for laptops and cell phone chargers, but these are sometimes a great distance away, be prepared with an extension cord or be prepared to ask for one at the front desk.

Do hotels have distilled water available? I wanted to give you a good report that hotels are so concerned their service and our comfort that they would, but alas, service truly is dead. After calling a few hotels today to see if they had distilled water for their guests, EVERY phone call was negative. One lady seemed not to know what distilled water was, asking me, “Are you sure you don’t mean bottled water?” What a disappointment this is! I am not a business traveler, so I have never need to iron clothing while in a hotel; on vacation I don’t care if my shorts have a few creases in them. I understand no supplying waster for a CPAP, but so many people need a clothes iron I was sure they would have it! To be fair these were average hotels, not 5 start locations, which I suspect might go to the store for you if you needed distilled water.

CPAP and the Airlines:

Because a CPAP is considered necessary medical equipment, it supersedes any airline directive to allow only one carry on. Unless I am starved for space in my checked baggage I won’t be carrying my CPAP on the plane with me, as I said before. If it was an international flight lasting for >8 hours, I would consider carrying it on, but not wearing it. I would rather snore at everyone on the plane! Just looking at the amount of regulation and hoops for O2 is enough to make me buggy! Looking at the list of approved oxygen concentrators, it seems as if the flight attendants might not allow you to use it anyway. Here is what one airline has about “Medical Equipment” and specifically O2 concentrators.

It seems that I must notify the airline two days in advance if I want to use it, not if I just carry it on. There is a loop hole there, but the thought of getting to the plane door only to be told I MUST check my CPAP in that flimsy bag, is horrifying! Print these policies out, so you have a chance to fight back if they try to break or ignore their own rules.

Summary:

I would check it. When I travel it usually isn’t just for an overnight, but an extended stay on a vacation. Normally I am traveling with my family and we have a ton of luggage anyway, so a little extra for my CPAP is worth it. If you still want to take your CPAP as a carry-on you are entitled to! Just make sure you are prepared. Even if it was OK on your flight to your destination, it doesn’t mean it will be just as OK going the other way! Prepare to be challenged, be ready to give an answer and hopefully you won’t have to teach the TSA and the Airlines about their own policies. Have a nice trip and sleep well on it!

Alsacienne
General Snorer
Posts: 2636
Joined: Sun Dec 11, 2005 10:26 pm

Re: Air Security (Travelling with CPAP)

Post by Alsacienne » Mon May 17, 2010 11:06 pm

And a lot of what you've quoted is ROT and of no help to our members. Stop trolling and go away.

Bill Bolton

Re: Air Security (Travelling with CPAP)

Post by Bill Bolton » Wed Jul 07, 2010 2:07 am

Have recently flow SYD-LAX-YVR-DFW-MCO-LAX-DFW-CUU then LMM-MEX-BJX then MEX-TGZ-MEX-LAX-SYD in a mixture of Y (mostly) and J (a few) class tickets involving QANTAS, Alaska, American, American Eagle, Mexicana, Mexicana Click and AeroMar carriers.

I had no problems at all with carrying on my Resmed S9, in the Resmed carry bag and with a medical device tag attached, as a second carry on item on any sector. I have OneWorld Sapphire frequent flyer status, so that may also have helped.

TSA checks in the US varied from simple scanning in the bag (a few places) to separate swabbing for the S9 flow generator (most places).

In Mexico, it was scanning in the bag only, though I did experience an inbound baggage scan off an International flight from the US at Chihuahua, where it had to explain what a CPAP machine was.

I used my Resmed S9 (without humidifier) in flight on the ~14 hour return LAX-SYD leg, which is mostly pretty much entirely in darkeness. The aircraft was a new QANTAS A380 and in Business class it has a 120V mains power outlet at every seat. The outlet will take North American, Australian/NZ and European (2 pin) plugs without an adapter. A plug adapter would still be needed for UK style plugs.

I just plugged the 90W Resmed mains power pack into the power outlet and everything worked fine.

Cheers,

Bill

godot

Re: Air Security (Travelling with CPAP)

Post by godot » Tue Aug 31, 2010 9:22 pm

I am not a heavy apnoea sufferer - for instance I would never think of using my machine on a plane, however, I do have one and my quality of sleep without - I have occasionally tested my sleep without the machine - suggests I need it. I travel regularly on Ryanair and Easyjet and have never been asked to account for why I have two pieces of hand-luggage; perhaps the staff recognise my case, but I suspect they have just missed the two pieces. Ryanair seem to be getting a lot stricter, for instance weighing hand-luggage just prior to boarding, and I wonder if they might start to insist on passengers complying with their CPAP machine requirements which, in my opinion, are onerous. I live in France but they want me to contact their centre to tell them about my machine. They want a letter from my French doctor, in English, to say that I am "fit to travel". Have any of you travelled with them and complied with these instructions? I am minded to carry on as before, but some of the staff can be very bloody-minded.

Alsacienne
General Snorer
Posts: 2636
Joined: Sun Dec 11, 2005 10:26 pm

Re: Air Security (Travelling with CPAP)

Post by Alsacienne » Wed Sep 01, 2010 9:08 am

Hi Godot and BIENVENUE to the forum.

I am an English lady living in France, and like you, travel by air using not only legacy carriers but LCCs like Easy and Ryan.
I am not a heavy apnoea sufferer - for instance I would never think of using my machine on a plane,
I think most of us who use our CPAPs in flight are flying long haul or medium haul overnight.
I travel regularly on Ryanair and Easyjet and have never been asked to account for why I have two pieces of hand-luggage; perhaps the staff recognise my case, but I suspect they have just missed the two pieces.
Easyjet recognises that CPAPs are medical equipment and allow a second carry on for it. BUT you should contact the airline to advise them beforehand. As regards Ryanair, you've just been lucky ... up till now. Don't count on this for the future ...
Ryanair seem to be getting a lot stricter, for instance weighing hand-luggage just prior to boarding, and I wonder if they might start to insist on passengers complying with their CPAP machine requirements which, in my opinion, are onerous.
Ryanair have always been contentious about baggage issues ... partly to recoup costs from their 'cheap' tickets . They have no policy about CPAP machines. As far as they are concerned, it is ONE PIECE OF HAND BAGGAGE ONLY ... this is from their website.
Your handbag, briefcase, laptops, shop purchases, camera etc must be carried within your permitted 1 piece of cabin baggage. It should weigh no more than 10kg and not exceed the maximum dimensions of 55cm x 40cm x 20cm


I repeat. They have no ruling about CPAPs ... I don't think 'they' know what it is, why one needs it and frankly I don't believe that it would interest them at all unless they could make money from it.
I live in France but they want me to contact their centre to tell them about my machine. They want a letter from my French doctor, in English, to say that I am "fit to travel". Have any of you travelled with them and complied with these instructions?
I think you have worried them ... and they're looking for a way to extract money from you!! I too live in France, but all I carry is a doctor's letter from my généraliste in French to say that I need this machine for medical treatment and that it must be in my personal possession at all times when travelling and a letter from the company who provide the machine to say that it belongs to them, is on loan to me through a service of the French Government's health system, and is their property so cannot be confiscated. This letter also contains the model, make and serial number of my machine as proof that it's the one I've got in my possession. Both letters are on headed notepaper, but the one from my doc is in handwriting and in French. I carry both an original letter in French from my CPAP provider and a copy in English that I provided them with (based on their original) which they kindly typed up for me.

If you require an example of this letter, please contact me by pm.
I am minded to carry on as before, but some of the staff can be very bloody-minded.
Very succinctly put, and absolutely 100% correct!! However those who work at Karlsruhe-Baden are charming and completely in the loop. Very nice folk ... but then they're regular airport staffers and only under contract to Ryanair for their flights ...

Now, as you seem to have alerted them to the fact that something is 'different', you may have something against your name in their computer so that when you come to check in/pass their gate security, something may get flagged up on their computer ...

so ASK YOUR DOC for a letter to say that you require CPAP when sleeping, but that you are fit to fly. Also add that your machine for medical treatment and that it should accompany you as hand baggage when travelling. I'm sure your doc will do this when you see him/her for something else ... and that your généraliste's letter will do, you don't need something from your lung doc or sleep centre. It's only to cover the airline's back against insurance claims ....

Next time you travel on any short haul flight, don't bother mentioning it to the airline unless you think you'll need to use it in flight, in which case buy a battery and don't rely on an aircraft power point ... at least not in economy class.

Please note that you will NEVER get permission from Ryanair to carry a second bag. And if you have two, you risk one being taken away from you at the boarding gate and paying £30 for the privilege of it travelling in the hold. They could send you back to the ticket desk landside which would guarantee you missing your flight, and having to pay for another ticket as well as inconveniencing you with a time delay. Don't even risk it. It will do your blood pressure no good at all.

Should you wish to chat about CPAP use in France, don't hesitate to pm me. It's always good to know that one is not alone!!

godot

Re: Air Security (Travelling with CPAP)

Post by godot » Wed Sep 01, 2010 1:40 pm

Thanks for the responses - I already have a letter from my supplier giving me permission to take the machine out of France. I will get my généraliste to write a letter. I don't think I am going to phone Ryanair though. As an aside I don't need an "e" because I'm an he.

Suse
Brigadier Snorer
Posts: 514
Joined: Thu Apr 15, 2010 10:48 pm
Location: Glasgow

Re: Air Security (Travelling with CPAP)

Post by Suse » Wed Sep 01, 2010 7:12 pm

Oh how it made me laugh! :lol:

Alsacienne
General Snorer
Posts: 2636
Joined: Sun Dec 11, 2005 10:26 pm

Re: Air Security (Travelling with CPAP)

Post by Alsacienne » Thu Sep 02, 2010 8:52 am

Thanks for the responses - I already have a letter from my supplier giving me permission to take the machine out of France. I will get my généraliste to write a letter. I don't think I am going to phone Ryanair though. As an aside I don't need an "e" because I'm an he.
If you are going to get picky about my French, might I draw your attention to the fourth word in your post! :D

I think you'll find that the English word you should have used was reply and in the singular form. I replied to you ONCE albeit with separate paragraphs specific to the points you raised. The word 'responses' is of course, the French word for the English word 'replies', which is grammatically incorrect in this context as I only made one post previous to this one in answer to your questions:-
Have any of you travelled with them [and]

[Have any of you] complied with these instructions?
I am pleased to learn that you have decided what to do in the future, and hope that you have a stress-free flight. Ryanair are certainly not the most customer-friendly airline I've ever flown with!

Incidentally, if your doc can't produce a letter in English, you might like to write something out for him/her to copy if you can translate it verbally in French for him/her and the doc agrees that what you say is pertinent.

Slightly off topic, do you know of any support groups for CPAP (UPPC) users in your part of France? There is a group in Alsace but it does very little and any articles in their annual magazine and the subject of their proposed annual get-together this year ... is based on improving the life and health of those in retirement. I find that there is little if any admission that OSA could affect those under 60 which is depressing because there are plenty of us around who haven't reached that bench mark ... yet!

godot

Re: Air Security (Travelling with CPAP)

Post by godot » Thu Sep 02, 2010 3:15 pm

My wife will be pleased that I have encountered somebody as pedantic as I am! You have answered a question I was going to ask, namely are you in Alsace? I'm in 81 (Tarn near Albi), and I think there might be a group attached to the Lab du Sommeil here but I haven't enquired. And I have passed the 60!

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