According to the TSA- Transportation Security Administration- rules and regulations, air flight passengers can bring their CPAP machines (equipment) on board. However, passengers who need to carry their CPAPs on board must go through security and also follow closely a few rules. If you need to take your CPAP on board for treatment, you should have with you the documentation from your doctor so that you can make proof you require treatment with a CPAP even while flying. Keep reading to find out some of the simplest rules and regulations you should keep in mind when taking your CPAP equipment on board.
If you pack your CPAP equipment in your luggage, you might expose your expensive device to the risk of loss. If you luggage gets lost, you will not be able to get required treatment until you recuperate your luggage. This is why you should take your CPAP machine with you on board, and for this, it will go through the security check. You can even notify a TSA agent that you carry your CPAP machine with you, and let him know about any special requirements if needed.
At security check, you will have to remove your CPAP from the travel bag/case, so that the X-ray machine can easily scan everything and see through your device.
It is not a requirement, but you should make proof of valid doctor’s documentation while you are at the security check. This will ensure your CPAP equipment will pass through security quickly and smoothly. You should even have the prescription with you which will further prove that you are required to use CPAP treatment for health reasons. When boarding on international flights it is even more important to have all the necessary documentation with you.
According to the American with Disabilities Act, your CPAP equipment will not count towards the allowed carry-on luggage. Just as any other passenger on board, you are allowed to take your carry-on bag, your personal bag and also your CPAP machine transported in a special travel bag. You can make everything even easier if you will label your CPAP bag with a tag showing it is medical equipment you are carrying along. Such a special label will help to clarify any issues should a TSA agent ask you about the extra bag.
Airlines have different policies when it comes to the usage of your CPAP during flights. Some airlines even require that you notify them 48 before the flight that you will take on board your medical equipment and use it for treatment. Always make sure that your particular CPAP is FAA compliant, which means you can safely and securely use your medical equipment on flights. Other airlines will even ask that your CPAP carried the FAA approved label on the device. When you purchase a CPAP machine, you can easily check whether it is FAA approved or not. In case you travel frequently, you will need to look for a device that is FAA approved.
Your CPAP machine needs to be extremely clean, and you need to protect it from contamination with any viruses and bacteria. TSA suggests that you put your CPAP machine in a clear plastic bag right before you arrive at the security checkpoint. In case your device has to be inspected more carefully, don’t hesitate to ask the agent to wear sterile gloves while handling the device. You can also ask them to thoroughly disinfect each spot where they will place your machine for further handling.
Most CPAP users know how efficient it is to have a standard CPAP machine for home use and a travel-friendly CPAP for traveling purposes. The majority of travel CPAP machines will offer an extended battery life, which is ideal for long-haul flights. Also, most travel-friendly CPAPs can be used in places with high elevation, and you can even check max elevation functioning in the features section of the device.
Travel CPAPs are small and compact in size and they are FAA compliant. This means you will get a stylish carry bag that you can use to take your CPAP on board and even get required therapy during flights. Besides being small, the travel CPAPs are also lightweight so that you can easily handle them and fit them even in smaller places.
Some of the highly popular travel CPAP machines which are also FAA compliant include the following: Philips Respironics DreamStation Go, ResMed AirMini, Z1 Auto Travel from Human Design Medical, Transcend Auto Travel from Somnetics, and many other. It is definitely worth the effort to invest in a travel-friendly CPAP which is not only FAA compliant but also lightweight, stylish and highly efficient with extended battery life.