TSA-n-Airlines CPAP Travel info by Carrier

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TSA-n-Airlines CPAP Travel info by Carrier

Postby mcbrian33 » Wed Dec 02, 2009 2:16 pm

I was doing a little research this morning on travel, hotels, security and CPAPs. Here are links to the some helpful information.

In the TSA’s Own Words:

TSA’s Page on CPAP
http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/specialneeds/cpap.shtm

TSA on Medical Liquids (ie Our Distilled Water)
http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/specialneeds/index.shtm

It might be worth is to print this page, so you can give it to them in the event you carry on your CAPA. If the people at the security screening even know what a CPAP is I will be surprised, let alone to know THEIR OWN handling procedures.

Airline Links:

United: Worst Explanation! No Specific CPAP Statement
http://www.united.com/page/article/0,5046,51170,00.html

Southwest One CPAP: SW On CPAP
http://www.southwest.com/travel_center/disability.html#devices

Continental: On CPAP and Vents
http://www.continental.com/web/en-US/content/travel/specialneeds/disabilities/customer_ventilators.aspx

Delta: Look under “Assisted Devices”
http://www.delta.com/planning_reservations/special_travel_needs/services_travelers_disabilities/special_concerns/index.jsp

JetBlue: Best Policy So Far!
http://help.jetblue.com/SRVS/CGI-BIN/we ... se=obj(631)#s7

This seems to run in two different flavors: those who just want to carry it on and those who want to use it in-flight. From different pages I read there are only "special seats" that have power running to them, so in addition to giving them 48hrs notice, you also need the right seat assignment to have power. I think everyone should get a note from their prescriber and the print outs of the TSA's and Airlines policies; just incase you have to educate them!

I hope this helps everyone who travels frequently!

McBrian33
Last edited by mcbrian33 on Thu Dec 03, 2009 10:02 am, edited 5 times in total.
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Postby glennaa11 » Wed Dec 02, 2009 2:49 pm

I just returned from traveling for a month with my machine. I had absolutely no issues. The TSA staff at Dulles knew what a CPAP was and handled it according to the outlined procedures. At JFK it went through the Xray and no one raised any questions whatsoever. Overseas I put it through the xray machines and no one ever asked about it.

None of the airlines I flew on said anything about me having two carry-on bags. Granted I flew business class most of the time so you are allowed to carry more anyway. But even when I was in economy no one ever said anything. I was on United, Qatar Airways, Bangkok Airways, Vietnam Airlines and Air France.

I did not use the machine in flight.

I would never bother carrying distilled water with me. I used bottled water most of the time save one night when I just used tap water. Some of the water was "mineral water" that left a little bit of residue. But I emptied the reservoir every morning and dried it out.
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Postby Webbie73 » Wed Dec 02, 2009 9:16 pm

I have not had one problem traveling with my CPAP machine. All the TSA people knew what the CPAP machine was and just swabbed it. No big deal. According to most Airlines the CPAP machine carring case is not considered and extra carry on.
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Postby hlh5f9 » Wed Dec 02, 2009 10:05 pm

I did have problems about 2 weeks ago. I was on US airways, and both legs of my flight coming home, they gave me trouble about having 3 carry ons (CPAP, purse, backpack). I'm young (26) and look younger than that, so when I explained that one was medical equipment, they kind of looked at me skeptically and eventually let me pass. This was at the San Jose and Phoenix airports.

When I was going through security in St. Louis, the agent that was checking my CPAP actually dropped it. I was worried it wasn't going to work, but ended up being fine.

I never tried to use it in flight though,
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Postby bobbower » Thu Dec 03, 2009 4:34 pm

Good information! I am about to be a CPAP traveler and have been concerned about how to get through the TSA checkpoints. The links are now printed and will travel with me. As many travelers have found, they are not consistent with their opinions on what is allowable and what is not.

I fly Delta often, and see that they require a sticker saying the CPAP machine is FAA Approved.

Quote:
{oxygen concentrators, other than those we've approved, CPAP and BiPap machines will only be accepted if they have been tested by the manufacturer to comply with FAA safety regulations and display a label indicating that the machine is approved for use on an aircraft. Additional review of testing data must be provided to Delta for approval prior to travel.}

Are there any members on this forum who have experience with Delta? Is this sort of label common to all CPAP machines?

Any help on this would influence which CPAP machine I buy.

Thanks,
BB
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Postby Bearded One » Thu Dec 03, 2009 5:53 pm

I have never seen an FAA label on a CPAP machine, and I have a pretty new IntelliPAP. Except for airlines "requirements", I have never heard of an FAA approved CPAP, let alone a label.
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Postby Bearded One » Thu Dec 03, 2009 6:30 pm

I have just sent email to Respironics and DeVilbiss asking about FAA labels -- I wonder if I will get a useful answer ....

The best answer would be for them to ask me for an address to send a label to, but I would almost bet that I will get an email that says "Say what?".
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Postby mcbrian33 » Thu Dec 03, 2009 6:47 pm

I'll see if I can dig about on their website, they usually have that in a public access are, but it is most likely buried!

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Postby glennaa11 » Thu Dec 03, 2009 10:47 pm

it seems like this FAA approved label is probably only necessary if you are planning to actually use your machine in-flight, not for simply carrying it on board
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Postby Bearded One » Fri Dec 04, 2009 6:05 pm

I want to have the label for when I have to take another long flight -- even if it is just a domestic coast to coast flight. I have a li-ion CPAP battery so I don't have to worry about on-board power.
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Postby spanz » Fri Dec 04, 2009 7:14 pm

I cna fully understand why they would want an oxygen concentrator FAA approved if you are going to use it in flight. Pure oxygen combined with flamable cabin materials is a potential disaster. A cpap machine though? Not much going to happen there!
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Postby Bearded One » Fri Dec 04, 2009 8:35 pm

No any more dangerous than a game boy and one of those little personal fans.
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Postby mcbrian33 » Fri Dec 04, 2009 11:27 pm

The airlines have an approved list for O2 concentrators. Most of the carriers list them by name and model. I didn't see much variation in the carriers, so it looks like there is only a few that are approved. I bet they are the expensive ones!

I still haven't looked at the CPAP manufacturers sights to see if they say approved. I have my manuals, so usually there is a full page of FCC and other certs.

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Postby Vicki » Sat Dec 05, 2009 4:16 am

Never had a problem with clearly TSA with my PAP either. I've gotten so when I'm close even to to the checkpoint that I don't have to yell too loud, I get their attention and say "I've got a CPAP". My PAP is usually cleared before I am.

Vicki
Being defeated is often a temporary condition. Giving up is what makes it permanent.
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That which does not kill you makes you stronger-Friedrich Nietzsche
Friedrich must of had apnea.
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Postby PRFlyer » Tue Feb 01, 2011 6:23 pm

Revisiting this thread, can I get a sticker to show that my Remstar M Series *PAP is FAA approved? I'm about to go on a 16 hour flight to Asia and I contacted the airline that I would be taking. They sent me an email stating that the CPAP must be FAA approved. I emailed Respironic if they have a sticker or documentation but they have responded yet. Any help will be greatly appreciated. BTW, I will be taking these 16 hours flight every 3 months so a good rest/sleep during the flight will be very helpful.
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