Using on overnight flights

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Using on overnight flights

Postby Gig103 » Tue Apr 06, 2010 7:36 pm

Has anyone used their CPAP on an overnight flight, either with a battery or with onboard power? I like to fly red-eye to Europe and I was thinking that it would save the other passengers the discomfort of my snoring, and I'm already carrying it on.
Mike
104+ AHI
Respironics BiPAP Auto M series 10i/8e to max. 90% at 16i/11e
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Postby SleepyToo » Tue Apr 06, 2010 9:26 pm

Probably varies per airline whether you can use on-board power. May also depend on whether you fly business or coach. You can probably find plenty of advice from others on here who fly regularly on long-haul flights. You might want to check out both battery and onboard power options.

Mods, could someone create an FAQ or a page in the information section for this question? Thanks!
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Diagnosed September 2009, Respironics System One w/ C-flex and humidifier
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Not a medical professional, just a patient with severe OSA (31) who has done a lot of reading.
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Re: Using on overnight flights

Postby Daniel » Wed Apr 07, 2010 4:56 am

Gig103 wrote:Has anyone used their CPAP on an overnight flight, either with a battery or with onboard power? I like to fly red-eye to Europe and I was thinking that it would save the other passengers the discomfort of my snoring, and I'm already carrying it on.


Check with the airline first, in advance.....Special Handling Section.

Some airlines give a free power point in tourist, usually you have to sit in the seat just forward of a door. Others will insist on an upgrade (at your expense).
In my experience the machine will have to be cleared.........involves filling in a form, with a check box against a list of machines and possibly the serial number. A letter of medical necessity may be required (available from your sleep clinic.......should be free). Whole operation should be done by fax, with approval within 48 hours.

A battery operated machine is much easier. Once the lithium ion battery pack conforms to FAA standards........away you go. Clearance should not be required as it is similar to a laptop. You may require a letter of medical necessity.

I have found in the past that TMI (Too much information) can be a bad thing, in completing forms or talking to airline officials. Just assume that they know what OSA and CPAP is and tell them that you want to use your machine on a long haul flight..........

I have travelled through a sizeable section of the world with my CPAP, with almost no hassle. I haven't been to Israel, which I believe can be tough (CPAP wise and security). Only 'hassle' I have had was in Frankfurt where they insisted on swabbing the machine.........and that's no big deal. I have a friend who was stopped in Prague by a female security person........she took out a Phillips screwdriver and wanted to open up the back of his CPAP machine........she picked the wrong man......he is in his seventies, uses a walking stick and advised her of his intention to use it :lol: on her. After a little 'stand off' she let him through.

Best advice is early planning.

Best of luck.

Daniel.
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Postby Bearded One » Wed Apr 07, 2010 4:30 pm

I have used my CPAP with a li-ion battery on domestic flights without any problems. I didn't get any pre-approval. My seat mates weren't a problem; one lady I sat next to had a husband who used CPAP.

Do not even consider using a humidifier; which means that you may need to find the adapter that comes with some machines, such as Respironics M Series, to use your machine without a humidifier. The adapters allow you to connect your hose to your machine; the machines come with these adapters installed, but they are removed when the humidifier is connected.
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Postby Gig103 » Wed Apr 07, 2010 5:38 pm

Thanks, Bearded One.

I figured I'd use a battery pack, but they are all sealed lead-acid batteries that I've seen so far, and I dunno if that qualifies for flight - I would need to look into it.

Also, the humidifer thing is a bummer; my Oracle mask requires humidification because it is an oral-only appliance. I guess I will continue snoring my way through flights - I just worry that I am as much a nuisance as an infant crying.
Mike
104+ AHI
Respironics BiPAP Auto M series 10i/8e to max. 90% at 16i/11e
Masks: Oracle 452, Swift LT
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Postby Bearded One » Wed Apr 07, 2010 6:18 pm

Non-spillable lead-acid batteries are allowed in the passenger cabin, as are li-ion. There is a size restriction on li-ion batteries carried on airplanes, I do not know if lead-acid batteries have a size restriction.
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Postby Gig103 » Mon Dec 13, 2010 4:46 pm

Me again! For my upcoming flight, I learned that my row in economy has an Empower 15V port that supplies 75W.

I'm thinking of buying a Kensington inverter that turns 100V AC into 15V DC. If I don't use my humidifier, can anyone think of a reason this might not work? It's only $55 instead of the expensive cost of a battery pack ($300ish).
Mike
104+ AHI
Respironics BiPAP Auto M series 10i/8e to max. 90% at 16i/11e
Masks: Oracle 452, Swift LT
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