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Are you travelling on an Aircraft and want to know what to do about your CPAP machine?

by | May 7, 2019

We have contacted various airlines around the world to see their policies around:

  • Using CPAP in flight – do I need permission? Can I use a battery and use of aircraft power
  • Carrying your CPAP equipment but not using it during a flight.

As a general rule, we found the airlines wanted to know if you were carrying the device and intending to use it. If you require power on the flight, we very strongly recommend contacting the airlines beforehand. The general consensus was that power is available, thought it isn’t necessarily as reliable as your “normal power”. It may also take some organising to get you in the right seat and having the appropriate adaptors.

Batteries, including the Medistrom 24 Lite, are able to be used during flights, but again letting the airline know that you will be using and carrying it is advisable.

You may read that you will need 150% of battery life (for example 15 hrs of battery for a 10 hour flight.) It appears the policies are written in conjunction with Portable Oxygen Concentrators, which are devices that are used all the time as opposed to your CPAP device which is just when you sleep.

It is important that before travelling you are aware of your airline’s policies around bringing your CPAP machine on board.

We have consulted with a number of airlines to find out their rules and restrictions and have compiled the relevant information and forms below.

Tiger AirWays

CPAP machines can be taken aboard Tiger AirWays flights free of charge and it will not be part of your carry-on baggage allowance.

In order to do this however, you will need to complete the Personal Medical Equipment Form located on their website at least five days prior to travel. Once this has been completed you will need to email it to: [email protected]

For more information Click Here

Virgin

Virgin have advised that if you do not wish to use your CPAP machine on board the plane, you may bring it on board as part of your checked or carry on baggage allowance.

If you wish to use your CPAP machine during the flight, Virgin recommend you contact their Guest Contact Centre on 13 67 89 and ask to be put through to their Priority Assistance Team for further assistance.

Virgin also advise in regards to bringing non-rechargeable batteries with 2g – 8g lithium metal content onboard that is usually used for medical device like CPAP may be check in or carried on. For further information regarding batteries on board Click Here.

Emirates

CPAP/PAP devices are permitted on board Emirates flights for use during your flight and do not count towards your carry-on baggage limit. It is however, not to exceed exceed the size or weight for approved stowage of cabin baggage.

If you are flying with Emirates, you do not need to receive prior approval and Emirates no longer require notification or a medical verification for you to use your CPAP device in the aircraft cabin. Just be sure to let them know when you book your flight or at the airport.

If you bring your CPAP machine on board an Emirates aircraft as carry-on baggage but do not intend to use it, the batteries must be removed and packaged separately, unless the device contains at least two effective protective features to prevent accidental operation during transport.

AirCanada

When travelling with AirCanada, no medical approval is required if you are travelling with a CPAP or BPAP machine that is required to treat Sleep Apnoea only. You will however, need to contact Air Canada Reservations if you plan on bringing your device on board with you (even if you do not intend to use it).

Air New Zealand

According to Air New Zealand, if you wish to use your CPAP device during your flight, it must meet the following requirements;

  • It must be an Air New Zealand approved model or meet FAA approval and have a manufacturer’s label that indicates it meets those requirements
  • The device must be able to be stowed in the cabin in a way that meets safety and security regulations. Maximum combined dimensions are: maximum weight of 7kg (15lbs) and maximum total dimensions (length + width + height) of 115cm (45″)

You are also required to provide the airline with a minimum of 48 hours notice if you wish to use your device on board and check in 1 hour prior to general check in. You must also complete this form to travel with your CPAP device.

Qantas

If you are flying with Qantas and wish to bring your CPAP machine with you, a Travel Clearance Form must be filled out and faxed to +61 (2) 9490 183.

Along with this, your CPAP equipment must also be authorised as safe for use on Qantas aircrafts. Further information on Qantas authorised medical equipment can be obtained from the medical support equipment list.

It is worth noting that while CPAP machines require Qantas clearance, it does not require clearance from a medical practitioner. It will be subjected to an inspection and therefore must be available a few hours before departure and approved for use on-board.

We hope you have found this information useful. As always, we are here to help with any questions.

Safe Travels!

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