Traveling with your CPAP Internationally
This is Kenny McCollum with part two of my video about traveling on a plane with CPAP internationally. So let's talk about before you leave
Make a list. I have a list of everything that needs to be in my CPAP bag. It’s in there all the time. so when I'm in a hurry in the morning, I won't forget.
Only use the original CPAP bag. They are designed for getting through the TSA fast. There is a reason for those open compartments.
Put a luggage tag on your CPAP bag with your name and also to help you differentiate from all those other CPAP bags.
Do not put any non-medical supplies in your CPAP bag, only your CPAP and the CPAP supplies.
When traveling internationally, carry a prescription for your CPAP, and place it in the bag with your CPAP machine. Also, carry an FAA travel compliance letter with your device. Search for “FAA compliance letter” on the internet.
If you plan to use a full-size machine in flight, you must call the airline ahead of time. They're going to be a little bit distraught. If you just show up saying that you want to use your machine in flight without calling them ahead of time.
Consider purchasing a small travel CPAP. They are a little expensive, but they're certainly a lot easier to use on a plane. They can also be used with a small battery, one that you can use on a plane.
So another thing you definitely do not want to forget is your power adapter/power converter. The one that I have is by Ceptics. This one also has a place where you can plug in a USB charger at the end, and it has two outlets. Also the bonus of having an extra extension cord. Then you just need to figure out what plug adapter you need for that particular country. That just slides into the end, plug it in, then your CPAP machine and you're good to go.
Let's talk about boarding your flight and getting through the airport.
CPAP machines do not count towards the allowed limits of carry-on luggage. So it can be an add on and they're not going to charge you extra for that. Do not check the CPAP bag with your luggage and don’t place it in your suitcase.
The TSA may ask you to take the machine out of the bag for inspection, this is normal. Allow extra time for that.
Flight attendants, see CPAP bags all the time but occasionally you might get asked about it. Usually, they'll be asking you why you have an extra bag. Just tell them it's a medical device.
If you use a CPAP machine in flight, you will need to change it to airplane mode if it has a wireless modem.
You can bring up to 3.4 ounces of distilled water on board with you for your CPAP machine. If you choose to just purchase a little 3.4-ounce spill-proof container, you can just use bottled water from the plane, or even tap water.
Don't forget a neck pillow, blackout mask, and ear plugs, those are great for sleeping on a plane.
Of course, after the flight, don't forget to gather everything, especially the power cord or your battery.
It's ok to use bottled water or tap water while you're traveling. It's really hard to find distilled water when you're traveling, just clean that chamber thoroughly when you return home, and then go back to distilled water.
So by following these few simple tips, you will be able to fly with your CPAP machine, both domestically and internationally, with ease, whether it's a short trip or long haul flight, you can rest assured that your CPAP needs are covered!