Enjoy your vacations even with sleep apnea: can I fly with my CPAP?
Can I fly with my CPAP?
Taking the plane on vacation but do not know what to do with your cpap, what to expect at check-in, customs and on board?
Instead of “Can I fly with my CPAP?” the question should really be “What are the best conditions for using my CPAP while flying?”.
First of all, if your doctor prescribed you a CPAP, it is because you need it. So the aim is to keep your machine as carry-on luggage. You may need it and the lower air pressure of the aircraft could affect the settings.
When booking your tickets, check your airline’s policy regarding in-flight CPAP usage. Even if airlines and crews are getting more and more used to managing sleep apnea, issues still occur. Depending on the company, you may or may not be able to use your CPAP on board, using the aircraft’s power supply or your own personal battery.
CPAP THROUGH CUSTOMS
For international flights, ensure that your machine meets the standards and regulations in your destination country.
When arriving at customs, make controls as easy as possible for the agents:
- Keep your prescription handy if they need additional information about your equipment.
- Leave a CPAP tag on your medical case.
- Be ready to show the document your medical provider gave you to prove that your CPAP can be used on board.
To protect your CPAP while scanning, it is recommended that you leave the device in a plastic bag to protect it from germs and damage. Customs agents always inspect electronic machines for explosives.
Have you boarded the aircraft? Then the most difficult part is over. The only thing to do now, is take your battery and an adaptor in case your CPAP machine does not automatically convert to the correct local voltage. Just do not use your humidifier on the plane: you may damage your equipment due to water spillage.
Avoid alcohol and caffeine on the plane, and bring earplugs and blindfolds to help you fall asleep peacefully. To fully enjoy your nap or night’s sleep, try to sit away from the aisle. If you are in the corner, no one will wake you up when getting up.