Travelling with CPAP

It’s the time of year again when many people are making travel plans. Below you’ll find a checklist that’s useful no matter what your travel plans may be.

  • Know your rights. A CPAP machine is considered a medical device, which means you’re permitted to bring it with you into the plane cabin and it does not count as a carry-on item. We advise you to not pack your CPAP in your checked luggage, since this is risky in the event that your luggage is lost or delayed and it also may get damaged during handling.
  • Make pre-flight arrangements if necessary. If you’re taking an overnight flight, at least two weeks prior to traveling, get clearance from the airline to use your device on a flight. Arrange to sit near a power source on the aircraft. Confirm the type of power cord or adapter used by the aircraft. Remember, you cannot use your humidifier on the plate, as aircraft 000 travelturbulence increases the risk of water spillage and damage to the device.
  • Prepare documents from your doctor or CPAP supplier. Most airports especially international ones are familiar with CPAP and don’t question it, but it can help you get through security more easily if you carry a copy of your prescription and a letter from your provider explaining what CPAP is.
  • Pack CPAP and supplies
    • Pack the correct adapter for the country you’re traveling to because power outlets differ in each country. It is wise to take spare supplies especially an extra mask.
    • Check the electrical specification sticker on the machine, or check the specs in your owner’s manual to see if you have a CPAP with a universal power supply supporting a voltage range of 100V to 240V. If it indicates 100V – 240V, then you know you have a universal power supply. Some old CPAPs requires voltage converters and it doesn’t run with a different power supply. Note that some really old CPAP machines have a switch for manually changing from 120V to 240V.
    • Check if your CPAP has a direct 12V DC input. If so, you can run your CPAP with free-standing 12V battery.
    • Anticipate Hard-to-Reach Outlets. Consider taking back-up batteries.
    • Remember H2 Remember you can’t take water on the plane with you. Some people choose to pack distilled water in their luggage, other don’t take their humidifier with them. Alternative to distilled water is boiled water. Keep in mind if you are going on a cruise you can ask in advance that they place distilled water in your cabin.
  • At the airport:  Make sure you have emptied out the humidifier and packed your CPAP in its carrying case. If you have a back-up battery you can take it with you on the plane to use. The x-ray scanners will not harm your device, and it is required that you take your CPAP out of the bag and place it on the scanner’s belt.

Contact Cansleep if you are traveling and require a copy of your prescription and a travel letter. If you want to travel light or if you are worried about power cord access and want to use a back-up battery contact us so we can go over travel units and back-up batteries options with you.