CPAPs on a plane

I have sleep apnea and will be traveling to Europe this summer. Is it possible to take my CPAP machine on the plane for the overnight flight? Or will I just need to take cofee? Flying British Air in economy plus, I'm supposed to have an electrical outlet at my seat.

Posted by Nancy
Corvallis OR
963 posts

Hi Tracy, this is from the BA website: "CPAP machine" • Medical clearance is not required for the carriage or use of CPAP machines (used in the treatment of sleep apnoea) as fitness to travel will not be in doubt. • CPAP machines can be plugged into a laptop power-point, where available, with a suitable adaptor. • Maximum power output from the laptop points is 75 Watts and, if your equipment draws more than this, the outlet will be automatically deactivated. •
We cannot guarantee that any of the laptop points will be serviceable. If you intend to use one in flight, we recommend that you use a dry-cell battery-operated device.

Posted by Carol
Atlanta, GA, USA
679 posts

And my experience is that about half the time those "outlets" don't work.

Posted by David
Florence, AL, USA
1960 posts

I'm too on CPAP, and I would consider myself to be a moderate case. There are few people that absolutely require CPAP to sleep. You could always just stay awake on the flight, and enjoy the movie. Other alternatives would be an elastic chin strap or mouthpiece to improve your breathing without CPAP. Most CPAP patients rip off their headsets in their sleep anyway. Before I take a long flight to Europe, I adjust my sleep throughout a week going to sleep later and later--to minimize the adjustments to GMT.]
Good luck!

Posted by Elaine
Mission Viejo, Calif., USA
773 posts

My husband used to carry his CPAP machine and did use it on a plane on Quantas. He also had fixed up a battery pack for using anywhere. Now he uses a mouth guard, instead of the CPAP. You might want to look into specialists who treat Sleep Apnea with special mouth guards. My husband has severe Sleep Apnea. He has used the mouth guard for about six years now. Head and Neck doctors (used to be called ENT's) can recommend someone in your area. My husband had two sleep-overs to make sure the mouth guard was working, as a substitute. It is much more convenient to use the mouth guard than the CPAP machine. My husband was having Trigeminal Nerve pain in his face, due to the CPAP machine.