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C-Pap

I'm new to the C-pap. I understand you can carry it on your flight. So, I'm assuming one piece of carry-on luggage and a C-pap is fine? How do you handle this on trips? Buy distilled water there and get rid of the water when you are getting on the train and buy new when you arrive? I'm just trying to figure this out. Thanks.

Posted by
789 posts

You're actually allowed to bring the CPAP as a third item, since it is a medical device (the bag should have some kind of tag showing that it is a medical device. I just printed out and laminated a tag with a red cross on it). And I'd never put it in checked luggage. I carried it as a third item a few times and found it a huge pain to juggle my carry-on bag, the CPAP bag that I tried unsuccessfully to attach to the carry-on handle, and a Civita bag as my personal item. What I do now instead is use the Euro Flight Bag to carry the CPAP, my camera (which is wrapped in the Civita bag), Kindle and items I want to access on the plane. The Euro bag slips over the handle of my RS rolling carry-on. At any rate, whatever combination works for you is fine, but I'd suggest two items, not three.

As for the water, I've also been that route, buying a jug of distilled water, hauling it across town on the subway or walking, and then left the nearly full jug in the hotel when I left. Also too much trouble. I don't know about your machine, but I am able to disconnect the humidifier and leave it at home when I travel. I find I really don't miss it, though I do use it at home.

I'm thinking of getting a smaller, lighter travel CPAP that plugs directly into an outlet. My home CPAP has a giant, heavy power brick that I'd also love to leave behind on the road.

One more thing. I'd suggest always carrying an extension cord. I've been in a couple of hotel rooms with no available outlets close to the bed. In London, I had to scoot the bed away from the wall to reach the outlet hidden at the foot of the bed. No way it would have all worked without the extension cord.

Posted by
103 posts

If you carry on your CPAP in its own case along with one other carry on, you'll be fine. There's a medical equipment retailer that sells official looking medical equipment luggage tags online, but you don't really need one. Most CPAP cases have a little extra space which you may be able to use for other things. Or you can carry your CPAP in a different case that will also accommodate other items which is what I do. Of course, it must be small enough to qualify as a "personal item." NONE OF THIS APPLIES IF YOU'RE FLYING ONE OF THE BUDGET AIRLINES THAT ONLY PERMITS ONE CARRY ON. You will need to remove the machine (minus tubing, mask, and power brick) and put it in a bin along with your 3-1-1 bag, coat, liquid medications bag, and shoes to go through TSA screening unless you have one of the known traveler statuses.

How long will you have been using your CPAP before your trip? I ask because, if you're lucky like me, you may find that you don't need the humidifier and don't have to travel with distilled water. If you do need to use the humidifier, hopefully someone else will chime in with advice about that. I know it has been discussed in these forums before. Maybe you can figure out how to use the search function to find those discussions.

WARNING: Mask and headgear parts can break making it impossible to put the mask on properly. It happened to me away from home once. I hate to take up the space when I'm traveling, but since then I've always traveled with an extra mask and headgear so that I won't ever have to panic again! It's worth thinking about.

Posted by
1446 posts

Very informational replies from both of you. Thanks! I have only had the CPAP for 6 weeks now. We aren't traveling until August. Good thought about not using distilled water during that time - we will only be gone 15 days. Also, I like the idea of taking some extra equipment along. Thanks so much!!

Posted by
10358 posts

We have been able to take the cpap as an extra item on EasyJet, Norwegian, and Veulig, all budget airlines--so it varies.

Posted by
8239 posts

I've taken my CPAP a couple of times in my carry on backpack. No problems.
And the places I've traveled to had very good quality tap water. I don't bother with distilled water even at home.
In my case, it's not a live/die issue to be without it for a week or two. I'm not traveling with it presently.
When I snore somewhat, my wife says at least she knows I'm alive. She pokes me in the ribs, and I roll over.

Posted by
789 posts

Unfortunately, I don't snore "somewhat." I know I'm an earth-shaking snorer. I finally went down the CPAP road after a Boy Scout camping trip to Canada. One of the dads had his CPAP, but had forgotten the power cord. He was able to make arrangements to have it sent to the camp, but for two nights, his snoring was incredible. After he was able to use the machine, he slept soundlessly, leaving me to keep the rest of the cabin awake with my snoring. When I got home from that trip, I made the appointment. Now, my wife would never forgive me for not having it, especially in a hotel room.

Posted by
1450 posts

Not trying to hijack the thread, but Stoutfella, are you saying that with the addition of yr home craft project tag they dont open that bag & root around and ask questions?

I ask because i have two PRESCRIPTION Liquids for my rosacea (a scrub and an ointment, and this nessicitates use of a 35SPF sunscreen or higher), so 311 bags are the bane of my existence . i know im entitled to another 311 bag because it is prescriptions, but ive not tried it because i dont want to battle w a TSA person , and potential loose about $100 worth of product. The bottle the scrub comes from the pharmacy in is 16oz, so by the time i decant some into a small bottle, it looks like creme rinse. sigh

Posted by
10358 posts

Depends on the airport and person on duty. All they ask someone to do is remove the machine from it's carrying case--sometimes, not always. There's no rooting around.

Posted by
4174 posts

Snoring and disturbing other people is not the big issue. Sleep apnea is. Everytime a snorer stops breathing, s/he can be thrown into A-fib. My husband got serious about getting a CPAP and using it after learning that, and after being told he had already developed pulmonary hypertension as well.

He has used his machine in Europe and Istanbul. He takes it as his only, second or third carry-on, depending on the airline. He found that he can put all his meds, his iPad, and the CPAP with spares in the original shoebox size carrier bag. He bought a European extension cord with multiple outlets on one trip, and that fits in there, too.

He's used distilled water, bought in a pharmacy or a Walmart-like store. He's also used ordinary bottled water (still) as well, with no adverse effects. Our trips are typically 4 to 8 weeks long.

Posted by
789 posts

doric8: I can't really address your situation. All I know is that, once I was past security, no one's looked twice at my medical device bag. But I always have to take the CPAP out of the bag -- whether carrying it as a separate medical device item or in my regular personal item -- to go through security. After that, there's never been any rooting around, but, again, that's AFTER going through TSA security.

Posted by
789 posts

lo: You're right, of course, about sleep apnea issues and the potentially serious consequences. I'm well aware of them and hope that using the CPAP helps address the problems and ultimately leads to a longer and healthier life. My Boy Scout camp snoring experience is simply what finally motivated me to take the steps I needed to take, and my wife is glad I did.

Posted by
354 posts

My husband has had a c-pap for about 10 years. Sometimes he is asked to remove it from the bag to go through security, sometimes not. We usually fly carry on only and he has his suitcase, his personal item, and his c-pap. Never had a problem. But we've never flown a low cost carrier, so that may be different. He has never used anything but tap water in his and that has been fine.