Air Travel with a CPAP

I will be traveling on Delta and KLM Airlines this Fall to Scotland. Will need to carry a CPAP machine on both airlines. I am familiar with the airport check procedures, but wondering if anyone has experience in carrying the CPAP onboard Delta and KLM? Will have a note from my doctor stating it is a necessary medical device -- and in the past airlines have not counted the CPAP as a "carry-on" thanks for any suggestions

Posted by Bets
2782 posts

It's not a problem. It doesn't count as carry on. You don't need a note. The TSA in both the States and Europe are very familiar with the machines. You just have to take it out of the case and put it in a tray for TSA.

Posted by Nancy
Corvallis OR
2022 posts

Bruce, if you want to see more information and experiences about this issue do a search on CPAP. There have been many threads on this issue in the last year alone.

Posted by Bruce
Bellingham, Washington, USA
15 posts

Bets and Nancy -- thank you. I will conduct a search --- new to this Rick Steves listing. thanks for your patience. Bruce

Posted by Lo
1337 posts

My husband traveled with his CPAP for the first time this April. The TSA agents varied. Some told him not to bother opening it. Others wanted the opposite. We flew Delta. His machine has built-in 110/220, but we did get a continental extension cord in a supermarket in Bruges. It allowed him to use the plug adapter for the CPAP and to charge his phone and iPad at the same time. After reading a lot of comments about taking an extension cord from home and using a plug adapter for the cord, we chose this as the easiest option for the purpose and it was not that expensive. When we go back to the UK, we will have to decide what to do about their different kind of plugs. I don't know how it will be in Scotland, but we had to buy the distilled water in a pharmacy or drugstore. It was rare and hard to find.

Posted by Bruce
Bellingham, Washington, USA
15 posts

Thanks Lo for your . I did as Nancy suggested and used the SEARCH function and found several pages of great information from other travlers about CPAP travel issues and remedies. The distilled water is an issue; however one traveler suggested calling/emailing ahead to hotels/BnBs where we are staying expressing a need for the distilled water. The traveler stated the larger hotels were usually quite helpful in ensuring the distilled water was available; whereas the small BmBs at least would be aware and know ahead of time where to suggest we find it. 3 weeks until we depart

Posted by David
Florence, AL, USA
2720 posts

Security posts at airports see CPAP's every day, and they're not an issue. I carry mine in a medium size backpack, and thankfully CPAP's are now smaller. My 21" rolling suitcase is never checked, and at no time has my backpack ever been a problem; except on EasyJet. My backpack can go in the suitcase if absolutely necessary. It's nice to have distilled water, but it's not absolutely necessary. You can find bottled water anywhere, and it works just fine. Heck, I just use tap water in places that the water's really good.

Posted by Troy
Vancouver, BC, Canada
107 posts

I took mine to Europe for the first time last year, the only issue I had was coming home from Munich the security screener swab tested my machine to make sure it was not a bomb. It delayed me about 30 seconds. You will not have a problem.

Posted by Irene
Ventura, CA, United States
17 posts

Having traveled for years with my CPAP machine, you should have no problems with taking it. Something to consider- you may be able to use it without water if you have a problem finding it. Company that I received my CPAP from said that some machines come apart and you bring just the unit itself and not the humidifier portion. I was concerned my throat would be sore if I didn't use the humidifier portion. They suggested trying it at home without filling the humidifier to see how I problem. I used my CPAP in Europe but without water....just an idea...check with your CPAP company to see if that's an option for you.