Traveling with a CPAP Machine

If you’re one of the millions of Americans using a CPAP machine to treat sleep apnea, you likely deal with the inconvenience of traveling with the machine. We provide some CPAP travel tips to help you the next time you travel with your CPAP machine.

Air Travel with CPAP Machines

Flying with a CPAP can be difficult, but you can take some simple steps to avoid most of these problems. Under federal law, medical devices are exempt from TSA’s baggage restrictions and do not count toward your baggage allowance. You can pack your CPAP in a separate bag a TSA member can inspect prior to boarding the aircraft.

Always notify the airline that you intend to bring your CPAP machine onboard prior to arriving at the airport. During flight, you can use the CPAP machine if you plan on sleeping; however, be mindful of how you will power the machine. Some CPAP machines operate off battery power and can be used in most situations. Other machines, in contrast, require a power outlet to work. Do research ahead of time to determine the availability of power sources, the power levels of the outlets, and the location of the power outlets within the plane.

Refilling Your Machine On-The-Go

Experienced CPAP machine users know to always use distilled water for refills. Experienced users also know that traveling with distilled water can be difficult; traveling by plane can prove especially challenging. Distilled water typically comes in a gallon jug; however, this jug will not make it through security checkpoints at the airport. Luckily, people traveling with CPAP machines can purchase travel size distilled water bottles to use instead. These water bottles can make it through TSA checkpoints because they are labeled as “medically necessary for CPAPs.”

With these CPAP travel tips, you will easily navigate the common obstacles to a stress-free travel experience.