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Traveling on UA with a CPAP Device - Questions, Experiences, Etc.

Traveling on UA with a CPAP Device - Questions, Experiences, Etc.

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Old May 18, 17, 5:56 am   -   Wikipost
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The disability number has now been updated to 1-800-228-2744

Carry-on allowance
You're also allowed to bring the following items on board, in addition to your one bag and one personal item limit (Footnote 2):

Jacket or umbrella
Reading material
Food or merchandise purchased in the airport
Assistive devices (collapsible wheelchair, cane, one set of crutches, medical devices needed to administer prescription medications, portable oxygen concentrator, etc.)
FAA-approved child restraint system or safety seat
Diaper bag
Breast pump
Pet carrier (service charges apply for in-cabin pets)

CoC Rule 23.B.2 Baggage

In addition to the Carry-on Free Baggage Allowance listed above, the following items do not count toward the one Carry-on plus one personal item:
An overcoat or wrap.
An umbrella.
A reasonable amount of reading material.
A pet carrier (charges apply) (the carrier must be small enough to fit underneath the seat without blocking any personís path to the main aisle of the aircraft, and it must be stowed properly before the forward customer entry door to the aircraft is closed).
A collapsible wheelchair.
A government approved child/infant restraint seat meeting Federal Motor Vehicle and FAA Approval Standards.
A camera.
A diaper bag.
A breast pump.
A limited amount of Airport Duty Free items, merchandise purchased in the airport, or food. These items must be stowed in the same manner as Carry-on Baggage.
Assistive devices (a cane, one set of crutches, prescription medications and any medical devices needed to administer the medications, a Portable Oxygen Concentrator (POC), etc.). These items must be stowed in the same manner as Carry-on Baggage.
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Old Nov 2, 12, 5:43 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: MDE
Programs: UA 1K - 1MM, DL Gold - 2MM, AA Plat - 2MM
Posts: 244
Traveling on UA with a CPAP Device - Questions, Experiences, Etc.

Has anyone traveled with a CPAP device?

Has UA ever refused to allow you to bring the device on board? Will they allow you to use it while sleeping in flight?

Thank you for your help.
timbre is offline  
Old Nov 2, 12, 5:50 pm
  #2  
 
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I've taken mine in my carry-on many times. But I've never tried to use it in-flight. I don't have a battery pack for mine, and there are MANY hoops you need to go through even if you do. United won't let you use aircraft power for it. You must use batteries.

http://www.united.com/web/en-US/cont...ntilators.aspx
FlyingDiver is offline  
Old Nov 2, 12, 7:13 pm
  #3  
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Originally Posted by timbre View Post
Has anyone traveled with a CPAP device?

Has UA ever refused to allow you to bring the device on board? Will they allow you to use it while sleeping in flight?

Thank you for your help.
I have with a similar device, not a CPAP and have been using it in flight for four years now.

UA cannot refuse to allow you to bring the device on board because of the Air Carrier Access Act. They are required to allow you to bring it on board and it does not count towards your carry on total.

To use it on board you need to have it approved through the medical desk: 1-800-825-6331. It has a dedicated staff and is open 24 hours a day--they are a great group! If UA's engineering department approves the device (you will need to tell them manufacturer and model) they will let you use in while sleeping in flight. Do you have the FAA sticker on the bottom of your device? Some older units do not, but that does not preclude their use.

As for power, that has changed. Before Jeff changed things for the worse this year, UA used to bring power to your seat for you, regardless of the aircraft or class of service. They no longer bring power to your seat.

If your aircraft has in-seat power as most international configurations do, they will need to take a look at the specs for your equipment and will let you know if you can use it on the in-seat power provided on some aircraft. If you can provide them with an online link to the specifications for your equipment that will speed things up. They need 48 hours to approve the use of the equipment on board.

Once on board, most pursers are clueless as they rarely look at the list of medical patients on board. I usually talk to them to let them know that I will be using my equipment on board and it has been cleared by the medical desk.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to ask here or by PM.

Originally Posted by FlyingDiver View Post
I've taken mine in my carry-on many times. But I've never tried to use it in-flight. I don't have a battery pack for mine, and there are MANY hoops you need to go through even if you do. United won't let you use aircraft power for it. You must use batteries.

http://www.united.com/web/en-US/cont...ntilators.aspx
The wording on that page is quite misleading regarding CPAPs since it also covers ventilators and respirators.

You do not need to use batteries if the unit is approved by the engineers for use on in-seat power and your plane is equipped with that.

My equipment is approved for use on in-seat power and I used it this past week on international flights. Originally I was scheduled on an new configuration 777, but there was a plane swap 48 hours before the flight to the old configuration which does not have in seat power. I called the medical desk and they switched me, free of charge, to the earlier fight on a 767 which did have in seat power. Like I said, there is a great group of dedicated people there.
Pat89339 is offline  
Old Nov 2, 12, 9:04 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
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Ive never had a problem with it..Its a medical device and is just like using a laptop so far as the outlet.
CAL PHL FLYER is offline  
Old Nov 5, 12, 1:17 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 886
Never had an issue carrying it onboard in my carry-on luggage on UA, AA, FL, or F9.

Never even had TSA inspect it at the security checkpoint.

(Probably just jinxed myself, oops).
abefroman329 is offline  
Old Nov 5, 12, 1:22 pm
  #6  
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Originally Posted by abefroman329 View Post
Never had an issue carrying it onboard in my carry-on luggage on UA, AA, FL, or F9.

Never even had TSA inspect it at the security checkpoint.

(Probably just jinxed myself, oops).
The only time mine has been inspected in the past few years was ex-LHR last week. Their TSA equivalent was all oohs and aahs when he was swabbing it. He had never seen one like this before and asked if it was something new. . I thought is was very funny.
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Old Nov 5, 12, 3:04 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: San Jose, Ca HH Diamond, UA 1K
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Hmm, I must be unlucky, mine always seems to attract unwanted attention from TSA. frequent get pulled aside for extra swab down. Not sure how true this is, but a number of TSA agents said they are supposed to inspect as sombody tried to do something bad with a CPAP...
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Old Nov 5, 12, 3:21 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
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Originally Posted by RoadWeary View Post
Hmm, I must be unlucky, mine always seems to attract unwanted attention from TSA. frequent get pulled aside for extra swab down. Not sure how true this is, but a number of TSA agents said they are supposed to inspect as sombody tried to do something bad with a CPAP...
I've had the same experience. I have always had to take it out of the bag and they do the swab test.
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Old Nov 5, 12, 3:37 pm
  #9  
 
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I carry a massive Philips and never had to take it out in 10 months
Plane-is-home is online now  
Old Nov 5, 12, 3:42 pm
  #10  
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You might consider buying one of those apnea/snoring mouthpieces that jam your jaw forward a bit, and then sleep on your stomach instead of lugging the machine around for a few days. But, as always, check with your sleep doctor first.
chasbondy is offline  
Old Nov 5, 12, 6:55 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
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Always Fly With CPAP

I always fly with my CPAP machine as carry on. As with any medical equipment or medication, if you put it in your checked luggage, then you risk having it lost.

I use my CPAP on long international flights. My CPAP is not battery powered and I always plug into a conventional outlet...of course there has to be an outlet there, or you're out of luck! You can request special seating if available. On the EWR-DEL flight, which is a 777-200, I have encountered power outlets in F that fail to work properly more than once...bummer for me!

Trying to sleep in coach sucks to begin with and using a CPAP in cramped quarters is a special form of torture, but I have done it. I have never met a flight attendant who is not familiar with a CPAP machine.

I have gotten tired of the hassle of a second TSA inspection because my CPAP got flagged in the X ray machine. While it is a pain to unpack, I always separate the CPAP from the rest of my carry on.

Good luck!
Wingnut71 is offline  
Old Nov 5, 12, 7:04 pm
  #12  
 
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Originally Posted by timbre View Post
Has anyone traveled with a CPAP device?

Has UA ever refused to allow you to bring the device on board? Will they allow you to use it while sleeping in flight?

Thank you for your help.

I can't access your exact question, but if you ever want to ensure you have power for long-haul flights where you need to use CPAP, check out these guys

http://cpapcharge.com/

I bought their product and used it on a flight to- and from- Australia (I flew Qantas), which is 15 hours flying from LA.

This was the only time I used the product but it did a fabulous job.

If you are using CPAP while flying, best to have a window seat so nobody trips over your battery pack, CPAP, hoses, etc...

Would also be a convenient thing to use when camping I suppose, but that's not really my cup of tea. Staying at a hotel is my idea of roughing it.


Last edited by wbl-mn-flyer; Nov 5, 12 at 9:20 pm
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Old Nov 5, 12, 7:05 pm
  #13  
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Originally Posted by Wingnut71 View Post
I always fly with my CPAP machine as carry on. As with any medical equipment or medication, if you put it in your checked luggage, then you risk having it lost.

I use my CPAP on long international flights. My CPAP is not battery powered and I always plug into a conventional outlet...of course there has to be an outlet there, or you're out of luck! You can request special seating if available. On the EWR-DEL flight, which is a 777-200, I have encountered power outlets in F that fail to work properly more than once...bummer for me!

Trying to sleep in coach sucks to begin with and using a CPAP in cramped quarters is a special form of torture, but I have done it. I have never met a flight attendant who is not familiar with a CPAP machine.

I have gotten tired of the hassle of a second TSA inspection because my CPAP got flagged in the X ray machine. While it is a pain to unpack, I always separate the CPAP from the rest of my carry on.

Good luck!
Do you register your equipment with UA as a medical device for each flight or do you just bring it on board and use it?
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Old Nov 5, 12, 7:32 pm
  #14  
 
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Originally Posted by timbre View Post
Do you register your equipment with UA as a medical device for each flight or do you just bring it on board and use it?
I have lugged it all over the world for three years, never had any problems, some swabs, rarely out of the case, just say it is a medical device if they say that it is over the two carry on limit, never registered it with any one. Don't have any worries or concerns, just take it on board. No one will make any fuss about it at all.
TonyBurr is offline  
Old Nov 6, 12, 1:26 pm
  #15  
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 886
I never carry mine in its carrying case, just pack everything into my suitcase. Don't know if that's why it never gets inspected/swabbed.
abefroman329 is offline  

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