Packing Advice What to expect at airports Airline Specific Guidelines

There a few things you can do ahead of your flight to ensure you breeze through without any issues when flying with your CPAP.

  • Packing Advice

    Most importantly pack your CPAP as a hand luggage item. As a CPAP machine is a medical device it cannot be classed as one of your carry-on items - even with Ryanair! Most modern CPAP's come with a carry case but if not you can purchase one to fit your device here.

    CPAP Cases

    This ensures it does not get lost or damaged in transit and you can continue with your treatment. If possible the TSA also recommended labelling with a medical equipment tag however this is not mandatory.

    Also don't forget to pack a copy of your prescription to speed up the security process and show transparency when abroad. It also means that should you have any technical difficulties when you're away you should be able to source a replacement with ease. All online CPAP sellers must have a prescription to issue a machine.

  • What to expect at the airport
    • Your CPAP should be in a carry case or separate bag so it doesn't count as part of your hand luggage allowance.
    • Going through security it will require x-ray, to speed up the process we'd recommend you take it out of the case and into its own screening tray but do allow extra time to go through these checks.
    • Mainly because CPAP's are very hard to see clearly on x-ray and different countries have slightly different processes. In the UK expect it to be x-rayed and swabbed by a security as a precaution. However it is unlikely your CPAP mask will go through this process so if you are worried put that in another clear plastic bag.
    • If your machine is battery powered ensure you have enough battery to turn on if security require to see it working.
    • Take any paperwork you have an email exchange with the airline if required for carry on to ensure a quick passage through the gate and label the travel case to help quick and easy identification so staff don't challenge you on the extra bag.
  • Airline Specific Requirements

    The last but most important tip is to check with your chosen airline before travelling and especially before boarding on their policy for CPAP machines. Each airline is different and some have power options to use on board while others don't allow use at all.

    Ensure you do this a week before departure as some airlines require 48 hours' notice of a CPAP machine to verify that your model of machine meets the FAA standards and regulations.

    Please find below a list of the most common airlines from the UK and their guides or links:

    Last updated May 2019