Flying With Your CPAP Machine – 7 Tips

Compliance with CPAP when you travel is important. Your sleep apnea symptoms can return even after a single day without your prescribed device. This can be a sure-fire way to ruin a vacation or a business meeting.

However, you don’t need to forego your sleep health when flying. The following are seven tips to make flying with CPAP easier.

  1. Pack a Mini Travel-Sized CPAP

Investing in a travel CPAP device saves packing your standard prescribed device. A travel CPAP is more compact and lighter, so it’s easy to transport. Benefits of a travel CPAP include:

  • weighs less than 2 lbs
  • very quiet
  • compact, fitting in the palm of your hand
  • flexible power options
  • automatic altitude adjustment

Consult with your doctor first to ensure you invest in a travel CPAP that can accommodate your prescribed pressure settings.

  1. Check Ahead

Check with your airline to ensure there are no restrictions for boarding with your device -- and check their policy on using it during a long-haul flight. If you know you will need to use your device in flight, check that your seat has access to an appropriate power source or whether you need an adapter.

  1. Take a Battery

It is a good idea to leave room to pack a battery for your device. This is a back-up in case you find you don’t have access to a power outlet. This is key on a long-haul flight where you intend to sleep. The battery offers insurance that you can awake, refreshed and alert.

  1. Take the Appropriate Documents

When flying, it can be useful to have documentation that shows you are prescribed CPAP and have a compliant device. Therefore, keep the prescription letter from your doctor in the case with your device, as well as any manufacturer’s letter or documentation showing the device is FAA compliant.

  1. Keep Your CPAP Device With You

We have all heard those horror stories of lost luggage. By keeping your device with you in your carry-on luggage, you can ensure it always arrives with you. Nothing will ruin a holiday quicker than the return of your sleep apnea symptoms, including fatigue and morning headaches.

  1. Empty the Humidifier

This is a useful practical tip. Empty your humidifier and dry it out completely to prevent it leaking into your bag.

  1. Write a Checklist

Having a checklist is the simplest way to ensure you don’t forget to pack anything. As well as the device itself and any necessary documentation, this list may also include a spare mask, adaptor and cleaning supplies.