With the growing awareness of sleep apnea among doctors and the general public, bringing a CPAP device along for air travel is more common than ever before, according to a Wake Up to Sleep article titled “CPAP Air Travel.” For patients making a trip with their CPAP, carry the device on board and do not check it as luggage, says Jessica Cormier, marketing director of Better Rest Solutions. Accessories should be carried on board as well. “Be ready to show your equipment through security check and make sure that you have printed documentation, preferably the manual, for the SoClean 2 Go,” Cormier says.

Carrying the CPAP can help prevent damage and will ensure the device arrives with the patient at his destination. However, CPAP users should contact the airline prior to travel to ensure the device meets any requirements for carrying such assistive devices, according to USA Today. The airline should be contacted at least 2 days before the flight.

Airlines may not be able to provide power sources for the therapy equipment, so travelers should have ample battery power if they intend to use the CPAP while in the air. For international flights, the NSF suggests travelers check with their airline to find out if they can sit near a power source so the CPAP can safely be used. A power cord or adapter may be needed, so CPAP users should also ask their airline what type may be needed.

Travel size CPAP machines are an option for travelers. They can offer flight-friendly features such as integrated battery solutions and extended power cords. Steve Moore, senior vice president of sales and marketing at Human Design Medical, says, “Traveling with a portable CPAP such as Z1 takes the hassle out of traveling.” He cites the Z1’s weight (10 ounces) as an advantage when traveling. Moore says, “The Z1 PowerShell integrates the Z1 CPAP (the Z1 Unplugged) with a lithium ion overnight battery. This is ideal for traveling where there is no power source.”

Passengers preparing for an airline trip should also take a letter from their physician to alleviate any concerns about getting through airport security with a CPAP. A CPAP does not count as carry-on luggage under Federal Aviation Administration regulations, so fliers can still bring a laptop or other personal items if desired.

Cassandra Perez is associate editor of Sleep Review. CONTACT [email protected]