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Do CPAP Machines Cause Baggage Woes?

By Linda Tancs

Statistics indicate that over 12 million people in the U.S. alone suffer from sleep apnea, an obstructive sleep disorder. So it shouldn’t be surprising that travelers want to take their CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machines onboard to use during long flights or at their final destination. Needless to say, one must determine in advance of flight whether the device will be considered part of normal carry-on items. FAA regulations, for instance, permit medical devices as an additional piece of carry-on luggage. But if you can bring it on board, can you use it? International carriers’ policies can vary widely on the subject. Some airlines may permit, or prefer, battery-operated devices and not require medical clearance. Others may require medical clearance by their experts in advance of flight regardless whether the device is powered electrically or by battery. Best not to leave this one up to chance, as any delay in flight arrangements may not be recompensed by insurance when it’s the passenger who is delayed rather than the plane.

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