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Basic question about flying with CPAP: are the airlines allowed to count your CPAP machine as a carry-on item? I know you're supposed to be permitted to bring it on the flight, but my question is whether it counts toward an airline's number of carry-on items permitted. I was flying this week, and got into a bit of a confrontation with an airline rep about my CPAP. Also, if the airlines are supposed to exclude CPAPs from the count of carry-on items, but refuse to, is there a place to report them as being in violation of the law? Perhaps the FAA?

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I have read that your cpap does not count towards your carry-on luggage. But getting it through maybe another story.

I hate to fly and have only done so once to see my son graduate Marine boot camp in San Diego. I ended up embarrassing myself and my daughter when we hit turbulence and I stood up and announced we were going down and may God be with us!! She still hasn't let me live it down and that was in August of 2000.
that story is precious. perhaps a more frequent flyer can weigh in on this ;-)

sleepycarol said:
I have read that your cpap does not count towards your carry-on luggage. But getting it through maybe another story.

I hate to fly and have only done so once to see my son graduate Marine boot camp in San Diego. I ended up embarrassing myself and my daughter when we hit turbulence and I stood up and announced we were going down and may God be with us!! She still hasn't let me live it down and that was in August of 2000.
sorry to tell you this but they are allowed to count it as a carry on item. i myself had the same situation a month ago for a trip to Vegas. not only do they count it you have to have the bag opened with the cpap broken down.
I have flown constantly with my CPAP, I strap the CPAP over the handle of my 22" carry on, and my huge purse in my hand, I go right through security. I slip the unit out and hold it until I catch someones eye going through security. They are ALWAYS wonderful and careful. On my last trip, there were four of us in the waiting area, and there was a lively discussion about face masks, and how wonderful we all felt. I have never seen medical equipment counted as a carryon, and if questioned, I would ask security for a supervisor immediately. Anyone announcing the fate of the entire airplane should be able to handle a new security person that doesn't understand that medical equipment is not "optional" and can't be checked. Loved the story.
so we seem to have conflicting info here: Royal says the CPAP machine counts as a carry-on, but Jeanne thinks it does not. anyone want to break the tie?

Jeanne Berry said:
I have flown constantly with my CPAP, I strap the CPAP over the handle of my 22" carry on, and my huge purse in my hand, I go right through security. I slip the unit out and hold it until I catch someones eye going through security. They are ALWAYS wonderful and careful. On my last trip, there were four of us in the waiting area, and there was a lively discussion about face masks, and how wonderful we all felt. I have never seen medical equipment counted as a carryon, and if questioned, I would ask security for a supervisor immediately. Anyone announcing the fate of the entire airplane should be able to handle a new security person that doesn't understand that medical equipment is not "optional" and can't be checked. Loved the story.
CPAP do not count as carry-ons. They are medical equipment. Here's a quote from the Department of Transportation Fact Sheet on "Steps Taken to Ensure New Safety Requirements, Preserve and Respect the Civil Rights of People with Disabilities"

The limit of one carry-on bag and one personal bag (e.g. purse or briefcase) for each traveler does not apply to medical supplies and/or assistive devices (including service animals and their equipment). Passengers with disabilities generally may carry medical equipment, medications, and assistive devices on board the aircraft.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has specific guidelines for going through the security gates with your CPAP on their website
great info. just so everyone is sure to see it, here it is in full (along with picture of your friendly airline security agent)

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) Machines

CPAPs are allowed through security checkpoints once they have undergone screening.

Passengers will be required to take their CPAP machine out of its carrying case and place the device in a bin for x-ray screening. Facemasks and tubing can remain in the carrying case.

In addition to x-ray inspection of your CPAP machine, a visual and physical inspection, and Explosive Trace Detection (ETD) sampling will be required.

To facilitate CPAP machine hygiene and cleanliness:

Once out of the carrying case, you can place your CPAP machine in a clear plastic bag before placing the device in the bin. You will need to provide/bring your own plastic bag.

Upon request, TSOs will change their gloves prior to performing the visual and physical inspection, and ETD sampling of your CPAP machine. The CPAP will need to be removed from the plastic bag by the TSO to conduct the ETD sampling.

Upon request, TSOs will clean the table where the ETD sampling will be conducted.

Upon request, TSOs will change the ETD sampling media before conducting the ETD sampling.

Daniel Levy said:
CPAP do not count as carry-ons. They are medical equipment. Here's a quote from the Department of Transportation Fact Sheet on "Steps Taken to Ensure New Safety Requirements, Preserve and Respect the Civil Rights of People with Disabilities"
The limit of one carry-on bag and one personal bag (e.g. purse or briefcase) for each traveler does not apply to medical supplies and/or assistive devices (including service animals and their equipment). Passengers with disabilities generally may carry medical equipment, medications, and assistive devices on board the aircraft.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has specific guidelines for going through the security gates with your CPAP on their website
Just put the cpap as carry on to the test at San jose airport and had no problems.
This is a tag required for the equipent stateing its medical equipment then is not counted as a carry on. The only place I have seen this tags is on ebay fairly resonable. Hope this helps
I've never seen the tag, and after doing a quick search on ebay didn't come up with it either. If you can grab a digital picture of it somewhere so we know what to look for, please post it.

bob kepler said:
This is a tag required for the equipent stateing its medical equipment then is not counted as a carry on. The only place I have seen this tags is on ebay fairly resonable. Hope this helps
When I was flying every week for a number of years with my CPAP even overseas with no problems as a carry on and was not counted as a carry on and I did not have to have a medical tag on it either. Just had to take it out so they would send it though by itself.
Good question. I am wondering the same thing as I will be flying this summer several times.

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