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Do you know of any airlines US-->Europe that allow CPAP in flight?

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May 23rd, 2010, 06:53 AM
  #21
 
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Just checking back to report on my trip to Thailand with CPAP. I was booked on United and had to call their medical line to request permission to use it. (1-800-UALMED1) They would not call me back and confirm until about 10 days before departing - but they DID call back! They would not issue me any form of written letter to prove the arrangements had been made. They also only approve certain machines - but mine was on the list - a Resmed 8 Elite.

I flew from Boston to Chicago to board the 14 hour flight to Thailand. When I got to Chicago - just as I had feared - they said they knew nothing about it and wanted me to wait a DAY to rebook me after they made the arrangements on a new flight! I said NO- I am meeting a group in Thailand and I will be late! Soo - they were all apologies and put me in Business Class which was great! I had a seat that flattened out to a bed and personalized service! Those seats already have a regular power port so no special arrangements were necessary. I used the unit in flight with no problem -(base unit only - cannot use the humidifier). When I arrived in Tokyo they had no plug set up on the 6 hour flight to Bangkok - but managed to run an extension for me before we took off.

I also was told that they would not allow you to carry on or use the large battery that these machines require due to new security measures in place.

On the return flight........when I checked in in Tokyo -they did have a cord wired into my COACH seat where I could plug in - but the space was SO tight I wasn't really able to use the unit comfortably. It was a day flight so I ended up staying awake the whole flight.

As far as hotels in Thailand- - I had no problem other than having to ask for an extension cord once - which the hotel gladly provided.

All of the hassle was WELL worth it - Thailand was amazing!
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May 26th, 2010, 04:57 AM
  #22
 
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thanks, that is good to know that the new biz class on UA has a power port that a cpap can use.
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May 30th, 2010, 10:26 PM
  #23
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Many thanks for the updates on what continues to be a challenge on these long haul flights.
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Aug 20th, 2010, 01:22 PM
  #24
 
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British Airways allows the use of CPAPs without any questions. Singapore Air will also allow if you give them two weeks of warning and provide letter of medical need and copy of owners manual. SA will advise the crew on the flight and they will be expecting you. Continental used to allow me to use my CPAP. I travel extensively abroad to the extent I earned 1 million miles on Continental in five years. Then they started not allowing me to use my machine. That's when I started using British Airways and Continental has lost my business.
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Aug 20th, 2010, 05:29 PM
  #25
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Thank s for sharing your additional info, Rudy. Good to know which airlines are moving forward with this issue.
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Aug 21st, 2010, 06:14 AM
  #26
 
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Delta, for one, has updated their requirements for portable oxygen and CPAPs. Seems to be quite liberal and fair. See: http://www.delta.com/planning_reserv...erns/index.jsp
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Aug 22nd, 2010, 05:50 AM
  #27
 
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Maybe someone finally pointed out to Delta that an unconditional prohibition on CPAPs is illegal.
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Jan 8th, 2011, 10:47 AM
  #28
 
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"... CPAP ... machines will only be accepted if they have been tested by the manufacturer to comply with FAA safety regulations and display a label indicating that the machine is approved for use on an aircraft. Additional review of testing data must be provided to Delta for approval prior to travel."

This was buried way down the page on Delta, cited above.
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Jan 8th, 2011, 11:30 AM
  #29
 
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On United, you have to book your ticket before calling UALMED to tell them what make/model of machine you have and then the electrical connection can be set up.

I did that and about a week before my flight to Buenos Aires I got a call from them saying that the arrangements were in place to have a connection set up for my outbound flight which was in economy. They also said I was ok for the return flight because my upgrade to biz class had already cleared. These flights are on a 767 with the new C seats with a regular electrical port.

The upgrade for my outbound flight cleared the night before I traveled.

So, I am seated in my nice business class seat, and an FA (purser?) came by and said that the electrical connection for my CPAP was set up in 22A, an economy seat. He said that if I wanted to use my CPAP that I would have to give up my lie-flat biz seat and move back to coach!

I told him I wasn't moving that I could use the machine at my current seat. When he launched into an explanation with "FAA regulations ...", I told him that was ridiculous. So he goes up front and brings back the first officer of the flight. After much discussion, the first officer called for an engineer.

The engineer comes in and now there is the purser, the 1st officer, the engineer, another FA, and my seatmate all in attendance. The engineer points to a wire along the wall at my seat (6A) that ran from somewhere up front all the way back to 22A.

All the while I had explained several times that I knew I could use the machine in my biz class seat. I just couldn't find the electrical outlet. I finally showed the engineer the two-pronged plug and asked him where to plug it in.

The engineer was surprised when he saw the plug and said that the only type of plug that he had ever seen a CPAP use was one that plugs into a car cigarette lighter type outlet. He showed me where the outlet was and I got the machine running.

The only surprising thing about this was the engineer. How did he think we use these machines at home, if not with a two pronged plug?
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Jan 9th, 2011, 06:56 AM
  #30
 
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Ann - whatever happened with your flight?
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Jan 10th, 2011, 08:23 AM
  #31
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Hi mom; the DH hasn't gone overseas with me recently. It just isn't a vacation if he can't sort out this piece, and getting coverage for his work has also been challenging. We have now 280k miles on Delta and hope to be able to use them Spring 2012, and hope like heck the cpap issue has become common enough for them to be able to deal with it, sort of like laptops at the security clearance.

Thanks Mr. Wunrfl for sharing your experience/info.
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May 17th, 2011, 05:37 AM
  #32
 
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I am once again flying - this time to Italy . First leg - NYC to London on Virgin ATlantic and the other 2 legs on Lufthansa. I called Virgin -- they will allow me to carry the CPAP onboard as an extra piece but I CANNOT use it in flight. No negotiations on that! unreal! I thought Virgin was a progressive modern company - NOT! This should be an interesting trip - staying awake on a 7 hour night flight!
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May 17th, 2011, 08:22 AM
  #33
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Sorry to hear that, Dorgal. I too would have expected better of Virgin airways.

We've just been reviewing Lufthansa because we have United miles as well and they are in Star Alliance. It looks like Lufthansa permits use during flight; will be confirming that when we fly over this fall (DH going Seattle to Heathrow).
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May 17th, 2011, 08:31 AM
  #34
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Dontopaz also reported using it without incident, above; I hadn't re-read thread.
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May 17th, 2011, 10:06 AM
  #35
 
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annw, what class of service for your DH?
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May 17th, 2011, 03:57 PM
  #36
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We are using miles and got him FC for trip over, and either FC or biz for tip back (at least transatlantic portion). Because we are using miles I am on separate flight over (also FC miles, but my return is on United).
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May 17th, 2011, 05:36 PM
  #37
 
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I would favor business class on United over Lufthansa for two reasons: 1) United has lie-flat seats (on 767 and 747, but only some of the 777) and Lufthansa doesn't AFAIK, and 2) I would prefer to connect in the USA in order to land in my European destination. I would take Lufthansa F over United business class, though. I read something about LH F having a mattress for sleeping.

But your preferences may vary. The only thing I can suggest that OT is that you should ask about the power ports. An adapter might be necessary. On the UA 767 and 747 no adapter is necessary (and same on SOME of their 777s) in biz class. I think an adapter would be required on a UA 777 with the old biz seats, but am not certain. I don't know about LH. And you're going to call in advance to make sure the CPAP can be used, of course.
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May 17th, 2011, 07:55 PM
  #38
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Yes the dh has the job of making the right calls. By adapter do you mean the car cigarette lighter sort or the voltage kind?
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May 17th, 2011, 08:25 PM
  #39
 
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The car cigarette lighter type of plug.
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May 17th, 2011, 08:44 PM
  #40
 
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or an EmPower adapter
www.cpap-supply.com/Articles.asp?ID=128
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