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Mar 30, 2007
I successfully flew with my bi-pap!

We figured it out after hours and hours of going round in circles with trying to figure out which battery. The battery route was confusing and ultra cumbersome (almost the size of a car battery!). Hopefully this will save you time. Here are the steps.

1. Find an airline that allows you to use a bi-pap in flight. Do this by contacting their medical desk.(I got the number off the website) The regular reservations agent did not know anything nor did they make proper notations in my reservations and the medical desk had to straighten it out.
2. You will need a letter from your Dr. saying the need for bi-pap use.(although I don't recall using it)
3. Request power at your seat (they ran an extension cord and I had a 3 prong plug on the floor in front of me which is where I put my bi-pap) When my laptop battery ran out I took a break from the bi-pap and charged my laptop battery ;-) - my point is it is regular electricity voltage.
4. TSA is familiar with bi-paps and has a page on their website regarding models of bi-paps they allow.
5. United has a special services room in the terminal (at least in Chicago) for people with disabilities. On a longer layover I plugged in my bipap and relaxed there.

I flew United (Continental doesn't allow bi-paps, not sure who else) and they were teriffic. They had an engineer there when I boarded to make sure it worked and each leg I had no issue.

I was nervous about flying since I had difficulty the last time without my bi-pap. I am fortunate to be able to upgrade and flew business class. The seats tilt back further which I think makes it easier to breathe and well the food and extra leg room are a nice treat too ;-)

I arrived rested versus worn out from working hard to get enough oxygen in the thin air of the pressurized cabin (an airline cabin is like being at 7-8000 feet- very thin air).

I hopes this helps and encourages others to fly.

Thanks Barb for the info. Will tuck this away for future reference!

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