Traveling with a ventilator

Ventilation equipment has never been more lightweight and portable, making it easy to take with you no matter where your travels take you.

The key to traveling with your ventilator is to plan ahead. Check out our ventilator travel tips below.


Step 1: Talk to your doctor

It's important to maintain your prescribed ventilation throughout your trip. Start by discussing your plans with your doctor and home medical equipment provider. Make sure you understand how to prepare your equipment, and how to properly use it while traveling and when you reach your destination.


Step 2: Prepare and plan ahead

Here's a pre-travel checklist of things to do:

  • Keep a copy of your prescription with you at all times. In case of a malfunction or emergency, you’ll have a copy of the exact settings for your ventilator.
  • Pack all supplies needed for the ventilator to function throughout your trip. It’s also helpful to pack any product manuals you need so you can troubleshoot any issues on the road.
  • Be sure all settings and circuits are set up according to your prescription before you leave. Include a spare circuit in your packed supplies.
  • Check that you have components for external power, including any power converters you may need.
  • Fully charge all batteries before leaving. Pack additional batteries for your trip as well.
  • See if there’s a home medical equipment provider near your destination. You can also check with your insurance provider to see who is in-network in case your equipment needs servicing while traveling.
  • Be sure that your traveling companions understand how to operate your ventilator and make any necessary adjustments.

What to do if you're traveling with a ventilator

By car:

Preparation for traveling by car with a ventilator can vary based on your mobility and the type of vehicle. Remember, once you’re settled in the car, it’s important to make sure everything is working properly before leaving.

  • Ensure that all ventilation equipment is secured and functioning. Additionally, you should ensure your ventilation equipment is out of the direct sunlight during your trip.

By airplane:

Before you travel by airplane with your respiratory therapy, follow these steps to help ensure an easy flight:

  • Call your airline and ask about their policies. Request assistance with boarding the plane if needed.
  • Contact your airline and ask about how to best prepare for security checks. Ask about your specific equipment and any considerations you may need to be aware of.
  • You may need to provide a written explanation for why you are traveling with a ventilator. Your airline will have medical forms for your physician to complete that you will need to bring with you. It will state the need for your equipment and your medical clearance for travel.
  • You may also need to bring documentation that your ventilator is approved for travel. Here is a travel compliance letter for all ResMed devices that are FAA compliant.
  • Prepare for any technical problems by bringing spare circuits (tubing connections), user guides and being prepared to handle any issues in-flight.

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