Portable Battery-Powered Medical Devices

Portable Battery-Powered Medical Devices

The information below applies to you if you are travelling with a portable battery-powered medical device such as a CPAP or Personal Oxygen Concentrator.

This section does not apply to battery-powered mobility aids such as wheelchairs or scooters. 

Advance Notice and Medical Approval

If you need to use a battery-powered medical device during flight, you must contact Air Canada Reservations at least 48 hours prior to departure.

Medical approval to travel is required for some devices (e.g. ventilator).

  • No medical approval is required for customers travelling with a CPAP or BPAP machine that is required for the treatment of sleep apnea only. However, you must contact Air Canada Reservations if you plan on bringing the machine on board with you, even if you will not be using it.

More about Travelling with Battery-Powered Medical Devices

All accepted types of spare batteries (see device and battery types below) must be packaged in a manner that protects them from short circuits and physical damage, e.g.:

  • Exposed terminals can be taped over,
  • Each individual battery can be in a protective pouch or separate plastic bag, or

The batteries can be in their original retail packaging.

Checked baggage:

  • Spillable batteries for use with portable battery-powered medical devices are not permitted in checked baggage.
  • If it is not clear if a battery is spillable or non spillable, it will be treated as a spillable battery.

Carry-on baggage:

  • Spillable batteries are permitted in carry-on baggage:

If you’re calling from outside Canada or the United States, contact Air Canada Reservations and ask for the Air Canada Medical Assistance Desk.

Portable battery-powered medical devices are accepted as carry-on baggage only under the following conditions:

  • The device must not exceed 23 cm x 40 cm x 55 cm (9" x 16" x 22") in size and 10 kg (22 lb) in weight. If the device exceeds maximum allowable size or weight, it must be transported as checked baggage.
  • The in-seat power outlets in our aircraft are not designed for use with medical devices, which require constant current. For this reason, you may not use the in-seat power supply to power your CPAP, BPAP or other medical device during the flight, or to recharge the batteries for these devices.
  • Passengers are fully responsible for their device and batteries, and must bring sufficient batteries for the duration of the flight.

Portable medical devices containing lithium ion or lithium metal batteries

  • A lithium ion battery must have a maximum watt hour rating of 160 Watt hours (Wh).
  • A lithium metal battery must have a maximum lithium metal content of not more than 8 grams
  • No more than 2 spare batteries are allowed in carry-on baggage. (A battery installed in the device does not count as a spare battery). See ‘Spare battery’ section above.

Portable medical devices containing non spillable batteries

  • A battery installed in the device does not count as a spare battery.
  • External battery packs must be in a protective package such as a carrying case or nylon satchel/bag. Packaged batteries must be able to be stowed under the seat at all times.

Connections must be protected from short circuits. See ‘Spare battery’ section above.

Portable battery-powered medical devices are accepted as checked baggage only under the following conditions:

  • If the device exceeds 23 cm x 40 cm x 55 cm (9" x 16" x 22") in size and 10 kg (22 lb) in weight, it must be transported as checked baggage, or a seat may be purchased for it. Passengers must contact Air Canada Reservations at least 48 hours prior to travel in order to check in their device or purchase an additional seat for it.
  • If the device operates with a non spillable battery, the battery must remain securely fastened to the device. Batteries that cannot be securely fastened must be removed from the device and packaged in a manner that protects them from short circuits and physical damage, e.g.:
    • exposed terminals can be taped over,
    • each individual battery can be in a protective pouch or separate plastic bag, or
    • the batteries can be in their original retail packaging.
  • The device must be packaged in such a manner so as to prevent unintentional operation.

Portable medical devices containing lithium ion or lithium metal batteries

  • Portable medical devices containing lithium ion or lithium metal batteries are permitted as checked baggage; however, we recommend that they be transported as carry-on baggage.

Spare lithium ion or lithium metal batteries for these devices will be accepted only as carry-on baggage. See ‘Spare battery’ section above.

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