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Medical assistance

In order to bring medical equipment when you travel, you’ll need to observe a few simple guidelines for our requirements on packing and usage.

Before you fly

You should contact our local reservations office or your preferred travel agent at least 48 hours in advance of your flight to let them know any special medical requirements you may have.

Medical Portable Electronic Devices (MPED)

Strict regulations exist regarding the use of portable electronic devices onboard aircraft. Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon do not provide any Medical Portable Electronic Devices (MPED), but passengers are allowed to use their own MPED (including respiratory assistive devices) inflight under the following situations:

  • Advance notice has been provided.
  • The passenger has been cleared as medically fit to fly (MEDA clearance) and that he/she is able to complete the flight without extraordinary medical assistance or posing a direct threat to the health and safety of others.
  • Devices can be stowed and used consistently with applicable safety and security regulations.

Further information to ensure safety can be found below.

If you intend to use any medical portable electronic device (including respiratory assistive devices) while on board, please advise our local Reservations office at least 48 hours before the schedule departure time of your flight. The information required include the make, model number, and physical dimensions of your device.

Frequent travellers

If you are a regular traveller onboard Cathay Pacific or Cathay Dragon, you can apply for a Frequent Travellers Medical Card (FREMEC). If you hold a FREMEC card, you no longer have to submit the details of your device each time you fly with us, provided there has been no change in your condition or the assistance required. For enquiries about the FREMEC card, please contact your local Reservations office.

Passengers who intend to use medical devices inflight should submit medical clearance (MEDA) to ensure they are fit to fly.

Exception: Passengers who only require the use of a CPAP or BIPAP machine inflight do not need medical clearance.

POC users must provide a Physician Statement (pdf), dated within 10 days of departure date of the first flight, stating that the passenger is able to operate the POC appropriately, must use a POC for medical reasons, and indicate the flow setting and whether it is required during all phases of flight. The statement should also advise whether the doctor believes the passenger “is capable of completing the flight safely, without requiring extraordinary medical assistance during the flight”.

If you are a POC user holding a valid FREMEC card, no Physician Statement is needed before taking a flight, provided there has been no change in your condition or the assistance required.

Please contact our local Reservations office for more details.

When travelling with portable medical electronic devices operated by lithium batteries, such as Portable Oxygen Concentrator (POC), Automated External Defibrillators (AED), Nebulizer, Continuous or Bi-level Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP or BIPAP), please use the following table to determine if the device can be accepted as carry-on baggage or checked baggage:

Watt-hour Rating (Wh) or (Li Content) Configuration Carry-on Baggage Check-in Baggage
≤ 100 Wh (2g) In equipment* Yes Yes, but recommended to be stored in carry-on baggage.
> 100 Wh to ≤ 160 Wh (2g – 8g)  In equipment# Yes Yes, but recommended to be stored in carry-on baggage.
> 160 Wh (8g) In equipment and as spares Forbidden^ Forbidden^

*Spares (20 pieces per passenger) can be brought in carry-on baggage but not in check-in baggage.
#Spares (2 pieces per passenger) can be brought in carry-on baggage but not in check-in baggage.
^Lithium batteries (over 160Wh or 8g) must be presented and carried as cargo in accordance with the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations.  

Note:

The maximum number of equipment/electronic devices containing lithium batteries (each within 160Wh or 2g) for carriage in check-in baggage is 10 pieces per passengers, and up to 10 pieces in each bag.

For example:

One passenger can bring 10 pieces in total (with one or two check-in bags)
Two passengers can bring 10 pieces maximum (with one check-in bag)

Refer to Lithium Batteries for more information.

For non-critical medical portable electronic devices (e.g. CPAP or BIPAP machines, nebulisers, neurostimulators, HR/BP monitors, syringe/feeding pumps, suction devices and aspirators, external or transcutaneous nerve stimulators e.g. TENS machine), please note the following:

  • All non-critical medical portable electronic devices can either be connected to the inflight laptop power 110VAC outlets (where available) or be self-powered using approved dry-cell or gel-type battery packs in accordance with all applicable regulations.
  • Maximum power output from the inflight laptop power is 100Watts and, if your device draws more than this, the inflight laptop power outlet will be automatically deactivated. We cannot guarantee that every aircraft is equipped with the inflight laptop power 110VAC outlet OR that any of the inflight laptop power 110VAC outlets will be serviceable and therefore you should bring a sufficient number of fully charged batteries. For further information on Inflight Laptop Power, please refer here.
  • Please note that aircraft in-seat electrical power is not guaranteed to be available or operative on all flights. Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon are not liable for any injury or harm to the passenger caused by a passenger attempting to use the power supplies for medical portable electronic devices or by the failure of onboard power supplies.  Passengers use power supplies at their own risk.
  • For self-powered devices, any additional batteries carried onboard must be packed in accordance with the relevant authority regulations and requirements for safety, security and hazardous material. Please see here for more information.

For safety reasons, passengers will not be permitted to connect any critical medical portable electronic devices such as POC, ventilators, respirators, incubators, or defibrillators to the inflight laptop power and must instead supply their own power in accordance with all applicable regulations.

Specific restrictions on using MPED are enforced during certain phases of flight.

Critical medical portable electronic devices can be used during all phases of flight, provided they can be properly stowed in accordance with applicable safety regulations and are battery operated. NOTE: If the device is required to be used continuously during all phases of flight, passengers cannot be seated in exit rows and bulk head seats due to safety regulations.

All non-critical medical portable electronic devices may only be used on board after cabin crew has made an announcement informing passengers that it is allowed, until the seat belt sign is switched on in preparation for landing. They have to be stowed for take-off, taxiing, and landing.

As with all portable electronic devices carried on board an aircraft, the operating captain has the right to request that any device be turned off if he/she believes it is affecting the aircraft systems. If such a request is made, the device must be turned off immediately.

Please read the below information for restrictions on usage of specific devices.

Nebulisers

Use of these devices will be banned during any outbreak of respiratory infectious disease to prevent the spread of disease.

Humidifiers

Personal humidifiers are not permitted to be used onboard as they are not medical assistive devices.

Only humidifiers connected to medical devices can be used onboard.

Dialysis machines

All types of dialysis machines are prohibited from use inflight.

Passengers are however permitted to carry them on board provided they can be stowed in the passenger cabin consistent with applicable safety, security, and hazardous rules for carry-on luggage.

Passengers requiring dialysis are recommended to perform the dialysis whilst on the ground before or after the flight whenever possible.

Passengers can carry a reasonable quantity of dialysis fluid with them free of charge (a reasonable quantity of dialysis liquid would be equivalent to a 2-day supply).

Passengers requiring peritoneal (continuous and machine-free) dialysis inflight, should empty the contents of the waste fluid bag in the toilet and dispose of the empty dialysis fluid bag, the waste fluid bag and tubing in the biohazard bag. Any needles, syringes, or sharps used during the procedure, should be disposed of in the “sharp box” which is carried onboard all of the flights. Medical clearance (MEDA) is required for passengers who intend to use peritoneal dialysis inflight in order to ensure that they are fit to fly.

Please contact local Reservations office for more details on carriage and usage of MPED.

Information on Portable Electronic Devices (PED)