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Author Topic: Flying with the NxStage Machine  (Read 6229 times)
florence
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« on: September 08, 2008, 03:55:07 PM »

Just wanted to let people know that we flew with the NxStage machine for the first time.  I was a little worried, but it went fairly smoothly.  On our way out there, the airline was great -- didn't question us at all.  We ran into problems when we tried to fly home.  Three people told us that they wouldn't allow us to check in the machine because it weighed over 100 lbs (it's 103 in the NxStage hard cover carrying case).  I complained to the supervisor and showed her the regulations stating that airlines HAVE to allow people to check in medical equipment.  She called her supervisor and was able to get things cleared up.  We were then told that we would have to pay extra for the additional weight.  I then argued with them again stating that they cannot charge extra for medical equipment.  It was frustrating and I was visibly upset at one point, but I was glad that I carried the Federal Code that states the anti-discrimination laws for people flying with medical disabilities.  I called the airline today to complain and they told me that they will investigate.  Other than that, I'm glad we did it.  the only other hassle is lifting the machine from the baggage carousel.  We had to have family members meet us at the airport.  I'm wondering if airports provide any kind of assistance in this regard.  So, if you're considering flying with the machine, I thought you might be interested in our experiences.
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paris
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« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2008, 05:04:01 PM »

Thank you for sharing your experience.  It helps us realize that this can be done.   Good tip about always carring the federal code with you :2thumbsup;
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It's not what you gather, but what you scatter that tells what kind of life you have lived.
Vlynn
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« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2008, 07:40:55 AM »

GO you!!!!  :2thumbsup; what a smart idea to bring the regulations!!!
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Lilu323
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« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2008, 09:11:26 PM »

Hi Florence! Great job wtih that!! I wanted to ask you where or how can you obtain a copy for the Federal Code that states the anti-discrimination laws for people flying with medical disabilities.???? Going to be flying in december.
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florence
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« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2008, 07:18:52 PM »

Hi Lilu --

The easiest place to access the code is the NxStage website.  They have an article that discusses the relevant issues for traveling with the NxStage machine or with PD equipment.  They also have a link to the code of federal regulations (scroll down to the bottom of the page).  Here is the link to the website:  http://www.nxstage.com/chronic_renal_care/products/travel.cfm

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kidney4traci
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« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2008, 07:24:14 AM »

I have flown twice with the machine, and the last time called ahead to make sure the airline knew I would be flying with something over the weight limit, and still had to wait when I checked in.  And yes, there are skycaps on both ends of my flight that could help lift the metal box for you, for a tip of course.  But those guys have always been extra nice to me when I have needed and offered to be sure personally that the machine went through ok, etc.

I did have a problem last week when we arranged for Nxstage to ship some of the boxes to me ( dialysate and cartridges).  They missed the boat for the first pre arranged drop, then got only four of the 7 boxes to me the next day.  Had to do a special drop on a Saturday to get the rest.  Probably a good idea if you have them ship to your desination to carry at least enough supply yourself for one tx.

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Married - three children.
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florence
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« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2008, 10:15:16 AM »

We did use skycaps when checking in for our flight.  For our flight out, they helped lift the machine out of the car (we made sure to tip, of course).  After you landed and had to retrieve the machine, was there anyone to assist you at that point to lift the machine from the baggage carousel?  I was wondering whether the airport has people specifically for that. 
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kidney4traci
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« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2008, 01:18:09 PM »

Yes, there was someonefor that at both locations.  You just mau have to go and look for someone with one of those long bed type dollys.   
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Married - three children.
Alports female, diagnosed ESRD 10/04
11/04  Hemo in clinic
6/07 hemo at HOME! 
2/3/09 - Transplant from an angel of a friend!!!
Lilu323
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« Reply #8 on: September 15, 2008, 01:16:53 AM »

Florence thanks for the info!! Printed it out, :2thumbsup;
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Bill Peckham
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« Reply #9 on: October 11, 2008, 08:17:37 AM »

This is a great article to read and then bring with you - I have found that the quote from the DOT spokesman Bill Mosley carries a lot of weight.
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http://www.billpeckham.com  "Dialysis from the sharp end of the needle" tracking  industry news and trends - in advocacy, reimbursement, politics and the provision of dialysis
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