Medical equipment and medication
If you or someone you care about uses medical equipment or medication during or after their flight, you'll find all you need to know right here. We strongly recommend that you review the following well in advance of when you intend to travel, and check back before your day of travel, as this information is updated regularly.
We recommend that whenever your medical equipment fits within the carry-on baggage dimensions you take it as carry-on baggage. Medication should be packed in your personal item. Although we do not charge a fee for medical equipment, most portable medical devices (PMEDs) must be approved for air travel as they contain batteries which are classified as dangerous goods. Please review the Medical equipment and medication page well in advance of when you intend to travel to be sure these items arrive safely.
Medical devices, including (but not limited to) the following common portable electronic devices, require checks:
- automated external defibrillators (AED)
- blood sugar monitors
- continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP)
- external or transcutaneous nerve stimulators (i.e. TENS machine)
- heart rate monitors
- portable oxygen concentrators (POC)
- suction devices and aspirators
- syringe/feeding pumps
Your medical device must pass several checks every time you travel, including:
- whether the security agency for the country you are travelling to/from has approved your medical device for travel. In Canada, you can search the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA)"What Can I Bring?" tool. You do not need approval for hearing aids, watches and pacemakers.
- whether WestJet accepts your medical device. You can confirm this using WestJet's restricted items list and searching the information by category or by item. You do not need approval for hearing aids, watches and pacemakers.
- that your device size is within the carry-on baggage dimensions. Check your user manual for the size, as we recommend most medical devices be carried onboard. We may accept irregularly sized approved medical devices (e.g. ventilator, dialysis machine, etc.) which exceed the carry-on baggage allowance, if the device can be stowed in an approved location. Items may not exceed the weight limit for that location in the aircraft, and may not obstruct access to safety equipment, exits or the aisle.
In all cases, acceptance of medical equipment is at the sole discretion of WestJet.
You are responsible for ensuring your medical device is in good condition (depending on the type of device this may mean free from oil, grease, damage and/or excessive wear and tear) and labelled as required for the specific item. Please check the operating instructions in your user's manual before travel.
Although WestJet accepts most approved medical devices for transport, many medical devices cannot be used during certain critical phases of the flight (taxi, take-off or landing), as they may interfere with communication and navigation systems.
These devices must be stowed for taxiing, take-off and landing under the seat in front of you, or stowed in the overhead bin. As with all portable medical electronic devices, if the pilot believes it is affecting aircraft systems, they have the authority to request that any device be turned off. If such a request is made, the device must be turned off immediately.
Some electronic equipment may be permitted to be used after the plane has reached 10,000 feet - generally about 10 minutes after take-off.
For more information about specific equipment types, please see our restricted items page and search medical equipment, or by specific item.
All batteries must be transported in carry-on baggage, as they are not permitted in checked baggage, and all battery terminals must be either recessed or packaged to protect them and prevent contact with metal objects (short circuit), including the terminals of other batteries.
Ensure you bring an adequate supply of approved batteries to meet your specific needs. This includes, the duration of the flight, all ground time (before and after flight and during connections) and any unexpected delays in the terminal and onboard the aircraft or before landing. A good practice is to calculate this full amount of time and bring 1.5 times that total time needed.
Although there are charging ports on most of our aircraft, these ports are not designed for charging medical devices or batteries used for medical devices and WestJet is not liable for any injury or harm caused by a guest attempting to use this power supply for batteries or portable medical electronic devices.
Our battery section outlines how to prepare your device for travel.
Generally, it is best to allow us to seat you in the most appropriate location based on a combination of your medical needs and the equipment you are bringing. Some seating locations including the emergency exit row are restricted if you require the use of your medical equipment during the flight.
Needles and syringes are accepted in your personal carry-on item, only if you require them to administer medication. Syringes will not be accepted in carry-on baggage without accompanying medication. Further, you must:
- have the medication you need to take with you and the medication must be labelled with a pharmacy-dispensed label that includes the guest's name.
- the syringes must have protective needle guards and be carried in a proper medical container.
- dispose of any used needles in the sharps container. Our cabin crew can provide you with the information about the onboard location if required.
Although WestJet doesn't require identification, medical professionals travelling with a medical kit that contains medication or syringes in carry-on baggage, or in a medical bag for non-personal medical use, may be required to present company identification to a regulatory or customs authority.
WestJet permits one medical bag onboard which may exceed the carry-on baggage weight allowance; however, this will be counted as part of your carry-on baggage allowance.
- Always take medication in your carry-on item. We recommend - that for easy access - you place this in your personal item that will travel under the seat in front of you. This is extremely important as bags are not accessible during transit or delays. If you need your medication we cannot retrieve it for you.
- We are unable to refrigerate medication for you. If your medication must be kept cool, you may want to consider bringing it in an insulated bag with ice packs.
- Always check with the embassy’s consulate website of the countries that you will be travelling to before departure, to ensure the medication you will be bringing is legal in that country.
- WestJetters are not permitted to administer any type of medication brought by guests. If you require medication and cannot administer it yourself, please consider travelling with a personal attendant.
- It is your responsibility to ensure you are safely and legally transporting or possessing your medication, for all points in your travel, including unexpected stops in locations for a flight diversion. It is your responsibility to contact the appropriate authorities to confirm allowances and restrictions of your medication.
These medications should be left in original packaging to ensure it is clearly labelled with the medication's information and manufacturer’s name. Be sure to review the general information for all medication to ensure that you have all the information you need to travel with your required medication.
If you require the use of a needle or syringe, ensure you follow the general information for medication, above, and also that you meet the guidelines for needles and syringes outlined under medical equipment.
If you have an allergy that you have been prescribed an epinephrine auto-injector (like an Epi-pen™) for, we strongly recommend that you carry this item and any other medication or inhalers that you may require in your personal carry-on item, so it is easily accessible if needed. We recommend that you review the measures WestJet employs for guests with allergies to foods or animals.
You cannot hang intravenous devices from the aircraft, as this may interfere with the emergency oxygen mask system.
The cabin environment can increase the effects of alcohol at altitude. You can help create a great experience for everyone on board by consuming liquor responsibly.
It is our duty to let you know that it is unlawful to consume your own alcohol in the airport prior to departure and onboard any WestJet flight. If you would like to enjoy a drink on board, our aircraft are licensed to serve alcohol. To ensure the safety of all guests and crew, if you are believed to be impaired by alcohol or drugs before your flight, our crew has the right to deny you boarding.
Canadian Aviation Regulations prohibit us from allowing any guest to board our aircraft when there are reasonable grounds to believe the person's faculties are so impaired by alcohol or a drug that they may present a hazard to the aircraft or to guests.
WestJet does not require notification or documentation if you intend to travel with medical marijuana; however, local security, customs and immigration may have additional requirements, and may not recognize a guest's authority to possess this drug. Penalties including fines, imprisonment or other criminal sanctions may apply. More information on travelling with medical marijuana is available through Transport Canada’s website.
We recommend that you travel with your prescription, pack the marijuana in an air-tight container and allow an additional 30 minutes for security screening. You are not permitted to smoke or use a vaporizer on board the aircraft.
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