Travel By Airplane
Travel With A Portable Oxygen Concentrator By Air
Air travel for those using oxygen has gotten so much easier with the approval of Portable Oxygen Concentrators by the Federal Aviation Administration for use onboard commercial flights originating or landing in the United States.
Prior To Traveling by Plane:
Check with your airline at least two weeks in advance regarding their policies for use of Portable Oxygen Concentrators. See Links At Bottom Of Page For More Detailed Information
Inform the airlines that you are traveling with a portable oxygen concentrator when booking your reservation.
Supplies To Pack:
**Do not pack your portable oxygen concentrator machine or supplemental batteries in your checked luggage; always carry your concentrator on to the plane with you, even if you do not plan to use it.
Make sure you always travel with all your charger cords, adapters, tubing and adequate battery supply for the duration of your scheduled flight, including possible layovers or other delays. Some airlines require that you have a certain amount of battery capability. Remember, with flying it is possible that you may experience a variety of delays, so pack a supply of batteries equaling at least 150 percent of your travel time. As an example, if your flight is 4 hours long, make sure you have battery life that will last you at least 6 hours.
Confirm your reservation and make sure to fax or email all the proper forms to the airlines well in advance of your flight. It is imperative that you keep the necessary paperwork with you at all times otherwise you may not be allowed to board your flight. Many airlines may have their own paperwork that must be completed in a certain time period before your flight. Always check with your airline about specific policies. You will most likely need a physician’s signed statement on a standard form, the doctor’s letterhead or an airline-approved form that contains the following information:
- Personal information such as Name and Date Of Birth.
- Your requirement for oxygen during all parts of the trip, such as taxi, takeoff, in-flight times, landing or the entire time you travel
- The oxygen flow rates or Liters Per Minute setting that you will use during the trip
- The acknowledgement that you understand all warnings and alarms of your POC and what to do if an alarm sounds
- Make and Model name of your Portable Oxygen Concentrator
Getting Through Security:
Allow a bit of extra time to pass through security checkpoints.
You will be able to travel through security with your Portable Oxygen Concentrator; however, an airport security employee may need to inspect the unit. You may need to demonstrate to the airline security personnel that you know how to operate your POC and can hear any alarms should they sound.
If you are not planning to use your portable oxygen concentrator during the flight but still want to take it on your trip, follow these guidelines:
- Carry the POC and any supplemental batteries onboard the plane with you (Do not pack them in your checked baggage)
- Ensure that the unit is properly turned off
Additional Helpful Tips When Using Your Portable Oxygen Concentrator:
- In some of the larger airports, just getting from the parking lot, to the ticket counter, then through the airport terminals is exhausting. Try to take advantage of airport shuttle transportation, carts or wheelchairs to get you to your boarding gate. This will help conserve your POC battery, not to mention, conserve your energy.
Inform the airline staff at check-in and at boarding that you are traveling with a Portable Oxygen Concentrator.
- Try to use an AC electrical outlet while you wait to board the plane, to conserve battery power. There is usually a free electrical outlet available throughout the airport, especially throughout the gate boarding area.
- Once on the airplane, you will not be permitted to sit in an exit row while using a POC medical device. If your assigned seat is indeed in an exit row, you may ask a flight attendant to help you switch seats.
- You will only be permitted to use your Portable Oxygen Concentrator during the times your physician has noted on your paperwork. When you are not using it, the POC must be turned off and stowed properly away. Ask a flight attendant for assistance.
- After the "Fasten Seat Belt" sign has been turned off, you will be free to move around the cabin with your Portable Oxygen Concentrator.
- Once you arrive at your destination, remember to fully recharge all of your batteries for your return trip.
- US Airways Requirements For Use Of A Portable Oxygen Concentrator Onboard
- Delta Airlines Physician's Statement For Portable Oxygen Concentrator Use Onboard An Aircraft
- Southwest Physician Consent Form for an Individual Who Needs to Use a Portable Oxygen Concentrator (POC)
- American Airlines Requirements For Portable Oxygen Concentrators Use
- United Airlines Portable Oxygen Concentrator Requirements
- JetBlue Requirements for onboard use of Portable Oxygen Concentrators
- Alaska Airlines Portable Oxygen Concentrator Guidelines
- Frontier Airlines Portable Oxygen Concentrator Requirments
- Hawaiian Airlines Requirements For Portable Oxygen Concentrator Use On Board