Travel with oxygen

Tips and advices about what to do before your travel with oxygen by airplane.

Before your flight with an oxygen device.

1) Visit your doctor to inform him/her about your trip. The oxygen needs on a flight might be different from the needs when you are on ground, because of the difference in the air pressure. Take a new prescription if necessary. Also inform the doctor if there are extreme weather conditions at your destination (high humidity, extreme cold, extreme hot, high altitude, air pollution). Weather conditions can make breathing even more difficult or/and can worsen your symptoms.

2) Make sure you have all the medicine you need.

3) Take at least one copy of your medicine and oxygen prescription and always have it on you.

4) Do a research for doctors and hospitals at your destination in case you need it.

5) We suggest you to have an oximeter on you to check your oxygen levels.

6) If you ‘re travelling abroad, check if your insurance covers you in case of emergency.

7) Make sureI that your Portable Oxygen Concentrator it has a FAA* approval.

8) Fully charge all your batteries.

9) Be sure you have the right power convertors/adaptors.

10) Take your cpap or bipap machine with you, even when you’ re not planning to stay the night.

11) Be prepared for possible delays and have extra batteries with you.

12) Be aware of the airline’s specific requirements regarding which oxygen concentrators are allowed and what paperwork is required.


PHYSICIAN’S STATEMENT. In accordance with DOT regulations under part 382, an air carrier may require a medical certificate from a passenger with a disability if there is reasonable doubt that the individual can complete the flight safely without requiring extraordinary medical assistance during the flight. Also, an air carrier may require a medical certificate from a person who needs medical oxygen during a flight. The FAA does not require passengers to obtain a physician’s statement and present such statement to the operator or pilot in command (PIC) prior to POC use on board the aircraft.

*FAA is the American Federal Aviation Administration.

All Portable Oxygen Concentrator (POC) devices which are approved by the FAA have a manufacturer’s label that indicates the device meets the FAA requirements. Read more in is my poc Healthcare Provider Consultation. The FAA does not require a passenger to consult with a healthcare provider prior to using a POC on board an aircraft. However, the passenger, together with his or her healthcare provider, may wish to discuss the following: 1. The effects of a pressurized cabin (cabin pressure altitude can reach 8,000 feet) on the passenger’s oxygen needs. • Some POC users need higher liter flow or liter per minute (LPM) settings for the POC in the air because of cabin pressure altitude. • Some POC users who use a POC occasionally on the ground may need to use their POC for the entire flight because of cabin pressure altitude. 2. The passenger’s POC needs at the time of travel and whether the passenger’s needs have changed since the POC was first prescribed or during the most recent consultation with a healthcare professional. 3. Certain key provisions in the POC operating manual regarding oxygen delivery, indicators, warnings, and alerts, as well as setting/changing liter flow or LPM. 4. All crewmembers (pilots and flight attendants (F/A)) receive training regarding the handling of in-flight medical events. However, the FAA does not require that air carriers or crewmembers provide medical assistance to passengers. Note: Additional information regarding passenger health and safety can be found at

Determining a Sufficient Number of Batteries. Travel with oxygen

The POC user is responsible for bringing a sufficient number of batteries to power the POC for the duration of the POC user’s expected use of the device. The POC user should consider at least the following in determining a sufficient number of batteries: 1. Healthcare professional advice regarding duration of POC use. 2. Air carrier information regarding duration of expected flight as well as layovers and unanticipated delays. Note: A POC user may be flying on multiple flights or multiple airlines, which could also involve extended periods of POC use on the ground between flights. 3. POC manual information regarding expected duration of battery power. Although in-seat electrical power is available on some aircraft, many aircraft do not have in-seat electrical power available. Note: POC users should never rely upon available onboard aircraft electrical power during a flight. 4. Air carrier requirements to carry a certain amount of batteries are typically available on each air carrier’s Web site. Note: Pursuant to DOT requirements in part 382, air carriers may require an individual to bring enough batteries to power the device for at least 150% of the expected maximum flight duration. The POC user is responsible for the operation of the POC on board the aircraft. For this reason, the FAA recommends that passengers carry with them any POC operating instructions from the POC manufacturer or other written information provided by their healthcare professional regarding their POC use.


Battery damage and battery short circuit can result in battery overheating and fire. These events, in turn, can result in personal injury to passengers, and in the worst case for certain types of batteries, a catastrophic passenger compartment fire. Thus, spare lithium batteries carried on board aircraft must be individually protected from short circuit by placement in original retail packaging, by otherwise insulating terminals by taping over exposed terminals, or by placing each battery in a separate plastic bag or protective pouch. Note: Spare lithium batteries are prohibited from being carried in checked baggage on an aircraft. (Refer to SAFO 15010.)

Proper Packaging.

POC users are responsible for ensuring that all POC batteries carried in carry-on baggage are properly packaged. POC providers, some airlines, and freight forwarders specializing in small package shipments may provide this packaging service for POC users.

Before you flight with supplemental oxygen

Prepare weeks ahead of time. See your doctor and notify the airline as early as possible. While some airlines may only need 48 hours of advance notice, it is advisable to prepare much earlier. Be aware of the airline’s specific requirements regarding which oxygen concentrators are allowed and what paperwork is required. Contact your airline for further information. Be sure to bring enough batteries – and make sure they are fully charged! The FAA requires you to have battery life equal to 150% of your expected travel time. You should also factor in time needed to travel to the airport, waiting to board, layovers, and traveling from the airport to your destination after arrival. The airplane may or may not have an electrical outlet available if your batteries run out. Ask your doctor if you should monitor your oxygen level in flight with a portable pulse oximeter. If your condition has worsened or you feel ill on the day of travel, you should talk to your doctor about your travel plans. Talk to your doctor to see if you should bring extra medication on your trip. Many people are more active while traveling. You may find that you are unable to participate in some activities that require a good deal of effort. Consider this possibility when planning your trip. It is important that you discuss your travel plans with your healthcare provider. If your destination is at an elevation above sea level, you may suffer from breathlessness with small degrees of exertion or even while resting. Your healthcare provider may advise you to not travel to destinations at high elevation If you are traveling outside the United States, different regulations may apply. Check airlines oxygen policy for guidance.

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