Traveling With Supplemental Oxygen

by | Jun 6, 2019 | Lung Disease, Resources, Tips

You may have all the general travel planning out of the way, but have you planned for your oxygen needs? Planning for your oxygen needs well in advance of your trip can help you feel in control and reduce any anxiety you may feel.
Below, we’ve compiled some helpful things to remember if you are traveling with portable oxygen via plane, train or car.

Traveling by Plane

You will need to work with your specific airline to arrange for oxygen on an airplane. Start planning well in advance — departure day will be much less stressful if you make preparations early.

  • You will need medical documentation of your chronic lung condition. Your doctor can draft an official letter verifying your diagnosis, ability to travel on an airplane, need for supplemental oxygen and the oxygen prescription with flow rate. Have your doctor’s name and contact information available to give to the airline.
  • Most airlines allow you to bring a personal portable concentrator on the plane, but not all do. Contact your specific airline beforehand to determine if your concentrator is approved for in-flight use. If not, you may be able to rent equipment from the airline itself.
  • If you rent equipment from the airline, oxygen will be provided ONLY during the flight. You will be responsible for having your own portable oxygen while you are at the airport.
  • Have all the tools necessary to keep your concentrator running for the entire flight. Bring extra batteries, tubing, cannulas, T-connectors and power adapters.
  • Pack all oxygen equipment — including humidifiers, nebulizers, masks and inhalers you may require — in your carry-on bag.

Even if you are not usually oxygen dependent, you may need to use supplemental oxygen on a plane. Airplane cabins have less breathable oxygen in the air because they are pressurized for high altitudes. Speak with your doctor to determine your oxygen needs during a flight. If you use supplemental oxygen while sleeping or exercising, you may need it for air travel too.

Traveling by Train

Like airplanes, most trains allow personal concentrators on board if they meet approval. Call the train service a few weeks before your trip to make arrangements for your reservation and oxygen equipment needs.

Traveling by Car

If you are driving to one of our clinics, make sure your car battery and alternator can manage the increased output required to power an oxygen concentrator. Store all equipment in a secure, well-ventilated and accessible area of the car.

Let Lung Health Institute Help with Travel Arrangements

For all modes of travel, bring enough portable oxygen tanks to last the whole trip. If you need additional tanks, or if you need tanks delivered to the hotel at your destination, contact your regular oxygen supplier for assistance.
Our team of patient coordinators are available for support as you make travel plans to visit Lung Health Institute. We want you to focus on the important cellular therapy treatment you will be receiving, so do not hesitate to let us know if you need help with hotel and car service accommodations. If you have questions or concerns, contact one of our patient coordinators today.

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