Traveling With Oxygen For A Spring Vacation
Just because you have COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) doesn’t mean it’s impossible for you to take a well-earned vacation that you deserve. Planning ahead will allow for you to enjoy and take in every moment of your time away.
Follow these tips from the American College of Chest Physicians to minimize stress or complications that may arise with flying with oxygen:
- Visit your doctor to examine your travel plans. Even if you don’t always use portable oxygen, your doctor may suggest you use it during the flight. Airplane cabins are pressurized to 8,000 feet, which may cause difficulties breathing for you.
- Research different airlines. Investigate policies for portable oxygen and the cost of in-flight oxygen. Check to ensure the airline can meet your needs before you schedule your flight. It’s important to know that you can only use oxygen supplied by the airline or that is distributed through the FAA-approved portable oxygen concentrator.
- Advise the airline of your oxygen needs. The allotted amount of seats for those who use oxygen may be limited, so make sure you understand the pertinent restrictions when you schedule your flight. Call the airlines 48 hours before your flight departure to remind them of your oxygen needs.
- Make necessary provisions with your oxygen supplier. Be sure to notify them if you will need oxygen at your destination.
- Pack all your necessities in a carry-on bag. Any inhalers, medications, and extra batteries for your portable oxygen concentrator should be packed in a personal bag and carried with you at all times.
- Arrive early. Make sure to give yourself extra time at the airport to get through security with your oxygen equipment. Be sure to bring a physician’s statement with you to verify your need for portable oxygen.
- Communicate with check-in crew at your gate. Notify the staff of your situation and see if it would be possible to pre-board.
For additional information for traveling with portable oxygen, check out our portable oxygen travel guide. Portable Oxygen Solutions is dedicated to helping oxygen therapy users maintain an active lifestyle, improve their quality of life, and increase their freedom and independence.