Tips for Flying with a Portable Oxygen Concentrator on Southwest

Southwest airlines is one of the most popular airlines, and like all other airlines, they have their own set of rules and requirements for using and bring a portable oxygen concentrator on board one of their flights. They also have their own list of FAA approved portable oxygen concentrators that they will allow on a flight.

Approved portable oxygen concentrators have been found by the Federal Aviation Administration to be safe for use on an airplane, as per the cabin pressure and the machines operational levels, as well as battery usage and other workings of the portable oxygen concentrator. These FAA approved POCs make it possible for you to leave the country, while using your portable oxygen concentrator. You don't need to miss out on that family vacation to Hawaii, because you need to use prescribed oxygen. All of American Medical's available portable oxygen concentrators are approved by the FAA.

The list of portable oxygen concentrators approved for use on a Southwest Airlines flight are as follows: AirSep FreeStyle, AirSep LifeStyle, Delphi RS-00400, DeVilbiss iGo, Inogen One, Inogen One G2, LifeChoice, Invacare XPO2 (XPO100), Oxlife Independence, Respironics EverGo, and the SeQual Eclipse.

If you have a different portable oxygen concentrator, but you won't need to use it during the flight (the flight is very short and you won't need your dosage during that time of the day), you might be able to bring it on board and stow it in the cabin without being used. You will need to call and check with the airline before booking your flight, to see if it is allowed on board without being used.

Flying with Oxygen on Southwest

If you do indeed to use one of the approved POCs on your flight, you will have to meet the following Southwest Airline requirements:

You will need to have the official manufacturers label attached to the POC, stating that it is approved by the FAA.

With the batteries, you will need to make sure your POC is in battery operating mode, because you will not have access to any outlets on board the flight. You are also required to bring with you 150% of the battery life you will actually need for using your oxygen therapy for the duration of the flight. This is to make sure you have plenty of battery life in case there are delays.

You will also need to bring a letter from your doctor, with the physician's official letterhead. The letter has to state that you know how to operate your portable oxygen concentrator, and you know what to do and how to recognize any beeps or alarms. It will also need to specify during which phases of the flight you will be using your portable oxygen concentrator, such as during the taxi ride, take off, cruise or landing). The third and last thing the letter must state, is the maximum flow rate corresponding to the pressure in the cabin under normal operating conditions, pressurized to an altitude of 8,000 feet.

You will need to contact Southwest Airlines to book your flight, and set up reservations for you and your portable oxygen concentrator. Visit their website for contact info and more details.

You will also need to have your doctor fill out a physician’s statement. Click here to download Southwest Airlines Portable Oxygen Physician Statement.

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