First Time Taking a Flight with Portable Oxygen Concentrator

For many people, the whole point of getting a portable oxygen concentrator, is so they can board an airplane while still using their oxygen therapy. Whether you already own a portable oxygen concentrator and you are planning a trip, or if you are renting an oxygen concentrator so you can go on vacation with your family, there are some special steps you will need to take, long before you step on the airplane.

All of our portable oxygen concentrators are approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for travel aboard an airplane. Even so, there are still certain requirements for taking a portable oxygen concentrator with you when you fly, and they can differ, depending on the airline you are using. If you've never flown with an oxygen concentrator before, here is a list of steps to take to make the process as smooth for you as possible.

Step One: Choose Your Oxygen Concentrator

If you plan on renting your concentrator, it's wise to pick it out 2 weeks before your flight. You don't need to have it delivered yet – just make your selection so that you know what to expect and the airline knows what to expect well ahead of time. Call to talk to one of our sales reps, who will walk you through the process of choosing the rental portable oxygen concentrator, and deciding on how many batteries you should add on to your rental package. Plan to have it delivered no less than 24 hours before you board your flight. If you need to, you can call and change things before the concentrator is shipped.

Step Two: Call The Airline

Now that you know what you will be bringing along, call the airline and see what their requirements are. Doing this 2 weeks before your flight should give you plenty of time, if you need to get a doctors note to show them, make adjustments to your planned order, such as adding more batteries. The airline may require that you bring enough battery power to run your concentrator for 150% of the flight. In other words, make sure you definitely have more than enough battery power when you get on the airplane. The airline may only require that you bring one or two extra, fully charged batteries, or more depending on how long your flight will be. You have to plan for any delays that may happen.

Step Three: Pack Everything Accordingly

The airline knows you are bringing your portable oxygen concentrator with you on your flight. You are only allowed to bring so many things with you as carry-on baggage, but as long as you've called ahead and met the requirements, you will be allowed to bring it on board with you, and your oxygen therapy equipment will not add to your allowance for carry-on items. Make sure your cannula, tubing, humidifier and anything else you need are packed with the concentrator, in its carry bag. Concentrator accessory bags can be attached to most concentrators, if you need more room for extra things.

About Scott Ridl: Scott joined American Medical Sales and Rentals in 2008 as a Web Manager and Content Writer. He is a writer and designer. He is extensively trained on oxygen therapy products from leading manufacturers such as Inogen, Respironics, Chart, Invacare, ResMed and more. Scott works closely with respiratory therapists and oxygen specialists to educate the community about oxygen therapy products, COPD, asthma and lung diseases. He writes weekly columns and is passionate about educating the community on oxygen therapy and respiratory issues.

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