Leavin’ on a Jet Plane

Last month, we discussed the “ins” and “outs” of traveling with oxygen by automobile. What about air travel? Is it possible to travel by air these days when requiring oxygen? You bet!

There are several steps involved when bringing oxygen on board an airline. First and foremost, always contact your physician to make sure that he or she feels that you should be taking a trip.

Once you get your doctor’s verbal OK, there are two important written things that you will need from your doctor in order to travel by air: an oxygen prescription and an airline approved “Physician Statement. “ The prescription is for a company, such as American Medical Sales & Repair, that will be providing a Portable Oxygen Concentrator rental; the Physician Statement is for the airline and must be either an actual airline form or on physician’s letterhead. The airlines have different polices regarding this form, so you must check with each carrier on your itinerary!

Next, be sure to contact your airline 24 to 48 hours prior to you scheduled flights to notify them that you will be bringing a POC on board. Many airlines are very fussy about this and, if you don’t give them enough advance notice, they may actually deny you boarding! The same is true with your Physician Statement, so have that with you at the airport, also.

When preparing to set up a rental POC for your trip, it’s important to have some key information with you when you make your phone call to the rental provider: the duration of the flights and your total travel time that you will be requiring oxygen; the setting to which the POC will be set; and whether you will need Pulse Dose or Continuous Flow. Remember with this last item, you will want to factor in whether or not you will be using the concentrator at night while sleeping and if you want a POC that will serve both daytime and nighttime purposes.

Most airlines require that you have a minimum of 2 batteries, regardless of the flight duration, or 150% of travel time, whichever is greater. So, we’ll need to factor in your oxygen setting, Pulse vs. Continuous Flow and total travel time. The higher your oxygen setting the shorter the battery life and the more batteries you will need for your trip!

Confused? The Sales Techs at American Medical Sales & Repair are here, 7 days a week, to help you travel safely and with ease. Let us help you make arrangements for the appropriate oxygen delivery device for your air travel needs. Remember, when you breathe easier, we breathe easier.

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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