The main reason portable oxygen concentrators exist, is to allow oxygen therapy patients to be able to travel to anywhere in the world, while receiving the oxygen therapy they need. All of our portable models have been approved by the Federal Aviation Administration for use on board any commercial flight, with a starting or end point in the United States.
This doesn't mean that every airline has to accept the oxygen concentrator on its flights, and they have to be approved for travel by the airline itself. One such airline that does accept most portable oxygen concentrators is Virgin Airlines.
Just like with any airline, there are a few steps you will need to take before you can come on board with your portable oxygen concentrator. First, you will need to call the Virgin's customer service desk to book your flight, and before booking, you will need to tell them that you need to use your portable oxygen concentrator during the flight.
Virgin Atlantic does in fact provide in-flight oxygen, but the times during the flight when you can use it, as well as the dosages, are limited. They online provide 2 and 4 LPM of continuous flow in the economy or premium economy cabins. In the upper class cabin, they will not provide it during take off or landing, and for long haul flights going to Sydney, you would need to stop in Hong Kong for a refill if you are using 4 LPM of oxygen.
Using a portable oxygen concentrator is much more convenient. Once you've cleared the use of your particular model, you can have your doctor fill out the medical form provided by the airline, stating that you need to use it, and and what dosage and for how long during the flight. They will also specify exactly how much battery life you need to have when you board your flight.
This isn't always the same, because it depends on how long your flight is going to be, if you have any layovers, and how long and at which setting you will be using your portable oxygen concentrator during the flight. This is important, because you don't want to run out of battery life if there is some sort of delay. It's very important to be prepared for the worst! You will need to make sure every battery you bring with you has been charged to 100%, because you will not have access to cabin power outlets.
If you must fly with Virgin Airlines, and they have not approved your particular portable oxygen concentrator model, you can find out which ones are approved from the customer service department, and rent one that is approved, that will meet your oxygen therapy needs.
You can also conveniently add as many battery as you are required to have to your rental package, for a minimal extra fee. You shouldn't have to settle. One great thing about your portable oxygen concentrator and accessories, is they won't be counted as part of your carry on limit.
You will also need to have your doctor fill out a physician's statement, which is a form that can be found here: Virgin Airlines Portable Oxygen Physician's Statement.