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Flying with Oxygen

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#1 Member


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Posted 17 April 2008 - 09:19 AM

Hi all--

I am new to using Oxygen and need to fly. The rules and regulations sound confusing. One airline says you can take on portable compressors.....another says you can't because the FAA doesn't allow it. And then even if you make arrangements with the airline---how do you get past airport security?

Anyone have any experience or clues about how to do this?


#2 janey


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Posted 17 April 2008 - 11:49 AM


I haven't actually experienced flying with O2 yet, but I have done tons of research in anticipation of having to do this. There is only ONE FAA approved portable concentrator. Most airline allow you to take it on board, but you should always check before flying. If you don't have this unit, then you have to rely on the airlines to provide oxygen. That is something I would NOT rely on. There was a recent horror story about that which convinced me to buy the portable. I haven't flown with it yet, but it sure makes car traveling a breeze! I don't need O2 when sitting but I do need it when walking and sleeping. This little portable is smaller than a carry-on so when we get to a hotel, I just roll it in. It quiet enough to sleep with it about 4 feet away. It you want to the link to the site, please send me a private message (green button, bottom left of screen.)

There are a couple of members with experience with flying and O2 needs. I'm sure they'll chime in soon.

So please tell us something about you. It's a great bunch of people here and who welcome you with open arms.

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Janey Willis
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#3 Clementine


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Posted 17 April 2008 - 12:03 PM

Hi Delk!

Welcome! I have flown on United Airlines and had to purchase their oxygen. It was $100 per leg of the flight. I am not aware of the airline approved unit Janey mentioned. I was allowed to carry empty portable Helios (they make you empty it before getting on the plane), so that when I arrived at my destination I could order liquid oxygen from the local provider and use my own unit. I also arrange ahead of time to have a concentrator delivered to the hotel or place I am staying. I was very worried about flying and ordered the airline oxygen, but found that I did not need it so I ended up canceling it for the flight home.

I am by no means recommending you do this...I had a pulse oximeter and was able to monitor my o2 saturation. I know it can be difficult. My friend Jeff was trying to fly with his own, while traveling from Oregon to UCLA, for a lung transplant, and even he had issues with his airline.

I hope you are feeling OK. If you are on oxygen, your little ole lungs must not be in good shape. You are not alone sweetie.


#4 Sweet


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Posted 17 April 2008 - 12:13 PM

Hi Delk,

Welcome to the sclero forums! I'm really glad you have joined us. You have already received great answers in regards to your question, so I just wanted to say welcome!
Warm and gentle hugs,

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#5 peanut


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Posted 17 April 2008 - 12:14 PM

I've flown with on-board oxygen. This is what I do...

When I get to the airport I get into a wheel chair cause I don't need oxygen if I'm sitting. I take my helios with me and depending on the airline carrier they usually make you empty it when you check in. I bring my helios so I can fill it with liquid 02 at my destination. So yes, I'm without oxygen. They wheel me thru security and to the gate - it's great - it's so fast - you get to bypass the line. And you board early.

The flight I've booked is a direct fight to my destination because if you get on-board 02 it's $100/leg of the flight.

When you board the stewardesses give you the 02 + cannula right when you sit down. They set the liter flow to whatever your doctor prescribed and the tank is neatly tucked under the seat in front of you.

I looked into renting one of those POC units and it cost + shipping almost $400/week. The batteries don't last very long so if you have a long flight you're in trouble. Where as paying $100 for on-board 02, the airlines will supply all the oxygen you need. The batteries also weigh 40-50 lbs. I can barely lift 10 lbs and have all too much to carry on anyway...

that's my two cents. hope it helps,

You can deprive the body but the soul needs chocolate
my HMO makes me wear a helmet...

#6 debonair susie

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Posted 18 April 2008 - 03:25 AM

I was anticipating possibly having to order O2 for my hubby, who has COPD, but isn't on O2. As it turned out, with the cabin pressurized, he did just fine on our flights to and from Hawaii... he too, had his oximeter to check his o2sat.

If I remember right I just entered the following into my search engine: POC rules/regulations for flying
With that, I believe you can get the information you will need.

Good luck!
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Susie Kraft
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