“Is there any way to fly with oxygen for long distance?”
@lotuslake7 from Boulder, CO
This is a great question, because we see it asked so frequently!
The short answer is yes. Whether you’re finalizing details for your family reunion at the lake or planning for the arrival of your first (or second or third) grandchild, go ahead and book that flight.
While you’re settling on your itinerary, consider whether you have some of the following questions regarding your upcoming travels.
Can I fly with oxygen?
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) permits the onboard use of certain portable oxygen concentrators (POCs).
POCs do not use compressed or liquid oxygen, which the government considers hazardous and does not allow on airlines. We’ve got answers to some of your top questions about oxygen concentrators if you’re looking for more on how oxygen concentrators work.
Will my airline require advanced notice?
Yes, the airline must be notified in advance that you will be flying with an FAA approved POC. Most airlines ask for at least 48 hours advanced notice.
Notifying the airline can benefit you as well: This is a chance to confirm with the airline whether your seat on the plane has a power outlet nearby to power your POC during the flight.
If not, some airlines can actually provide guidance on the number of batteries you’ll need for your flight. Don’t be afraid to ask!
Will my airline require any paperwork?
Most airlines require a signed statement from your physician. (Look at it as another person you can brag to about your upcoming trip!)
This physician statement should outline how often you need oxygen as well as the flow rate you require.
Precision Medical offers a template for your use.
Most airlines also offer a template for this statement for you and your physician’s convenience. We’ve collected those from all the major airlines at the bottom of this post.
Are there any additional requirements?
There are very few requirements beyond providing notice of your POC use and having a physician statement.
We do recommend reviewing your POC’s guidelines prior to traveling, whether you’re new to your unit or you’ve been using it for several years. You should be prepared to respond to all of the unit’s warning alarms – for both your peace of mind and that of your traveling companions!
Additionally, as you pack your carry-on, ensure that all of your unit’s extra batteries are protected from both short circuits and physical damage. The FAA offers some helpful battery packing tips.
While we may not be able to recommend the best bed and breakfast in town, we hope we’ve done our part to help you get to your destination safely, comfortably, and hassle free.
Have a great trip!
For more on this topic, review content on FAA’s site about cabin safety.
Major United States Airlines Physician Statement Templates
International Airlines Physician Statement Templates