Rules for travelling with oxygen vary by airline and by country. In the US, the use of a
Portable Oxygen Concentrator (POC) is virtually a must; this is increasingly true around
the globe. For domestic flights, the FAA has certified certain POC’s for air travel. A
list with links to the manufaturer follows this article or use this link:
FAA Approved Portable Oxygen Devices
All US carriers and most international carriers permit the carry-on and use of the POCs
approved by the FAA. It is important to be aware that each airline has its own specific
requirements. Use the links at the end of this article, go to your airlines Web site,
or otherwise contact your airline for specific details. This must be done for every
you will fly on a trip.
If you do not own an approved POC, you will need to rent one for your trip. You can rent from
your Durable Medical Supplier (DME) or from any of the companies which offer such rentals. While
EFFORTS cannot recommend one over another, members can
search our archives
or can post questions on our list.
Some additional important information to know:
- You need to present documentation from your doctor specifying your general condition and need for oxygen, your O2 flow rate and duration of oxygen requirements for in flight use.
- Many airlines have suggested medical forms for your doctor to complete...others only specify letters on your physician's letterhead
- Be sure to make several copies of the documentation and have them with you at all times.
- Some airlines require you to go to the ticketing agent so that they can check your POC and doctor’s form.
and determine if you have enough batteries.
- Some airlines may require you to have enough batteries to last 150% of the flight time. Some may even include the time between connecting flights in that calculation. Be sure that you have enough batteries and keep them in your carry-on bag so you can access them as needed.
- Some airlines require specific forms of notification of oxygen service to be submitted to them prior to travel, some as much as 72 hours.
- Most airlines no longer provide on-board oxygen – if they do, and you choose to use it instead of a POC, ask what the charge will be – it could be between $100 to $150 per leg of your journey to use theirs, or maybe even more.
- If you can remove your oxygen to go through the security check point, you may want to do so. If you can’t, be sure to tell the TSA agent that you cannot be without it. In that case, you will be patted down and your POC will be checked individually, rather than via the regular screener conveyor belt.
- When you reach the gate, you may be required to show your doctor’s form again; the flight attendant may also want to see it.
Approved Portable Oxygen Concentrators
Click on links below for manufacturer specific information.
Most manufacturer pages contain helpful travel links for airlines
as well as other modes.
Airline Specific Information
This information is updated frequently. You can generally search
an airline's Web site searching for the Special Needs section.
(Click on any Airline for its specific requirements, or any POC Manufacturer for information on its