Traveling With Oxygen
TRAVELING WITH OXYGEN
If you are traveling with oxygen cylinders and other oxygen equipment provided by us, the equipment and cylinders cannot be exchanged for equipment or cylinders from another company. If you would like us to help make financial arrangements for you to obtain service from another supplier, those arrangements must be made at least 2 weeks in advance. We will not be responsible for payment to the other company on your behalf.
If you do not make these arrangements before your travel, you may encounter problems with getting your oxygen. You are responsible for full or partial payments for your traveling oxygen services.
When traveling with oxygen system in an automobile, remember:
- NO SMOKING
- Secure tanks so that they cannot be easily moved. If a tank valve is bumped, the valve can inadvertently open releasing a large amount of oxygen rapidly.
- Do not store oxygen tanks in an area of the car where the temperature will exceed 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Leave the windows open a crack to allow for some ventilation if tanks must be left for an extended period of time during warm weather.
- Do not carry tanks in the trunk of a car. (To prevent damage to the tanks in a rear-end accident.)
It’s a good idea to carry more than 1 tank with you when traveling, just in case your trip takes longer than expected.
- Airline companies will provide you with oxygen in the plane.
- Heightened security alerts prevent us from accessing certain areas in airports, seaports or any other public transportation facilities.
- When arranging for a cruise – advise your travel agent that you use oxygen. Most likely the cruise line is contracted with one company to provide oxygen aboard the ship.
Call your Support Care Specialist for any other questions regarding travel with
Oxygen or any other medical equipment.
TRAVEL BY AIR
Fly through the air with a Portable Concentrator
Air travel is easy now that the Federal Aviation Administration has approved some portable concentrators for use onboard commercial aircraft.
Before You Travel – At Home
1. Prepare in advance. Call or visit your travel carrier, internet site, or travel agency about your travel plans. You must provide information about your intent to use a portable oxygen concentrator (POC) during your travels. The carrier will let you know if you will be permitted to use your portable concentrator during your travel and if there are any restrictions for use.
Note: If you are not permitted to use your portable concentrator on the airline of choice and still want to take it with you:
- Carry it and any disconnected supplemental batteries on board with you
- Ensure the unit is turned off
- Stow it properly for the flight
- Do not place the portable concentrator or any supplemental battery modules in your checked baggage
2. You must notify the airline in advance that you will be flying with an FAA approved POC on the aircraft. Check with the airline to see if they have seats with a power outlet that you can use to run the portable concentrator during the flight. If a power outlet is not available, be sure to bring enough supplemental batteries to last the entire duration of your travel plans. Plan on your flight times plus enough time to cover any unexpected delays beyond scheduled flight times. Carry your power adapters with you so you can recharge batteries before and after the flight.
3. You must have a licensed physician’s signed statement on a standard form, the doctor’s letterhead or an airline-approved form with you at all times during your trip that contains the following information:
- If you need oxygen during taxi, takeoff, flight times, landing, or the entire time you are traveling.
- The flow rate(s) that you will use during your trip.
- Your understanding, or that of your travel companion, of all the cautions, warnings, and alarms of the portable concentrator and what to do if there is an alarm situation with the device.
- Your personal information such as name, date of birth, and the model name or number of the portable concentrator.
Upon Arrival at the Airport
- When you check in at the travel desk or check-in counter, explain that you will be traveling with a POC. Allow inspection of the portable concentrator or your physician’s statement if asked.
- When going through the security checkpoint, the Security Agency will inspect your device, even if you are using it. They are required to allow you to travel through the checkpoint with your device, but they must inspect it for security reasons.
- Use your AC power adapter while you are in the airport, if possible. This will keep the batteries at full charge and give you the most battery powered operating time on the aircraft.
When Boarding the Plane
- You must show the pilot and, if requested, the flight crew, your signed physician’s statement regarding your use of the portable concentrator. They need to know the flow rates and times that you will be using the device.
- The flight crew may want to inspect the portable concentrator to confirm that it is FAA approved for use on the flight. They need to protect your safety and the safety of all other passengers on the flight.
- You are not permitted to sit in an exit row if you plan to use your portable concentrator at any time during the flight.
- If you are not planning to use your portable concentrator during taxi, takeoff, or landing, you must stow it in an approved area so it does not block the row or aisle access.
- If you are going to use your portable concentrator the entire time you are on the plane, you cannot sit in any seat that blocks access to an emergency or regular exit or aisle way.
- No smoking or open flame is permitted within 10 feet of the row you are sitting in.
While on the Plane
- You can only use your portable concentrator unit during those times that your physician has listed on your travel approval form. It must be turned off and stowed when you are not authorized to use it.
- Do not use any lotions, creams, or salves that are petroleum based. Use only products that are approved for use with oxygen. Do not use airline supplied products unless they are specifically marked for oxygen use.
- You must stow a supplemental battery either securely connected to the portable concentrator or in your carry-on baggage. Any and all supplemental batteries must be protected from damage and shorting out the external power connector.
- When the pilot turns off the “Fasten Seat Belt” sign, you may use your portable concentrator when moving about the cabin if you are authorized by your physician’s statement.
- If the portable concentrator alarms during the flight, you or your traveling companion must turn the unit off, unless the alarm resets itself. If the alarm does not reset, the portable concentrator must be turned off and stored in an approved storage area.
- If an AC power outlet is available on the flight, connect the power adapter to the portable concentrator first before plugging the power adapter into the airline power outlet. If you have any trouble making the connections to the plane’s power outlet, contact the flight crew for assistance.
- Recharge the batteries as soon as an AC power outlet is available. This will ensure you have enough power to run your portable concentrator while leaving the airport. Refer to RECHARGING THE BATTERY in the portable concentrator owner’s manual.
- If necessary, contact your medical gas supplier to pickup or drop off your backup oxygen supply.
TRAVELING BY BOAT
- Contact the cruise line and inform them you are traveling with a POC.
- There should be no restrictions on your use of a Portable Concentrator during your travel, but it is wise to check with them ahead of time. Power should be available for use of your AC power adapter during your travels, but check first.
TRAVELING BY TRAIN
Contact the train authorities at least twelve hours ahead of arrival that you are going to use your POC. There should be no restrictions on your use of a Portable Concentrator, but power on the train may not be available for your use during travel times. Ensure there is enough battery life for your trip before you leave.
TRAVELING BY BUS
Contact the bus line about using a POC. There should be no restrictions on your use of the Portable Concentrator during your trip, but power may not be available for your use during travel times. Ensure there is enough battery life for your trip before you leave.
Travel Concentrator Work Sheet