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Air Travel with Oxygen

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jan 5, 2023.

What do I need to know about air travel with oxygen?

Airlines have to make sure oxygen is transported safely. You will need to follow the airline's safety rules before you can travel. Contact the airline 2 weeks before your trip to make arrangements. Make a copy of your doctor's order for oxygen and carry it with you on the plane.

What do I need to do 2 weeks before I travel with oxygen?

  • Call the airline and tell them about your oxygen needs. Some airlines charge a fee to supply oxygen during the flight. The fee may be covered by your insurance company. You will need access to a plug if your oxygen supply is electric.
  • You will only receive oxygen from the airline while you are on the plane. Order enough oxygen to last before your flight, during delays and layovers, and when you arrive.
  • Ask if you can bring a respirator on the plane. You may have to buy an extra ticket for it.
  • Ask if your personal oxygen supply is counted as part of your carry-on luggage. Ask if you can bring your own portable oxygen concentrator (POC) on the plane.
  • Make a list of health facilities at your destination. You may need to contact someone if you have a problem with your oxygen equipment.

What do I need to do on the day of travel with oxygen?

  • Make sure you have your doctor's order and other paperwork before you leave for the airport. Keep the documents in a carry-on bag. You will need to access the documents easily during your trip.
  • Bring extra batteries to last during your flight and through any delays.
  • Pack all your medicines, oxygen supplies, and power cords in your carry-on. Be sure to include your nasal cannula. Airplanes only supply oxygen through face masks.
  • Bring a list of any medicines you are taking. Bring extra medicines on the plane in case of delays or emergencies.
  • Arrive early at the airport. Allow enough time to get through security with your oxygen. Ask if you may board the plane early. This will give you time to get settled with your supplies.
  • Secure your oxygen in an upright position.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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