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Traveling with Portable Oxygen Concentrator

Posted on 06th , April 2012

The Federal Aviation Administration (or FAA) allows passengers to bring portable oxygen concentrators onto airplanes provided the oxygen concentrators are FFA approved. Since oxygen is considered as hazardous substance, airlines did not allow passengers to carry them. But on May 13, 2009 the department of transportation issued a ruling named "non discrimination on the basis of disability in air travel" which prohibits airline companies from stopping passengers to board a plane with a respiratory assistance device like oxygen concentrator.

As long as the oxygen concentrator meets the requirements for a medical portable electronic device, is in the FAA approved list and clearly displays the manufactures label, it is allowed on flights. No airline company can refuse to board FAA approved portable oxygen concentrators by law.

The Air Carrier Access act of 1986 prohibits airline companies from discriminating against a passenger on the basis of his/her disability. However airlines can still refuse the entry of a disabled person on safety grounds. In that case they must provide a written explanation to the person. If a disabled person requires special accommodation on flight then he/she should notify the airline company up to 48 hrs in advance so that they can plan ahead and make necessary preparations like providing assistance at the airport.

Even if you fail to notify, the airline company will make all reasonable efforts to provide you best possible care. However you may not get all the necessary assistance/accommodation. So to make your journey easier, always inform your airline company and always plan your whole trip in advance like what assistance you will need before boarding the place, on board and when de-boarding the plane etc.

Generally airline cabin crew does not provide any personal care to a patient or disabled person. So if you need a personal assistant then you must travel with a companion. You may need to submit a certificate from your doctor or fill out a special form in order to carry your POC on a plane.  You must always check with your airline company while booking tickets to determine the requirements to carry a POC.

You can buy one of the following portable oxygen concentrators to carry with you on a flight:

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Author: Cascade Healthcare



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