Flying… Is it becoming an option again?

Living On Oxygen for Life

Just because airlines are now becoming more equipped to meet our modern technological needs, it may still be a while before power outlets on airlines can be used to power our medical devices. All I can say is ASK, ASK, ASK! The worst an airline can say is No. I’ve researched online to see which airlines are stating they are equipping their planes with power outlets. You can find the 3 most major airlines below. If you click on these links, you will be taken to a page that will tell you which planes in their fleet have outlets. All airlines have different rules and regulations.

Inflight Connectivity and Power

    United Airlines
    Delta Airlines
    American Airlines

Airlines have to follow the FAA Regulations and they also have their own set of rules regarding medical device usage inflight. Most provide a list of Portable Oxygen Concentrators (POC) they allow for inflight use. You must be able to fit it in an appropriate storage location for safety or purchase a seat for it. Once again all airlines have different rules and regulations. The five airlines listed below, are the ones that I could find a list for you to look at.

    Delta – Click on SPECIAL CONCERNS for oxygen information.
    American Airlines POC Approval List & Requirements
    United Airlines Special Needs – Click on Customer-provided Ventilators, respirators, & CPAPs OR Portable Oxygen Concentrator links for information.
    Virgin America Airlines – They have a downloadable POC medical form in PDF form. Remember this must be on your doctor’s letterhead. Virgin America will not allow usage of electrical outlets to power or charge medical devices. You must provide amble batteries. Please check their guidelines.
    Southwest Airlines POC list – Click on Portable Oxygen Concentrators – link provided for Physician’s Consent Template.

TSA

Before you even get to board a plane, you have to go through security. Getting through security with a piece of medical equipment means you need to read up on the proper way it’s done. I’m really serious here. You mess up here, you aren’t getting on that plane whether you have a ticket or not. So, please read these pages closely.

    TSA’s rules for Portable Oxygen Concentrators & other medical equipment.
    TSA – Travelers’ with Disabilities and Medical Assistance Needs – I highly recommend giving them a call for assistance. You need a 72 hour in advance notification for their assistance.

And finally, this link goes to an article written by a person who traveled using his Bipap inflight. He tells how he did this. It’s a good read and very informative. Just don’t expect his level of success. Every trip should be considered a learning experience. I would LOVE to hear from anyone who has successfully traveled using their Bipap / Cpap/ or just oxygen in flight. Please feel free to leave a comment to share your experience. We could all benefit from your experience!

Wow! This post made my brain hurt! lol! I hope it helps someone. Please don’t forget to follow my blog. You may enter the April 1st giveaway for the HOPE necklace. Just email! Love to you all. Stay healthy… by the way.. the dwarf trees are planted!!!

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6 thoughts on “Flying… Is it becoming an option again?

  1. I haven’t flown for a couple of years, so my information may be a bit out of date. When I used a POC in flight, I was allowed to use the power outlet (if one was available), but was told I still needed to bring enough batteries to cover the whole flight (actually they require enough batteries for 1 1/2 the time of the flight in case of delays). They said there can be disruptions in the power in flight and didn’t want anyone depending on the plane’s outlets.
    I think the allowance of POCs has been a great thing for people on lower levels of oxygen and those who can tolerate the pulse mode. For those of us who are on higher levels of O2, most of the POCs don’t go high enough. The other issue is being able to bring enough batteries to cover the flight and the time spent in the airport. It’s quite the challenge! In the past, one could pay a fee to the airline and they would provide the oxygen. Now they have stopped providing the service since they started allowing POCs. That’s why I haven’t flown recently!
    For those people on lower levels of O2, though, I would say go for it! I’ve met several oxygen users who fly all the time and tolerate it very well.

      • When my oxygen requirements were less, I did a lot of flying. In fact I flew to Europe a couple of times using the airline’s oxygen. As long as the liter flow was high enough, I didn’t have any problems. The last couple of times I used a POC and it was more difficult for me. I don’t do as well on pulsed O2 and the last time I flew I had some equipment problems. Now my O2 requirements are higher, so the POC doesn’t work for me. For those who can do it, though, I would go for it. One thing I found over time is that the people in security have became more educated about bipap machines and POCs. When I first started flying with my equipment they gave me a really hard time. Now they seem to be very aware of what they are.

      • I agree Cindy, if someone’s oxygen requirements are at a lower flow (ie: 3L or less) and can tolerate using pulse flow portable oxygen concentrator and you have doctor approval and all the proper paperwork , I think people should go for it too. I really appreciate your comments on this. It appears you have a lot more recent experience in flying than I do.

  2. I had to recently fly thai to Europe from Australia and they were pretty good about me using my bipap inflight. I had to contact the reservation desk in advance and the. Talk to the cabin manager. Thai insisted I use my own batteries which my outpatient service lent me. I used it for about 6 hrs each way which made it a pleasant flight, but only slept an hour or two due to jet lag and engine noise.

    • Hello Aditya, I really appreciate your comment. I’m so glad you were able to use your bipap inflight. How many batteries did you take and how long did they last? I’ve never used batteries for my bipap. This is very important information that you shared and I thank you for taking the time to pass it on to my blog readers. *hugs*

      Christine

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