Can You Fly with a Portable Oxygen Concentrator?

Respiratory patients no longer need to be restricted to their hometowns as airlines have made it easier to travel with a portable oxygen concentrator.

Traveling with a concentrator can sometimes feel like a daunting task, but with a little preparation, you can explore destinations around the world with ease. Portable concentrators make it simple to regain the freedom and independence you once enjoyed and live your life fully again.

Keep reading to learn more about the rules and regulations concerning oxygen concentrators and flying so that you’ll be fully prepared for your next adventure.

Oxygen Equipment and Airline Regulations

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) doesn’t allow liquid oxygen and oxygen gas tanks aboard an aircraft because they are considered hazardous material; however, certain types of portable oxygen concentrators are permitted. To learn whether a specific unit is compliant, look for the label stating that the POC is FAA-approved. If your device does not bear this label, airline personnel will use the manufacturer and model name to determine compliance. Be sure to make arrangements with the airline well ahead of time to find out if your machine is approved.

Acceptance Criteria for Portable Oxygen Concentrators

The FAA has established certain criteria that all POCs must meet for aircraft compliance as follows:

  1. The POC is legally marketed in accordance with U.S. Food and Drug Administration requirements.
  2. It doesn’t radiate radio frequency emissions.
  3. It doesn’t generate compressed gas.
  4. It doesn’t contain any hazardous materials aside from its batteries.

Things to Consider Before Your Flight

If you’re planning on traveling with a portable concentrator, here are a few tips to ensure that everything runs as smoothly as possible:

  1. Meet with your pulmonologist to discuss if air travel is safe for you and the potential need for supplemental oxygen at increased altitudes.
  2. Consult with your airline at least 48 hours before departure to let them know you’ll be traveling with oxygen and learn their procedures. They might also require a doctor’s note detailing your oxygen needs.
  3. Charge your batteries and always carry several extra battery packs. Some airlines allow you to charge your device aboard the plane, but it’s best to come prepared with more than enough battery life just in case.
  4. Arrive at the airport early enough to allow ample time for potential equipment inspections and longer check-ins.
  5. Keep any emergency medications and your inhaler in an accessible bag.
  6. Have your unit’s manual handy just in case a technical issue arises that you’ve never experienced.
  7. Recharge your batteries before you board your return flight.

Check out O2 Assist for the Best Oxygen Concentrators

Now that you’re ready to travel with your portable oxygen concentrator, visit O2 Assist for the latest technology to fit your unique needs. After consulting with your doctor, our clinical consultants will work with you to develop a personalized treatment plan using our POCs. Even before you purchase your concentrator, you can quickly get in touch with us using our 24-hour online chat or contact us over the phone or via email.

Shop our extensive collection of portable oxygen concentrators that can be shipped throughout the United States today!