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More and more people are traveling by air with portable oxygen concentrators, making it important to have available the information needed, so that the oxygen user and their caregiver do not arrive at the airport without the nesessary information allowing them to board the plane.
On May 24, 2016 the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) published in the Federal Register revised rules for the use of a portable oxygen concentrator aboard all flight that originates from a U.S. airport or ends at a U.S. airport. The purpose of this rulemaking was to eliminate redundant operational requirements, paperwork requirements and allow passengers to use a POC that satisfies certain acceptance criteria. The main points that you need to be aware of if you do intend to use your portable oxygen concentrator during air travel are:
Oxygen patients should be aware that aircraft are pressurized to an altitude of 8,000 feet. Many patients that are use to using their oxygen concentrator at sea level will find that they need to increase their flow rate in flight in order to maintain their oxygen saturation. You should be aware that as you increase the flow rate on a portable oxygen concentrator the length of time a battery will last will decrease and plan on this event when computing the number of batteries needed for a flight.
Some airlines will require a passenger using a portable oxygen concentrator to sit in a seat next to a window so as not to block a fellow passengers ability to exit a row.
As stated the FAA does not require that you have a physician statement to bring a portable oxygen concentrator on board and use it. This is left to the discretion of each airline. We find that most do require a physician's prescription. Please check with your airline when you book your flight. Many airlines have a specific prescription form that they require. You will find below, links to print off the required prescription used by many airlines.
Oxygen Prescriptions Required by Certain Airlines
AeroMexico, Air France/KLM, Air India, Alaska Airlines, Alitalia, Allegiant Air, American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, China Airlines, Delta, EL Al, Finn Air, Frontier Airlines, Hawaiian Air, Jet Blue, Korean Air, Lan Air, Malaysia Air, Philippine Airlines, Qantas, Qater Airways, SAS, Saudia Air, Singapore Air, Southwest Airlines, Spirit Air, Swiss Air, United Airlines, Virgin America, Virgin Australia
If your airline is not listed above you should be able to use the Standard Medical Information Form (MEDIF) listed below. We encourage you to check with your airline to confirm it is acceptable.
If you would like to read the entire FAA Regulations for Portable Oxygen Concentrators as printed in the Federal Register you can download it here:
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Sleep Restfully, Inc.
3100 Weslayan Street, Suite 373
Houston, TX 77027
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