Traveling with Oxygen: A Checklist

Oxygen therapy can be an intimidating addition to your life, but it doesn't have to keep you at home. With proper planning, you can still enjoy the independence and adventure of travel. Experts in home oxygen therapy at Pacific Pulmonary Services help make travel easier for their customers with the following checklist.

4-6 weeks before you travel

  • Make all arrangements as far in advance as possible, especially if you are booking air travel.
  • When booking your ticket, let your travel agent or air, cruise, train, or bus line know that you'll be traveling with oxygen. Make sure you know their oxygen policies and associated costs. At a minimum, you must inform the airlines 48 hours in advance.
  • If you'll be staying in a hotel, inform the booking agent that you'll be bringing oxygen with you. More importantly, let them know if you are expecting oxygen to arrive at the hotel.

3 weeks before you travel

  • At least three weeks before you travel, contact your home oxygen provider and ask for help in arranging oxygen needs while you're on the road. There are several equipment options to accommodate your travel needs. Your oxygen provider should be able to guide you. Be prepared with the following information:
    • Dates of travel
    • Destination(s)
    • Are you flying? If yes, what airline?
    • What is the total flight time from gate to gate?
    • If you are not flying, how are you traveling?
    • Are you planning to use a CPAP or Bi-Level device while traveling?

2 weeks before you travel

  • Talk to your doctor about traveling.
  • If you are flying, get a signed statement or prescription from your physician that includes:
    • When oxygen use is necessary (on all or a portion of the trip)
    • For air travel, maximum flow rate corresponding to the pressure of the cabin under normal operating conditions

1 week before you travel

  • Confirm all details with your oxygen equipment supplier, hotel and travel agent, airline or other travel provider.

While traveling

  • Remember: NEVER take your own home oxygen tank on board any aircraft of any kind. Your oxygen equipment supplier and airline will provide you with specific equipment options and guidelines.
  • Make sure to take contact numbers for your physician and oxygen equipment provider.
  • If you are flying, arrive at the airport early. Airport security screeners may require extra time to inspect your equipment.
Oxygen therapy does not have to turn you into an armchair traveler. A little careful planning can give you back the joy and independence of travel. Questions? Call us at (800) 572-7522.
PPS Patient Quote

"When I began to have problems getting up and down the 3 steps to my home, my doctor had me tested and set me up with home oxygen. Pacific Pulmonary has been a lifeline for me. I see the driver every week and someone calls me on the phone as well to see how I am doing. I don't know if that is part of the job or not, but I sure appreciate it. It makes me feel like they are watching out for me."

- Juliette, PPS patient, Medford, OR