Tips For Traveling With Oxygen
Flying with Oxygen
Every airline has rules and regulations on flying with oxygen. We are informed regularly of the requirements. Here are a few of the most helpful suggestions when preparing to take a flight:
- Schedule a direct flight if possible - most airlines will charge you a fee each time you change planes and they will not provide supplemental oxygen during your layover time which can be several hours. Orlando Medical Rentals can make arrangements for the oxygen during your unavoidable layover.
- Notify the airline at least 24-hours in advance that you will need supplemental oxygen on the airplane.
- Prescriptions - All airlines require that you bring a copy of your prescription and keep it with you. Please be sure the quantity of oxygen and flow rate (liters per minute) will need to be included.
- Doctor’s Release Form - All airlines require that you also have several copies of you doctor’s release form, which includes your diagnosis and the doctor’s approval to fly. Your doctor will also adjust the flow rate for cabin altitude.
- Accompany Rules - Some airlines require that a relative or friend accompany the patient who is using the oxygen. Be sure to clarify with your airline if this is one of their requirements.
- Arrive 2 hours before flight - Allow yourself ample time to check in and get to your gate on time. During check-in you will be one of the first people to board the plane and you will be given instructions by the flight personnel.
- Cost: Most airlines charge an average of $100.00 per "leg" of flight for use of their supplemental tanks of oxygen.
- Tips: The airlines do not provide oxygen in the airport terminal. You can NOT take any of your own oxygen tanks into the cabin of the airplane. Empty cylinders and concentrators may be packaged and checked with special requirements per airline. Airlines do not bill insurance companies. Most insurance policies do not have benefits for this type of travel.
Physician’s Statement for Air Travel Portable Oxygen Concentrator
This is a required document that must be completed by your physician if utilizing a portable oxygen concentrator.
Cruising The Seas with Oxygen
As with flying, every cruise line has different requirements when travelling with oxygen. Orlando Medical Rentals employees are experts on the requirements for each cruise line. It is required that arrangements need to be made through a provider and the cruise line. Orlando Medical Rentals can help you with both of these arrangements. In addition if you plan on attending any of the shore excursions, you will need to have an oxygen supplier lined up on the shore destination. Here are some helpful hints when planning your vacation cruise:
- Prescriptions - All cruise lines require that you bring along a copy of your prescription. Quantity of oxygen and flow rate will need to be included.
- Doctor’s Release Form - All cruise lines require that you also have several copies of your doctor’s release form, which includes your diagnosis and approval to cruise.
- Contact Cruise Line - You will need to contact the cruise line medical department to explain your needs. It is suggested to contact the cruise line 2-3 weeks before you travel.
RX and a letter from your doctor with diagnosis and liter flow. PLAN AHEAD. Reserve your flight with as much notice as possible. Oxygen may not be available otherwise.
Traveling On Amtrak with Oxygen
Traveling on Amtrak is much less complicated than air or cruising. The most crucial step is to contact Amtrak to let them know that you will be travelling with supplemental oxygen. They will allow you to bring your own supplemental oxygen on the train with you. By notifying Amtrak they will be sure to schedule you in a non-smoking car and ensure that you have ample room available for your supplies. Here are some helpful tips to prepare you for departure on Amtrak:
- Amtrak will provide you with "Access Amtrak" booklet that will explain the rules of travelling on Amtrak. Contact Amtrak for a free copy.
- Inform them that you will be travelling with oxygen and will need it at all times during the trip.
- Be specific in asking them if there are any special regulations or accommodations you will need once settled.
- If you are in need of assistance, be sure to let Amtrak know prior to boarding.
Safety Requirements Include:
- Equipment must be Underwriter’s Laboratory (U.L.) or Factory Mutual (F.M.) listed.
- Cannot rely solely on train-provided electrical power. Must have at least a 12-hour backup supply of oxygen and batter power.
- Take at least an additional 20% more oxygen than estimated to complete the trip. If you are needing a refill during the trip please contact Orlando Medical Rentals to arrange a provider to refill at a station or once you have reached your destination.
- Each tank & associated equipment must not weigh more than 75 pounds per unit.
- If you have a two-tank system, it must be able to be taken apart and handled individually. Limit of two 75-pound or six 20-pound tanks are allowed per passenger.
- Wheels must be removed while on train.
- Must be sitting in a non-smoking car. If none are available you will be prohibited to travel on that train.