British Lung Foundation
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using oxygen on a plane

my mum is booked to travel to Spain in may with Ryanair.

i've booked an oxygen cylinder for her through Ryanair.

could someone who has used oxygen on a plane please let me know what it is like? especially if you travelled with Ryanair .

what is the cylinder like? is the cylinder like the one she has at home from nhs? where does the cylinder go is it between your feet?

is it with a mask or a tube up tour nose?

can you turn it on and off?

thanks for any help!

8 Replies


Sorry i cant give you any advice on that but there are members who have flown using oxygen they will reply when they get online x


I've no idea how Ryanair do it as I flew with Virgin. I had a cylinder pretty much like ones i use for ambulatory. I could turn it on and off as I wished and i monitored my sats with my pulse oximeter and set the O2 accordingly.

I don't remember if it was a mask or cannulas.

The cabin staff were very kind and I found the whole experience easy.

Im sure it will be good for your mum too. :)

1 like

Thank you all so much for replying! Does the oxygen sit like between your feet? Does anyone have a thought if it would be likely to be mask or cannulas? My mum is new to using oxygen, and I'd like to be able to let her know what to expect in advance.

I've made arrangements for a fit to fly certificate - 14 days before travel.

The special assistance people at Ryanair were quite helpful, but I get the impression they don't really know much about the oxygen.

Anyway, thanks again for your kind replies.


It was up to me where i put the cylinder Wedgie. I was sitting by the window and lent it against the side of the plane next to me, i.e. on the seat. That worked fine. :)


My dad wants to fly GP have referred him for a fit to fly test at out local hospital due to being on oxygen may be best you double check with your GP as airlines can refuse passengers without a fit to fly certificate ,


I flew with Ryanair last year. I used my own oxygen concentrator and found every one very helpful.I also needed a fit to ly certificate

1 like

I have used an oxygen concentrator for the last 2 hours on an 8-hour flight and found it no help. Sitting in the plane just reading didn't take any effort, but I had found that getting off the plane was always a bit of a trial. So, I went through the airline questionnaire, got the doctor's letter (£15) and tried it, hoping to reduce the effect of breathing oxygen-reduced (thin) air. As I wrote, no help. But the staff on Virgin could not have been more kind, telling me to press the call button if/whenever I wanted to use their oxygen bottle. Ryanair recently pronounced that they had changed their way of treating their customers, so their ground and in-flight service should be the same.

Since that test, I've swallowed my pride and now request wheelchair assistance at check-in and landing. Having someone whisk you through all the necessary stop points, to and from the plane is great. The Boss loves it because she doesn't have to queue anywhere, just follow the nice guys pushing me. I've now had this ground service throughout Europe and the States and can highly recommend it, except for arriving at Heathrow. Without fail, the Heathrow team will keep you waiting, treat you like an unwanted animal and tell you that they are very busy today. But we survive !

After such a negative response, I do want to say, "Try your oxygen bottle!" In retrospect, my test was bound to produce different results from a pressurised air bottle. My concentrator was taking in thinner-than-usual air and condensing it. The result could not have given the same result that I get on the ground. Maybe, I should have increased the concentration from 3 to 4 litres/minute, on the plane. I could try it again, but I do love the wheelchair!

Take care of your mum.



Hello Decde, glad you mentioned Heathrow as I have found the same as you on landing! Wait, wait, wait! Dreadful service there!


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