hi, this is my first post, I'm due to pay my hols tomorrow and my family are so scared I fly now, I have emphazema, and Copd with a young family. I just wandered if anyone else has flown and what the effects are like as I am scared I end up in a Spanish hospital and my kids are young my condition has deteriorated since last July. Many thanks for any response

17 Replies

  • Hi Higgy!

    Welcome to the greatest site I know! 😁

    I am sure you will receive the information you are seeking here. There are those who understand Emphysema (a type of COPD?) much better than I do, so I will leave it to them to advise you.

    However I would say definitely visit your doctor before you go. I imagine alot would rest on your particular health status.

    Write a checklist of the things you need to be aware of and be ready to treat in case any of your symptoms become exacerbated while away (hopefully not). Best to take what you can from home and be prepared as much as possible.

    You are right to flag up flying. There may be special considerations for flying like arranging for supplementary oxygen should you need it.

    Make sure your family / friends you are travelling with? understand your condition and what to look out for.

    Travel insurance which covers your condition is very important. You don't want to end up in hospital in a different country without it!

    Check information shared recently on this site about that.

    All the best to you Higgy!

    Time with your family is important too I understand.

    Keep us posted.

    Aidi-Joll 🌻

  • Thank you so much

  • You will be fine I have flown many times no problem your holiday will be good for you just enjoy stop worrying

  • i am stage 3 but luckily my oxygen sats are always good , i see the consultant yesterday and asked him if i was ok to fly he said yes you will be fine but make sure to take your rescue pack with you , he said you are better to stick to Europe if you travel rather than doing long haul flights , but in your case it would be worth asking your doctor as every one is different ,

  • Hi

    When I was first diagnosed I was due to go to Spain a few months later. I had to have a fit to fly test which confirmed I would need oxygen on flight as during flight the oxygen within the aircraft is 20 percent less than sea level


  • Thanks everyone, for replying I've been worried for months. As I'm travelled with my 4 kids and don't want to scare them in flight or at other side. Many thanks once again

  • Make sure you take out holiday insurance near or before you make the booking. Often annual is as cheap as 1 or 2 weeks. But if you need to cancel you will not be covered if you only take it out a few days before you fly!

    Happy holiday


  • Thanks for your advice.

  • Just a thought, I've got travel insurance on my lloyds Bank account.

    If you're travelling to Europe you can have a European Health Card. You're supposed to receive the equivilant to NHS care in other European countries. It doesn't always work though (in my experience) so it's wise to take out health insurance.

    My neighbour fell ill in Colorado at New Year. It was serious, the bill was £80,000. Luckily she was ensured but still had to pay a large share of that. One ambulance ride was £8000 😳!

    Best to speak to your doctor before you travel and ask for an emergency pack of antibiotics and steroids if you take them.

    Good luck. P

  • Be aware that a number of insurance companies will demand a fit to fly letter from your GP or consultant. Some will also ask a aircraft simulation pressure test. The affect of pressure in a plane is different in a number of COPD patients. For example I normally run at 98%. On the Aircraft I dropped to 92%. Those on Oxygen normally require an adjustment in the level of oxygen. To be safe and to stop worry as for an aircraft test.

  • Hi Badbessie I was refused my fit to fly letter😢

  • Hi all, I'm reluctant to say I never got my fit to fly letter yesterday according to my GP I'm unfit to fly 😢 I have to tell my kids no holidays and probably lose my deposit . I'm so dissapointed for there sake. The GP says they have to go by new flying regulations set down by airlines. I was going to chance it. But I've decided not to as I am traveling with kids. Thanks again for your support

  • Hi Higgy. We are all so different. I am 70 next week and have Emphysema and COPD and my consultant has advised me not to fly and so we have tried a couple of cruises over the last 4 years. Sadly each time I have caught a virus we suspect from air conditioning which is even more polluted on planes! So We stay in UK now. I was told that it was not just about Oxygen levels but pressure on lungs and so on. You need to talk to your respiratory team. Also its all very well getting to the destination but if you get an infection while away you may have to stay until the infection is cleared up before returning. Lots to think about.

  • Thank you hallentine for your reply I've learned more of you than the GP, I am 44 and only in the last 4 months things have taken a nosedive. I also have COPD and emphysema and actually looked at cruising last night I just feel bad for my young family not going on holiday. Much appreciated advise many thanks

  • Welcome to this site. I'm new myself. But learning a lot, from these lovely people.

  • Yes they are, no question is a hassle for an answer, I find it really helpful reading the posts and taking the advice.

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