Blood/Oxygen levels to fly: Hi Everyone... - British Lung Foun...

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Blood/Oxygen levels to fly


Hi Everyone

I am able to FLY ? I have COPD and half a left lung removed.

I purchased a Blood/Oxygen Monitor, my blood/oxygen levels at sitting reads 92, my flight is around 1.5 hours , so a short flight, am i able to fly with these readings of 92, how far will my readings drop once in the air, any advice would be helpful. as at easter i need to go visit my family.


12 Replies

Hi, sorry cant help, but I'm sure someone will come along to help you xxx😊

Hello Guy, I can't help either. I would have thought you'd need to speak to your respiratory consultant. Don't you need a letter from him/her to fly? And you'll also need to contact the airline.

Good luck with it. Sue x

Hi Guy, I also have copd and half left lung removed and I also have asthma. I have flown to Europe without any problems but I did speak to my consultant first and my sitting oxygen levels are generally higher than yours. Also, if you're going to need travel insurance, I use Insurancewith who deal with loads of medical problems and are very reasonable. Good luck!

It does not depend on your reading now but on what it would be in flight, where less oxygen is available. Your consultant can arrange a 'fit-to-fly' test which simulates flying conditions to see whether or not supplemental oxygen will be needed.

Good morning I have IPf and a regular flier . I had a fit to fly test last year and was given the go ahead. One important factor is oxygen levels are 21% and in planes it is 16% so your oxygen levels will drop when on board. You should be ok for 1 .5 hours but would get a fit to fly test before you go. My levels dip on the plane To 88-90 and always get swollen ankles so also good idea to wear flight socks. Hope that helps

Guy59 in reply to Gillsboy

That's interesting to know , thank you very much, what are your levels outside plane resting?

Gillsboy in reply to Guy59

At rest 97-98 but on exertion down to 85. On plane 90, go to the toilet I'd waling drop to 85.

Guy59 in reply to Gillsboy

But at rest I am well below you at 92, so in a plane , will be lower also

I've had fit to fly usually if you don't go below 87 on the test you would be OK,my resting Sats are around 95'walking I use oxygen with 5 litres oxygen ,I'm usually ok short haul but do really drop on long haul so I have to have oxygen,then all the hassle starts,fit to fly,letters and usually have to be dated within 28 days,only one person per flight ,different airlines different criteria,some you pay for o2 some don't charge,if you are using a POC you may need letters for that,good luck I hope you can get away without O2 for a while longer.Sooki.

Guy59 in reply to Sooki

Thanks for reply, what exactly do you have to do on the fit to fly test, would be nice to know, thanks

Usually sit for 20 minutes with oxygen ,they turn cylinder down to same level as on the plane,it's not very scientific ,as you don't speak or move,or sometimes they will take a blood sample from your ear to check o2 levels.My fit to fly said I was ok but on the flight when I got up for the loo it dropped to 70 ,that was a long haul flight to USA,so they don't bother with tests now just recommend I use oxygen..

You usually need a fit to fly test and papers to submlt to airline most airlines will only take one passenger on o2per flight also some airlines charge for the supply of the o2 others don't so search around . also tell them you require help boarbing and help getting to departure point and also help from the arrival point ..

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