Flying with oxygen: Hi my parent been... - British Lung Foun...

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Flying with oxygen

Josse profile image

Hi my parent been told he has to take his own oxygen on the plane to turkey we have been cleared by jet 2 to take 2 doctor says he might have to take 3 cylinders if he can go as had a chest infection suffers with copd.does he have to keep oxygen mask on throughout the flight?and will he be ok if he doesn't take oxygen for the last hour?what will happen if he doesn't take it?first time travelling with oxygen probley the last to much hassle nobody knows advice I want

41 Replies

I have been checking into oxygen for travel myself and I wish I could advise you but I don't know much yet. I am learning that renting oxygen is only good in the continental USA and if you want to go out of the country I think you need your on machine. They are expensive between 2k and 3 k... I also learned that you need 2.5 times the battery life for a Portable oxygen concentrator when you fly. I don't think the airlines makes you wear the oxygen. It depend upon the patients needs.

Maybe you could call inogen and see if they can help you with things. I do not think it is that difficult it just seems like it while learning everything. Good luck.

Josse profile image
Josse in reply to punkyb

Hi my partner got to take the oxygen cylinders on board which is free charge from doctors as he had a fit to fly test where as Thomson airflow supply the oxygen which is better so u don't carry them arould.just wondering what happens if he doesn't use it Altime on flight.thanks for reply

Grampy16 profile image
Grampy16 in reply to punkyb

I used to be able to use my inogen portable oxygen concentrator on airlines the have to be an approved model for flying you also need a letter from the Dr. Iam unable to fly anymore as I am now on oxygen 24/7 with a flow of 8 liters constant and airlines do not allow live oxygen tanks

I'm sorry to say from what you have said I think the gentleman should think again about taking this trip, if he is suffering with a chest infection particularly so. I think you would find the insurance company would not cover him for chest related problems anyway now.

At all costs don't consider not taking O2 for the last hour he could run into all sorts of problems.

Presumably you have in place arrangements for O2 at your destination and for the transfer from the airport. If he needs oxygen on the flight does he need it normally?

I understand the desire to take a holiday, I have just gone through all the 'hassle' as you say myself.

I'm sorry I can't help and that this is discouraging for you please consider thoroughly, and take care.

Josse profile image
Josse in reply to Ambiman

Hi my partner had chest infection last week he goes for check up today I was just wondering if he doesn't use it all the way through flight?he doesn't use oxygen at home and doesn't need it at resort just on plane.thanks

jjnanna profile image
jjnanna in reply to Josse

But why only on plane ?

Joy123 profile image
Joy123 in reply to jjnanna

Because everybody's oxygen levels drop whilst in flight. Some of ours are low anyway and not good if they go even lower! Joy

Josse profile image
Josse in reply to jjnanna

Hi as it's the pressure on the plane everything shrinks when u on the plane.

the altitude that the plane fly's at changes your oxy level. I had an experience of that just flying to Spain believe me it was really scary. Had fit to fly test next holiday and have to have it, in fact on it 16 hours a day now.

Ambiman profile image
Ambiman in reply to Josse

Have tried to speak to Jer2 about allowing another. Cylinder I have found them helpful, don't be tempted to go without,

I have travelled frequently from the UK into Europe but not to Turkey. I have always taken 2 oxygen cylinders with me and use them with a conserver which is supplied by whoever supplies his home oxygen. That way an oxygen tank lasts twice as long as normal. He does not need it for take off or landing but does for the rest of the flight. He should certainly not fly if he has a chest infection so he must be well. Hope this helps you

Josse profile image
Josse in reply to gingermusic

Thank you

Hi Josse

It all depends. The way you have put it all it sounds like he is on oxygen 24/7 You take oxygen if and when you need it. You make it sound like he needs it all the time, you will not be able to get insurance for him and Turkey not in the EEC so no free medical. You will not be doing him any favours totake hm If on oxygen 24/7.

Josse profile image
Josse in reply to Shaurene

No sorry he only takes oxygen on flights we only got told that this week thanks

I would think it dangerous for him to be without oxygen in flight. Has he had a fit-to-fly test? This would assess his oxygen needs and is usually required by the airline. Why not ring the BLF Helpline and speak to one of the staff there for some expert advise? 03000 030 555 during office hours Mon - Fri.

Josse profile image
Josse in reply to mrsmummy

Yes we did all that just a case now he need another oxygen bottle of doctor says he's ok to go today.we have had clearance to take 2 just hassle to get clearance for another one.

I think one cylinder lasts for 2 hours with intake of 2L/mt. So you have to know the travel time.

Buy a portable pulse oxymeter. It's not very expansive & uses 2 ,2A batteries . It clips on on a finger.

Make sure that oxygen saturation on pulse oxymeter does not drop below 92%.

Ideally oxygen saturation should be maintained around 95%.

Amount of oxygen used depends on patients oxygen saturation on the ground.

mrsmummy profile image
mrsmummy in reply to Wajahat

An oxygen saturation level of 88 - 92% is usually recommended in the UK for those using supplemental oxygen.

Wajahat profile image
Wajahat in reply to mrsmummy

That's even better

that seems to vary a bit, some dr's jump up and down at 89/90 !

Thank you I ask doctor about this

You have small light weight portable Oxygen concentrator machines like the Airsep Focus which you can carry in future. They are the size of ladies hand bags.......

They run on in built batteries, car batteries or outside power supply.

My wife has one......and she uses them when she goes out.

Josse profile image
Josse in reply to eleena100

Thanks but appartly you cannt use them on the plane it's just the oxygen cylinders and he only need it for the flight

eleena100 profile image
eleena100 in reply to Josse

You can uses the portable oxygen concentrator on planes.

You can carry it where ever you like for additional support, if necessary.

If your insurance does not cover it, you can try to get a refurbished piece.

It will not be very expensive.

eleena100 profile image
eleena100 in reply to eleena100

You can even rent of the models for your trip....

That should be quite workable......

Bobfirmin profile image
Bobfirmin in reply to eleena100

Jet2 have just supplied with an extensive list of Portable Oxygen Concentrators that they have approved. Ask your airline.

rogerw117 profile image
rogerw117 in reply to Josse

There's no problem with POCs on flights and much, much less of a hassle than three cylinders. The airline needs to approve in advance, of course.

Turkey does not have a great Medical support record. I think the suggestion of a Oxymeter is a great idea and are quite cheap from Amazon. As a few have said the takeoff and landing are not so much a problem it is when you are at a higher altitude it thins the air we breathe.

I do not have O2 at home but have been told not to fly as I may not be fit to fly on the return plus insurance is far too high with too many clauses?

Enjoy the holiday all the same and be safe.

Be well

Surely if he needs that much oxygen he will need it in Turkey too ?? You need to talk to somebody first about how much he needs, and maybe go on a shorter flight like Spain or France. Do make sure you have the correct insurance too x

If he's been prescribed oxygen whilst flying he should use it all the time whilst at high altitude. When he had the fitness to fly test he should of been told flow rate needed etc. Also, if airline is supplying oxygen you don't get given it until you've taken off and it is collected before landing. So 'all the time' means at high altitude. I also take it off for trips to toilet and whilst eating. Coming back from Dubai I was without oxygen for over an hour whilst the plane queued to land. I see your parent is taking his own oxygen. Has he arranged some for return flight? Probably easier if you ask airline to supply it. Some airlines do and some don't, some charge and some don't. I went to Turkey with BA they were very good, simple paperwork and oxygen was free. I've heard they are withdrawing this service soon though, what a pity. I'd give Jet2 a call re third cylinder, it all seems complicated to us but, from my experience, the airlines cope with us! Good luck and I hope your parent has a good holiday and chest infection doesn't stop the trip. Joy.

Josse profile image
Josse in reply to Joy123

Hi jet 2 doesn't supply the oxygen we have got clearance for two bottles if doctor says it's ok to fly today but now need a third as we didn't know the size of the cylinders.and her doctors are not much help but quick enough to charge you for the letter to send to airlines.i just thought if he didn't have to use it all time on flight we might get away with 2 as he doesn't know if he has to keep it on all the time.i am going to have to go to doctors with him as he doesn't ask nothing.thanks

I don't know what his required usage is but the airlines here do not allow live oxygen we need to havebattery operated units and enough batteries to get fromantic the complete process airport, flight, final destination airport plus

I don't know the answer to whether 3 cylinders is needed instead of 2 but I can tell you that if you are flying to Turkey it will be easy to get replacement oxygen for the return journey from there. I lived in Turkey for 6 years and found it easy to get medical stuff. I lived near Marmaris. If you are going there I can even tell you where to go for supplies and inhalers etc

Josse profile image
Josse in reply to pamelapitstop

Thanks for your advice but my parent just come back from the doctors and she advise him not to go away.his oxygen level ok but still bad with I am going alone.thank you

Joy123 profile image
Joy123 in reply to Josse

Oh! I'm sorry to hear that. I hope chest infection will clear soon. Joy.

British airways will let you use their emergency drop down oxygen in the cabin if you register with them. I flew to the US on it and it worked brilliantly. Buy a second hand portable concentrator. Internal US flights will charge you $250 for an oxygen cylinder during a flight. Pay the ticket price extra and fly with BA for the cabin oxygen, it's worth it plus you will get wheelchair access and on the plane first.

Joy123 profile image
Joy123 in reply to sichatha

I've never heard of that and BA have never suggested it to me. What flow rate would that be? That's very important to some people. Joy.

Sorry but that is not true that BA will let you use the drop down oxygen masks. That supply is for emergencies only and probably lasts around 15 / 20 mins at most, if that. It is to get you from high altitude to lower one only. BA will supply cylinders free of charge, although you have to submit a fit to fly note which will also cover the litres per min. Mine is set up before take off and removed after landing. I fly 3 times a year with BA and I find them brilliant. Also have not heard anything about them removing that service - not sure they can as it would amount to discrimination.

Have recently flown with BA to Cyprus. They provided an oxygen bottle going out & for return journey at no cost. Unfortunately it is true that they'll be withdrawing this service from early next year. I was booking oxygen for my next trip and the passenger assistance lady told me this was happening next year. You are, however, allowed to take your own oxygen concentrator on board, though we know they're very expensive. They don't view it as discrimination as they're not saying they won't carry you, just that you need to supply your own oxygen 🌻

Hi. I've done a few flights this year with oxygen, and a few more to go - here's what I can tell you:

BA will allow you to use the on-board oxygen bottle (not the drop-down mask) if you book it in advance and get a doctor to fill out a form. However they will stop offering this from May 2018 which will bring them into line with most other airlines.

All airlines allow P.O.Cs on board. They will have a list of approved brands. The most common are Inogen and Airsept. Rent one from for around £250 per week. They are very knowledgeable there. P.O.C.s are much easier than oxygen bottles. You can get P.O.C.s on the NHS but you're not supposed to travel with them.

Each airline has a different policy on what notice you need to give them before you fly if you are bringing oxygen, whether bottles or a P.O.C. (No one will allow Liquid Oxygen).

For example EasyJet allow P.O.Cs on board and you don't have to give any notice, however you do need a doctor's letter certifying you have a genuine medical need and that you are stable.

Google your airline name plus the word "oxygen" and you will find the part of their website which tells you their policy.

Sorry if this is all old news to many of you, but hopefully it sums up much of the above.

Can you help we are traveling to turkey soon and my dad uses oxygen at home where can we get this in marmaris please

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