Just because you have Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a well-earned vacation. And planning ahead will help you to enjoy every moment of your time away. Simply follow these tips from the American College of Chest Physicians to take the stress out of flying with portable oxygen.
- Make an appointment with your doctor to discuss your travel plans. Even if you don’t ordinarily use portable oxygen, your doctor may recommend you do so at least during the flight. According to the COPD Foundation, airplane cabins are pressurized to 8,000 feet, which might make it more difficult for you to breathe.
- Investigate different airlines. Review policies regarding portable oxygen and the cost of in-flight oxygen services. Make sure the airline can meet your needs before you book your flight. The American College of Chest Physicians points out that you can only use oxygen supplied by the airline or that is delivered through an FAA-approved portable oxygen concentrator.
- Notify the airline of your oxygen needs. The number of seats for those using oxygen may be limited, so learn the relevant restrictions when you book your flight. Remind the airline of your needs at least 48 hours prior to departure to make sure everything is in order.
- Make arrangements with your oxygen supplier. Let them know whether you need oxygen at your destination.
- Pack everything you need on the flight in a carry-on bag. Inhalers, medications and extra batteries for your portable oxygen concentrator should stay with you at all times.
- Arrive early to the airport. You may need extra time to pass through security with your oxygen equipment. Make sure you have a physician’s statement with you as you make your way through the airport to verify your need for portable oxygen.
- Speak with check-in personnel when you arrive at the gate. Tell them about your situation and ask for permission to pre-board, if possible.
These tips should ease your stress on travel day. For more about traveling with portable oxygen, download this free guide from DoMoreWithOxygen.com today.