TRAVEL WITH OXYGEN


Traveling with oxygen can be very intimidating but with proper planning it can be accomplished comfortably and safely.  You don't have to give up the adventure of travel. You just have to make your arrangements in advance and be willing to take the extra time to confirm details prior to your trip. 

Air Travel
Most U.S. air carriers and many overseas carriers can provide service for passengers requiring oxygen.  The FAA requires a physician's statement of your oxygen needs in order to fly on a commercial airline. You cannot bring your own oxygen on board, you must use airline supplied oxygen. Requirements vary from carrier to carrier but, they all require arrangements be made in advance and they all charge for in-flight oxygen. Some airlines require only 48 hours advance notice while others require seven days. The best rule of thumb is make arrangements as far in advance as possible. All airlines charge for oxygen, but the charges vary. Some charge per canister, but most charge per for each leg of the flight.  The charges generally range between $50.00 and $150.00 per leg.  This means if you have to change planes on your trip you will be charged twice.  Therefore, if possible it is better to take a direct flight or even one with an extra stop, but no plane change. Airlines don't provide oxygen for in terminal use even during layovers.  You are responsible for making these arrangements separately. (Note: Some first aid stations in airports have oxygen available.) 

Some cylinders have a flow meter that adjusts from two liters to eight liters, while others offer either a low flow (2LM) or high flow (4LM). You cannot check oxygen containers with baggage, but most airlines will allow you to carry an empty portable tank either on board or checked with baggage. 

Tips for planning air travel

  • Start by checking with your physician to make sure it is safe for you to travel.
  • Contact the airline you want to use as far in advance as possible. 
  • The arrangements are best made through their special services or medical department.  Tell them you require in flight oxygen and ask their requirements. 
  • Find out what flow they can deliver and if they provide a mask or nasal cannula.  Some airlines only provide a mask but will allow you to provide your own cannula. 
  •  Confirm the arrangements 48 hours prior to your flight. 
  • It is a good idea to arrive early at least an hour and a half on domestic flights. 

Cruises

Most cruise lines will accept passengers who require oxygen.  Advance notice of at least 10 days is required.  A doctors letter is required and you must arrange and provide you own equipment and oxygen. To get specific requirements of the cruise line of your choice, contact their reservation number and ask for special services or medical department. If you would like to go on a cruise, but would like to have support available, Medical Travel offers a variety of group sailings each year designed specifically for oxygen users. 
 To find out more contact:
Medical Travel, Inc.
16555 White Orchid Lane - Delray Beach - Florida 33446
1.800.778.7953 (Toll Free) - 561.921.0496 (Wk) - 561.921.0009 (Fax)
Website: http://www.medicaltravel.org  E-mail: oxygen@medicaltravel.org


Train Travel - Amtrak

Oxygen equipment can be brought on board, but you cannot rely solely on on-board electrical power. You must have at least a 12 hour backup supply of oxygen that does not require the use of on-board electrical power. Oxygen tanks and associated equipment must be underwriter's Laboratory (U.L.) or Factory Mutual (F.M.) listed.  No more than two 75 pound or six 20 pound tanks are permitted on-board per passenger.

You should be aware of the total time of your trip so you can bring an adequate supply.  You should also bring at least 20% additional in case of delays.  If you are unable to bring enough oxygen (which maybe necessary if your oxygen is in use continuously), you will need to arrange with oxygen supply companies to resupply you at enroute stations. Check with a reservation sales agent to be sure that your train is stopping at those stations long enough to allow for the oxygen delivery.

You must notify Amtrak that you will be bringing oxygen on-board at least 12 hours in advance, but I highly recommend that you make your reservations as far in advance as possible and confirm the arrangements a day or two prior to departure.

For further details and restriction contact:
Amtrak
60 Massachusetts Ave. N.E.
Washington, DC  20002-4225
(800) USA-RAIL, ask for Special Service Desk 


Bus Travel - Greyhound

You must give Greyhound 48 hours notice if you are traveling with oxygen. However, it is a good idea to make reservations as far in advance as possible. When you're making reservations, ask to speak with someone in the Greyhound customer relations department. Request a copy of "Traffic Bulletin TFB2-86," which details Greyhound's policy for passengers traveling with oxygen. For more information contact:
Greyhound
P.O. Box 660362
Dallas, TX  75266-0362
(800) 822-2662 or (800) 752-4841, Customer Relations 


Resources for Arranging Oxygen for When Traveling

A good place to start is with your local supplier. National chains usually can assist by contacting their other offices to make the arrangements. Many local dealers belong to a network of oxygen providers and can also assist with the arrangements. 


An website called "Breathin Easy" has listings of oxygen suppliers located throughout North America  at http://www.breathineasy.com. The directory is also in a printed form.  Details on how to get a copy can be found on their web site.

Travel agents that specialize in trip planning for travelers with special needs often can assist with arranging oxygen.

The following companies can arrange oxygen in a growing number of destinations around the world.  They do charge a fee for the service, but will take care of all the details.

Medical Travel
16555 White Orchid Lane - Delray Beach - Florida 33446
1.800.778.7953 (Toll Free) - 561.921.0496 (Wk) - 561.921.0009 (Fax)
Website: http://www.medicaltravel.org* E-mail: oxygen@medicaltravel.org

The Oxygen Traveler
6307 Hansel Avenue - Orlando - Florida - 32809
1.800.308.2503 (Toll Free) - 407.438.8010 (wk) - 407.447.5312 (Fax)
Website: www.theoxygentraveler.com  -  Email:  info@theoxygentraveler.com





(C) 2000 Access-Able Travel Source

Access-Able Travel Source
P.O. Box 1796, Wheat Ridge, CO 80034
www.access-able.com
Email: access-able@comcast.net
Phone: 303-232-2979 Fax: 303-239-8486.

 Return to Travel Tips Page