Traveling With Your Portable Oxygen Concentrator

Traveling With Your
Portable Oxygen
Some bus lines (such as Greyhound), do allow portable oxygen concentrators and respirators to
accompany you on your travels. A maximum of four containers may travel with the customer – two on
the bus and two in the baggage compartment. The maximum dimensions for each container may not
exceed 4.5” height x 26” length. Customers are responsible for ensuring that they have enough oxygen
to complete their travel and are also responsible for making arrangements for refills while en-route.
Oxygen canisters stored in baggage compartments must be in their protective cases with safety caps
on the valves.
Cars & RV’s
When traveling by car you can plug your portable oxygen concentrator into your vehicle’s cigarette
lighter or DC outlet to use the unit without running down the unit’s battery. Just as you would with
your cell phone car charger, leave your portable oxygen concentrators car charger in your vehicle
and plug it in on the way to your destination. Be sure to leave windows cracked for proper ventilation.
It’s advised that you carry a few spare oxygen tanks in case of a break down. Do not leave tanks
in the car unattended.
While FAA regulations do not require that you tell your air carrier about your Portable Oxygen
Concentrator in advance, nearly all airlines ask that they be notified at least 48 hours in advance
to travel. In order to bring your POC onto the plane with you, you will need to furnish
a copy of a physician’s order for your airline. You should check with your airline before obtaining this
order from your doctor, some airlines have forms that they require you use. FAA regulations also
describe where passengers using POC’s must sit & where they must stow their POC’s. Passengers using
POC’s may not sit in exit rows, nor may their POC block another passenger’s access to seats or
to the airplanes aisles. You must be able to see the alarm lights on your POC when it is stowed. Ideally,
you should keep your POC under the seat in front of you.
Air carriers are not required to let you plug your POC into the planes electrical system. You will need
to plan ahead and bring enough batteries to power your POC for your entire flight, including gate time,
taxi time, take off, in-air time and landing. Almost all US air carriers require you to bring enough
batteries to power your POC for 150 percent of “flight time”. This includes every minute spent
onboard the aircraft, plus an allowance for gate holds and other delays. You will need to contact your
airline to find out what your flight time will be, add in a reasonable estimate for delays and transfer
times, and multiply that by 150% (1.5).
Extra batteries must be carefully packed in your carry-on. You must ensure that terminals on batteries
are taped and protected from coming in contact with other items (Some batteries have recessed terminals,
which do not need to be taped). You will not be allowed to bring your batteries with you if they are not
packed properly. Your portable oxygen concentrator and extra batteries are considered medical
devices. While they will need to be screened by TSA personnel they will not be counted against your
carry-on baggage allowance
Cruise Lines
Most cruise lines do allow guest to travel with oxygen. Guests using portable oxygen concentrator or
other breathing apparatus’ are responsible for traveling with their own supply of oxygen. Guests must
bring enough oxygen to last the duration of the cruise, onboard oxygen supplies are for emergency
uses only.
If you choose to hand carry your oxygen, packing oxygen cylinders and/or tanks in your luggage is
strictly prohibited, as is putting them through security x-ray machines. Please hand-carry your oxygen
machines and do not place them in your checked luggage.
Medical Centers on board the vessels are equipped with oxygen for emergency use only. If you require
the use of oxygen you must arrange for an adequate supply to be delivered to the ship on your sailing
date. Guest services will be able to assist with proper storage of all oxygen once onboard your vessel.
Some train lines (such as Amtrak) allow their passengers to travel with their oxygen equipment. It is
allowed only for those passengers with disabilities. Most train lines require that you give notice in
advance. Some equipment restrictions for your travel include, but may not be limited to, the following:
Power Source:
• Oxygen equipment, including oxygen
concentrators, must be able to operate a
minimum of four hours without
available onboard electrical power (in
event of power disruption on board)
• Weight Limits: The total weight
of all tanks may not exceed 120 lbs.
No more than 2 tanks, 50 lbs each or no more
than 6 tanks, 20 lbs each
• UL or FM Listed: Oxygen equipment
must be Underwriter’s Laboratory (UL)
or Factory Mutual (FM) listed.
775.770.7110 for a full listing of medical products.