Medical oxygen is a necessity for those with chronic diseases like COPD, emphysema or chronic Bronchitis. Traveling with medical oxygen can be difficult if you are not well prepared. It is important to know all the rules and also where to get oxygen at your final destination.
Before you go on vacation, you should check with your doctor and your oxygen company. Your doctor can provide you tips while your oxygen company and provide accurate info about where to get supplemental oxygen on the road. If there are no options, they will recommend that you can enough cylinders for your entire trip. For extended trips, your oxygen company will arrange to deliver to your final destination.
When travelling in a car, an oxygen tank can become a dangerous projectile in an accident. You must secure the unit properly. You oxygen company can tell you how depending on the type of oxygen system you have. A good rule of thumb is to always have them upright and secured so they don’t roll around.
When traveling by airplane, airlines will not allow you to bring your own oxygen cylinders aboard. They will have medical oxygen cylinders available for a fee. It is a good idea to do some research and notify the airline so they are prepared. Many airlines, such as Alaska Airlines, Delta, Frontier and Southwest, now allow travelers to bring aboard their own portable oxygen concentrators, but the airlines permit only the brands Inogen One or AirSep LifeStyle.
If you are going on a cruise, many cruise lines will allow you to bring your own oxygen. Some will even accept deliveries from medical supply companies. You will need to contact customer service of the cruise line to confirm their regulations.
When traveling by train, contact the customer service department to find out the regulations about traveling with a medical oxygen cylinder. Amtrak in the US requires 12 hours advance notice, each cylinder can weigh no more than 50 lbs and you cannot use Amtrak’s electrical power system. Every company and country has different regulations so do your research! Being well prepared will make your vacation so much smoother and fun!