Not everyone has the benefit of breathing their own air, as there are many individuals who must have supplemental oxygen. By no means does having the need for supplemental oxygen indicate that traveling is an adventure that must be forsaken. Traveling with oxygen can be very much intimidating at first thought; however, with strategic planning in advance, you can travel with oxygen in safety and in comfort.
There are a number of travel options including air, Amtrak (train), cruises, bus and car. All traveling options will have their own set of rules as to supplemental oxygen. Here are some tips for each of the above-mentioned traveling methods to help you have a safe and comfortable trip.
Air Travel with Oxygen
Each airport will have their own rules regarding supplemental oxygen. In fact, some airlines will not even provide supplemental oxygen during a flight. Therefore, it is important that when you call to make your reservation for supplemental oxygen aboard your flight, which can be required as much as one full week ahead of your scheduled flight, you request the airline’s procedures and policies.
It is vital to understand that during layovers, you must make your own arrangements for oxygen use.With that being said, it is better to choose a direct flight when traveling with oxygen by air. Note that you will need to provide a letter from your physician confirming your need for oxygen and that there will be a fee for the use of oxygen on board.
Amtrak Travel with Oxygen
Amtrak only requires a 12-hour advance notice of oxygen being brought on board; however, it is strongly recommended to make arrangements at the earliest possible time. Amtrak requires that you bring with you a 12-hour backup oxygen supply, which does not require electrical power. Any oxygen equipment brought on board the Amtrak must be F.M. or U.L. – Factory Mutual or Underwriter’s Laboratory – listed. The most a single passenger can bring on board is two 50-pound tanks or six 20-pound tanks.
Cruise Travel with Oxygen
The majority of the cruise lines have no problem accommodating the needs of those that require oxygen; however, they do require that you give them at least a 10-day notice. In addition, passengers will be required to bring their own equipment as well as oxygen. Medical Travel based in Florida offers a number of cruise sailings each year that have been specifically designed for those with oxygen needs.
Bus Travel with Oxygen
Greyhound requires an advance notice of 48 hours if you require the need of oxygen during your travel by bus. However, it is recommended to contact Greyhound and make arrangements as far in advance as humanly possible. Be sure to request the company’s policies and procedures on oxygen travel from customer relations. Greyhound will allow a total of four canisters per passenger – two of which can be on-board with the passenger and the other two must remain in the baggage compartment.
Car Travel with Oxygen
It is now easier than ever to travel by car with oxygen as portable oxygen concentrators are very convenient mainly due to the fact that they can run off a DC outlet! Traveling by car means that you are on your own schedule and can stop with no hassle at a medical supply company to refill if you begin to run low on oxygen. While it is easier and safer than ever to travel with oxygen by car, it is important to understand that you should never leave your oxygen in the trunk of your car as a safety precaution.