Traveling with Supplemental Oxygen

Summer vacation time is here, but people with COPD often feel reluctant to travel far from home. However, with proper preparation, even the patients who use supplemental oxygen can safely and easily travel wherever they wish to go, even by air. Here are a few tips:

  • Speak to your doctor about your travel plans.
  • Contact your airline, bus/train carrier or cruise line before your trip to learn their requirements for people traveling with oxygen. Some may require a signed release or documents from your doctor.
  • Portable oxygen concentrators (POC) are approved for air travel and are easy to carry. Be sure to pack additional fully charged batteries for your POC.
  • When choosing a place to stay, be sure it is smoke-free. Be cautious of activities that can trigger a COPD flare up – e.g. if you’re going to be outdoors, take your allergy medications before you leave the house.

The American Lung Association offers information on staying safe and healthy while traveling: