Oxygen Clients Still Free to Fly with Approved Portable Oxygen Concentrators
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. Recently heightened security measures have prompted questions surrounding the use of portable oxygen concentrators (POCs) onboard commercial flights. The Transportations Security Administration reports that POCs are still allowed through security checkpoints once screened, according to spokeswoman Sandra Cammaroto.
"All disability-related equipment, aids, devices and associated supplies are allowed through security checkpoints once they have undergone screening," says Cammaroto.
Home Health Products recently reported that diabetic supplies are permitted onboard aircraft. In addition, note that clients may also tek the following items beyond security checkpoints: wheelchairs, scooters, crutches, canes, walkers, prosthetic devices, casts, support braces, support appliances, service animals, orthopedic shoes, exterior medical devices, assistive/adaptive equipment, augmentation devices, ostomy supplies, medications and associated supplies, hearing aids, cochlear implants, tools for wheelchair disassembly/reassembly, personal supplemental oxygen, CPAP machines, respirators, baby apnea monitors, Braille note takers, slate and stylus, tools for prosthetic devices, and any other disability-related equipment and associated supplies.
Inogen Vice President of Marketing Daryl Risinger says air travel is gradually becoming easier for those requiring supplemental oxygen. "Even with recent restrictions to carry-on items, air travel for those passengers using a POC has continued to improve since the FAA provided clearance for the use of this new technology,? says Risinger. "Both our contact with representatives of the TSA and the increasing number of airlines accepting POCs indicates these organizations are working diligently to ensure travel for this segment of the population is as seamless as possible." Inogen manufacturers one of the FAA-approved POCs.
In addition, people with disabilities, those with prosthetic devices and those with medical conditions are not required to remove shoes during heightened security levels or during routine travel times. Those who keep their shoes on will be subjected to additional screening that includes a visual/physical and explosive trace detection sampling of footwear.
Travelers with disabilities or medical conditions should consider the following when traveling:
- Arrive at the airport well in advance, two to three hours prior to flight
- Follow all published rules on carry-on items and medications
- Bring documentation on medications, devices and medical condition if possible. This is not a requirement and will not exempt a passenger from the screening process.
- Pack medications in a clear bag separate from other carry-on items/bags
- Ensure medically prescribed medication bottles (name on bottle) match your ticket
- Exercise patience with the lines, delays and stringent screening procedures
Guidance and tips to travelers with disabilities is located on the Department of Homeland Security Transportation Security Administration Web site at www.tsa.gov.
This article originally appeared in the July 2006 issue of HME Business.