4 Tips For Air Travel With An Oxygen Tank

Posted on: 25 October 2015

Are you dependent on an oxygen tank? Do you have a trip planned that involves a flight? For many people with oxygen tanks, flying can be an anxiety-inducing experience. The tank can be bulky and may be difficult to handle on a crowded plan. There's also the fear that the flight could be delayed or extended, putting a strain on your tank's battery. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to minimize these concerns. With a little preparation, you can make your travel experience fun and relaxing. Here are four steps to take as you prepare for your big trip:

Get your rental tank early. Your normal tank is likely too big and bulky to take on the plane, so you may be renting a smaller, portable tank. If so, get it a few days before you're scheduled to leave and use it frequently throughout those three days. You want plenty of time to make sure that the tank works properly and that you know how to operate it. The last thing you want is to find out mid-flight that your tank has a serious issue. If you rent it early, you can identify any problems and return the tank to get an operational one.

Find out the airline's requirements. Airlines often have specific requirements for any passengers traveling with an oxygen tank. For example, they may require you to have the battery charged to a certain level-- usually more than enough to make it through the flight. The airline also may need forms from your doctor that instruct on how much oxygen you need. This is important in case you should have issues during the flight and require medical attention. If you don't meet the airline's requirements, you may not be allowed to board the flight, so make sure you address these issues in advance.

Get a wheelchair. Yes, you may be fully capable of walking through the airport with your portable tank. However, airports offer wheelchairs precisely for these situations. Don't hesitate to use one. The wheelchair will help you exert less effort, which means you'll use less oxygen and preserve your battery. The wheelchair also may help you get through security faster so you can get to the gate and charge your tank quickly.

Go to the restroom right before you board. When you board the plane, you will almost certainly have to sit in a window seat. Airlines do this so other passengers won't have to navigate around your tank if they get up. However, that means that if you have to get up, you'll have to carry your tank over those people seated next to you. Try to avoid this by going to the restroom right before you board. Hopefully, that will eliminate any need to go during the flight so you can just sit in your seat and relax.

For more information, contact your airline and your oxygen tank provider like Home Medix Inc. They can give you more tips to make your trip stress-free and enjoyable.