What is a POC?
A portable oxygen concentrator (POC) is used to provide a convenient oxygen supply for those requiring supplementary oxygen. It is very similar to a home concentrator, but smaller, lighter and easier to carry. The POC makes it more convenient to travel outside one's home, and many are now approved by the US Department of Transportation and the Federal Aviation Administration as carry-on luggage for airline travel.
Resources for supplemental oxygen and inhalersplus
The Supplemental Oxygen Guide
A comprehensive list of frequently asked questions for supplemental oxygen users.
A User's Perspective of Portable Oxygen
Created by Dr. Peter Wilson, this website contains descriptions of all types of portable oxygen systems, traveling with oxygen, safety, as well as a Q&A section.
How to Use Asthma and COPD Inhalers Correctly
An interactive audio-visual online inhaler training is now available free for Asthma and COPD patients in English and Spanish.
AARC's New Patient Guide for Aerosol Delivery: Helping Patients Improve Their Breathing Treatments
The AARC has an educational resource called "A Patient's Guide to Aerosol Drug Delivery" to help respiratory patients understand today's confusing world of aerosol drug delivery. The growing number of aerosol medications and devices coming to market over the past few years has been great for offering various methods of delivering aerosols, but it has also complicated learning how to take these medications.
Companies that provide oxygen therapyplus
Traveling with Oxygen
Oxygen Travel Fund
The Alpha-1 Foundation has an Oxygen Travel Fund that provides oxygen and equipment for Alphas in financial need to travel to their physicians, hospitals and to Alpha-1 educational events.
To learn more about how to apply for support from this fund, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-877-228-7321 ext. 251.
A minimum of 30 days' notice is needed to arrange travel with supplemental oxygen utilizing this program. This fund was made possible by the generosity of CSL Behring and Grifols.
Resources for traveling with oxygenplus
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has a program designed to help passengers with disabilities and medical conditions. TSA Cares will help make the screening process easier, and will allow travelers to be better prepared upon their arrival to the airport.
Air Charity Network
Air Charity Network is a national volunteer network for patient air transportation.
The National Patient Air Transport Helpline
The National Patient Air Transport Helpline provides information about all forms of charitable, long-distance medical air transportation and provides referrals.
Delta Airlines - Economy Comfort at No Extra Charge
A note for anyone traveling by Delta Airlines and flying with oxygen: If you book your flight on Delta in an economy seat, you can then call Delta’s Disability Assistance line, 1-404-209-3434, and the airline will give you economy comfort seating at no extra charge.
While this is a policy of Delta Airlines, if you are flying with oxygen on a different airline, it can’t hurt to ask!
Check with each airline at least two weeks in advance regarding their policies for use of POCs.
Inform the airlines that you are traveling with a POC when making your reservation.
Confirm your reservation and fax all necessary documents to the airlines well in advance of your flight. However, some airlines require a specific Medical Information Form. Also, airlines may require your Physician form to be signed on the physician’s office letterhead. Always be sure to check with the airline you’re using.
Bring all documentation with you. Many airlines require you to carry a prescription for oxygen and the signed letter from your physician during travel.
Allow extra time to pass through security checkpoints
Inform the airline at check-in and boarding that you are traveling with a POC.
Inquire about using an electrical outlet while you wait to board the plane, to conserve battery power.
Make sure you travel with adequate battery supplies for the duration of your scheduled flight, including layovers or possible delays.
Once you arrive at your destination, remember to recharge your batteries for your return trip.
All airline flights which take off or land in the United States are now required to allow DOT-approved POCs to be carried on and used aboard the plane. However, many airlines require notification of POC carry-ons. We suggest you call at least two weeks before your departure. Air travel with oxygen on flights between European countries may be more difficult.
Some airlines require a specific Medical Information Form. Also, airlines may require your Physician form to be signed on the physician’s office letterhead. Always be sure to check with the airline you’re using.
Report a Problem
If you encounter a problem with an airline regarding portable oxygen concentrators, please contact the COPD Helpline at (866) 316-2673.