Things to Keep in Mind for Air Travel with Your iGo
Since May 2009, the U.S. Department of Transportation has recognized portable oxygen concentrators (POCs) as personal assistive devices and mandated that airlines allow approved devices on board flights that have a starting or ending point in the United States.
Although the FAA has approved the use of certain portable oxygen concentrators for use on airlines, each airline must also approve the use of each portable oxygen concentrator for use on their aircraft. Currently, the following airlines have authorized use of the iGo for use on their aircraft:
If your airline does not appear on this list, you must contact your airline to ascertain if you can use the iGo on their aircraft.
DeVilbiss Healthcare is actively working with all domestic airlines to achieve authorization of the use of iGo in flight. To access airline regulations, required physician consent forms and a list of approved devices, please click here.
There are several important things to keep in mind to make your journey a smooth and safe one.
Make the airline aware you’ll be traveling with your iGo
When you make reservations directly or through a travel agent, inform them about your travel with an iGo POC and ask them to note it in your travel record.
Travel smart in terms of seat location and beverage intake
Ask for an aisle seat and don’t select a bulkhead aisle with no place to put your unit under a seat. Avoid caffeine and carbonated drinks that can make you feel bloated and require additional trips to the restroom.
Arrive early at the airport
Try to be there at least two hours before your flight. Baggage checking and the security process can cause delays before you board your plane.
Bring your prescription and signed physician consent form
As POCs have only been approved since May 2009, airport and airline staff may not be completely familiar with them. Having a copy of your prescription and a completed and signed physician consent form can speed the process.
Be ready to pre-board
Most airlines will request that you pre-board the airplane before the majority of passengers. As you’ll need time to set up your iGo in an under-seat location, take advantage of this opportunity.
Make sure you have sufficient battery power for your flight(s)
Your iGo is powered by an advanced lithium battery that can last up to 5.4 hours on setting 1 in PulseDose® mode. You may need an extra charged battery for higher flow rates, longer trips or multi-flight journeys. Remember, airline delays are likely so it’s best to be prepared. Of course you can conserve battery power by using AC power in the airport before, between, or after flights and recharge your battery at the same time.
Airline mandates related to portable oxygen concentrators vary, so be sure to speak with a representative of your specific carrier prior to your flight(s). Usually an airline will request information such as this (which is included in a physician consent form):
- If the user is able to operate the POC and respond to its alarms, and if not, if the user is traveling with a companion capable of performing these functions.
- The phases of the flight (taxi, takeoff, cruise, landing) during which use of the device is medically necessary
- The maximum flow rate corresponding to cabin pressure under normal operating conditions, typically approximately 8,000 feet.
Airlines also generally require proof that you have sufficiently charged batteries to last 150% of anticipated flight times, including pre-boarding, flight, landing and layover. Please be sure to check with your airline regarding their specific requirements.