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Which Airlines provide Inflight Oxygen or Portable Oxygen Concentrators?

Passengers taking inflight oxygen with medical needs

Traveling by air is not convenient for all, especially for those with medical needs, such as the requirement for supplemental oxygen. Whether due to chronic respiratory conditions or other health issues, the necessity for inflight oxygen is an important concern that can dictate travel plans and choices.

Numerous airlines across the globe have taken significant steps to accommodate the requirement of in-flight oxygen to their passengers. In this comprehensive guide, you will know which airlines currently offer inflight oxygen services and allow the use of portable oxygen concentrators (POCs).

Inflight Oxygen and Portable Oxygen Concentrators (POCs)

If you have medical problems like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and restrictive or interstitial lung diseases, you must be aware of two main options available while traveling by air.

  • Inflight oxygen services 
  • Portable Oxygen Concentrators (POCs)

Both inflight oxygen & POCs come with their guidelines as per the airline’s in-flight oxygen policy and FAA approvals.

Inflight Oxygen Services

This refers to the oxygen supply provided directly by the airline, typically through a built-in system on the aircraft. This service is important for those who cannot use POCs or prefer not to rely on their own devices.

  • Airlines offering this service usually require you to request oxygen well in advance of their flight.
  • This allows the airline to prepare the necessary equipment and ensure that everything is set up to meet the specific medical requirements.
  • Generally, airlines charge a reasonable fee for this service.
  • Its availability can vary depending on the requirement and the specific aircraft.

Portable Oxygen Concentrators (POCs)

POCs are medical devices that concentrate the surrounding air to provide ample oxygen. They are a popular choice for travelers because they are generally smaller and more convenient than traditional oxygen tanks.

  • The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has approved certain models of POCs for use during flights. 
  • Most airlines require that these devices meet specific FAA standards.

Airlines in the USA Providing Inflight Oxygen Services

If you require supplemental oxygen while traveling to/from the USA, you will need to have careful planning and coordination with the airline. In the United States, several leading airlines offer oxygen services to fulfill your needs to ensure comfort during your journey.

All the major air carriers in the US, including Delta, American, United, as well as Southwest provide inflight oxygen to fulfill its passengers’ needs. Below are their policies and guidelines on the same:

Delta Airlines

Transitioning to modern requirements, Delta Airlines also provides FAA-approved Portable Oxygen Concentrators (POCs) for passengers requiring supplemental oxygen.

  • A notification 48 hours before flight departure is mandatory for accommodation purposes. 
  • POCs must be in working condition with adequate battery life to last the entire flight and any potential delays. 
  • When traveling with Delta Airlines, you must ensure tight POC packaging and handling for safety.

American Airlines

American Airlines allows passengers to use FAA-approved Portable Oxygen Concentrators (POCs), ensuring those with supplemental oxygen needs can fly comfortably.

  • Verification of the device’s compliance and operational demonstration at the gate is required.
  •  A battery supply lasting at least 150% of the flight’s total duration, including possible delays, is mandated to guarantee uninterrupted service.

United Airlines

Providing specialized services, United Airlines offers oxygen solutions on select routes, including flights between Guam, Palau, and other specific locations. For other flights, passengers should bring their oxygen devices, adhering to United Airlines Oxygen Policy.

  • Organizing oxygen service requires a 48-hour notice and a fee per segment.
  • This enables United Airlines to address passengers’ needs while ensuring safety and compliance.

Southwest Airlines

Accommodating medical needs, Southwest Airlines allows the use of FAA-approved Portable Oxygen Concentrators (POCs) in battery mode during flights.

  • Passengers must have enough fully charged batteries to cover 150% of the expected flight duration, including any unforeseen delays.
  • Southwest Airlines’ in-flight oxygen policy ensures oxygen requirements for its special passengers throughout their journey consistently.

Airlines in the UK Offering Inflight Oxygen Services 

Travelers in the UK who require supplemental oxygen have several reliable options when choosing airlines that accommodate such medical needs.

Major air carriers based in the United Kingdom, like Virgin Atlantic and British Airways provide in-flight oxygen with their varying policies:

Virgin Atlantic

Virgin Atlantic does not provide therapeutic medical oxygen on board, and the use of personal oxygen cylinders is not approved for flights. However, passengers may use approved Portable Oxygen Concentrators (POCs) if they own or rent them.

  • As per Virgin Atlantic’s oxygen policy, passengers must complete the Battery Approval Request.
  • Passengers must submit the request to the Virgin Atlantic oxygen provider i.e. OxygenToGo, at least 48 hours before flying.

British Airways

Providing focused care, British Airways offers therapeutic oxygen but it limits to one on board, which requires early booking to secure this service.

Passengers needing inflight oxygen must contact British Airways’ Medical Clearance unit to arrange this service.

Other Major Airlines Offering Inflight Oxygen

Besides the UK-based and USA-based air carriers, several major airlines, like Lufthansa, Emirates, Air France provide inflight oxygen facilities to their passengers.

A few prominent airlines are discussed below:


Lufthansa offers a limited supply of extra oxygen onboard. Below are the guidelines given by the airline for inflight oxygen:

  • Those needing this service must contact the Lufthansa Medical Operation Centre at least 48 hours before departure to make the necessary arrangements.
  • Lufthansa inflight oxygen service is subject to a fee, and availability may vary depending on the flight and aircraft capabilities.


Emirates provides therapeutic oxygen onboard at no extra charge. Passengers must complete a medical form specifying their required flow rate at least 48 hours before their flight to utilize this service.

  • Emirates allows passengers to bring their FAA-approved POC without the need for a medical form.
  • These devices must have sufficient battery power for the entire journey, as in-seat power sources are not available.

Air France

Air France provides in-flight oxygen, though it is a fee-based service that must be requested at least 48 hours before departure.

  • Air France provides a specially designed kit that functions on demand to fulfill oxygen requirements.
  • The availability of Air France inflight oxygen service may vary by airport and flight. 

Air Canada

Air Canada allows oxygen-dependent passengers to choose between bringing their own POC or purchasing the airline’s Medipak oxygen service. This service requires medical approval and must be arranged 48 hours before departure.

  • The fees for Medipak oxygen vary depending on the flight route.
  • Passengers need to plan and confirm costs in advance.

Singapore Airlines

Singapore Airlines complies with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) rules, allowing the use of certain POC devices and CPAP machines onboard.

  • This device must have sufficient battery power for 150% of the flight duration, ensuring compliance and safety throughout the journey.
  • Passengers must ensure that their devices fit under the seat in front of them.

To wrap up, for travelers requiring supplemental oxygen, understanding airline policies on inflight oxygen and Portable Oxygen Concentrators (POCs) is very important. So, if you’re flying with certain medical needs always contact your airline in advance to ensure all requirements are met.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Which airlines provide inflight oxygen?

Several domestic and international airlines provide inflight oxygen including Delta Airlines, American Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, British Airways, Lufthansa, etc. Each airline has its policies regarding providing oxygen through their systems or by allowing Portable Oxygen Concentrators (POCs).

What airlines allow portable oxygen concentrators?

Airlines that allow passengers to bring and use FAA-approved portable oxygen concentrators include Delta Airlines, American Airlines, United Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, Emirates, and Singapore Airlines.

Can you take compressed oxygen on a plane?

Generally, most airlines do not allow passengers to bring compressed oxygen tanks aboard commercial flights due to safety regulations. You may also carry or use FAA-approved portable oxygen concentrators instead as per the airline guidelines.

Can you bring an oxygen tank on an airplane?

Due to safety concerns, most airlines prohibit the use of personal oxygen tanks and instead require the use of Portable Oxygen Concentrators that meet FAA standards.

Can a person on oxygen fly?

Yes, a person on oxygen can fly, but they must comply with airline policies regarding in-flight use of oxygen during flights. This typically involves using an FAA-approved Portable Oxygen Concentrator and adhering to specific airline guidelines.

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