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Portable Oxygen

Travelers with Disabilities and Medical Conditions

Non-medically necessary cans of recreational oxygen, which can be flavored, are prohibited in checked and carry-on baggage.

Passengers should be aware that not all airlines allow the use of portable oxygen concentrators so they need to check with their carriers if they plan to use one. Passengers also should check with the manufacturer to determine whether the oxygen concentrator has been approved for in-flight use.

If a passenger uses a portable oxygen concentrator, the manner in which the passenger is screened depends on whether he or she can disconnect from the oxygen concentrator. Passengers should check with their doctors to determine whether they can safely disconnect during screening. It is important for a passenger to inform the officer conducting the screening whether he or she can disconnect before the screening process begins.

If a passenger can disconnect from his or her portable oxygen concentrator, it is recommended that the passenger check the equipment as checked baggage whenever possible. Passengers who can disconnect can be screened using imaging technology or walk-through metal detectors.

If a passenger cannot disconnect, or chooses not to be screened by imaging technology or a walk-through metal detector, the passenger will be screened using a thorough patdown procedure instead. A patdown procedure is also used to resolve any alarms of a metal detector or anomalies identified by imaging technology.

If the passenger can disconnect during screening, but is bringing his or her portable oxygen concentrator in his or her carry-on baggage, the equipment will either undergo X-ray screening or inspection. If the passenger’s respiratory equipment cannot be X-rayed and an inspection is done, it also will be tested for traces of explosives. If explosive material is detected, the passenger will have to undergo additional screening.


Please click on the links below for specific information about screening for passengers with disabilities or medical conditions:

Latest revision: 24 April 2014