FAQ Answer

FAQ Answer

Respiratory Disease - I have a lung condition which makes me breathless sometimes. Am I liable to have problems on an airplane?

Respiratory DiseaseThe majority of individuals with conditions such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, sometimes called COPD, can travel perfectly safely on board an aircraft. It is essential however to carry all relevant medications, such as an inhaler, in cabin baggage. Contrary to popular belief, modern aircraft are not pressurised to sea level equivalent and fly with a cabin altitude of between 5,000 and 8,000 feet, causing a slight reduction in oxygen. This should not cause symptoms in the majority of individuals with mild / moderate disease. It is important that you discuss your intention to travel with your treating physician who knows all your medical details, in order that an accurate assessment can be made. In general terms, if a passenger can walk 50 yards/metres at normal pace, or climb one flight of stairs without significant breathlessness, oxygen should not be required.

If it is felt that supplementary oxygen is required, it is important that the airline is notified well in advance MEDIF Form in order that this service can be provided. Some carriers do make a charge for this. Recent work has shown that the majority of those with lung conditions respond well to supplementary oxygen in flight and should be able to travel worldwide.



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