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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Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Electrically powered medical equipment - Can I take my electrically powered medical equipment in my hand baggage?
  2. Travel Insurance - Do I need to obtain travel insurance for my trip?
  3. What is the risk of contagious disease (an infection that may be passed from one person to another) when flying?
  4. Nut Allergy - I have a nut allergy, am I at risk while travelling by air?
  5. Pregnancy - I am pregnant, is it safe for me to travel by air?
  6. Diabetes - I have diabetes, is there any special advice for diabetic people who wish to travel by air?
  7. Fear of Flying - I am very nervous at the thought of using air travel as a form of transport. Is there any treatment for my fear of flying and what causes it?
  8. Recent Surgery - I have recently had surgery. Are there any restrictions when travelling by air?
  9. Respiratory Disease - I have a lung condition which makes me breathless sometimes. Am I liable to have problems on an airplane?
  10. Disinsection - Is the spraying of aircraft cabins (disinsection) carried out on some flights harmful to health?
  11. Oxygen - I have been told that I require oxygen for my flight. Can I take my own supply?
  12. Anaemia - I suffer from anaemia and wonder if this would be a problem when flying.
  13. Ear Pain - I notice that I frequently get ear pain when travelling by air, what causes this and what can I do about it?
  14. Security scanners - Are airport security scanners safe?
  15. Security scanners - Are the whole-body scanners safe?
  16. Security scanners - Can medical equipment such as heart pacemakers or insulin pumps be affected by security scanners?
  17. Heart Conditions - I have a heart condition; will I be able to travel by air?
  18. Contact Lenses - I wear contact lenses. What is the advice about wearing lenses during my flight and is there any guidance for taking lens solution on board the aircraft?
  19. DVT - Am I at risk of a blood clot when flying?
  20. Dry eyes and skin - After a long flight, why do my eyes and my skin feel dry?
  21. Jet Lag - What is Jet Lag and how can it be treated?
  22. Seat Pitch - The seats appear to be closer together these days on many flights. What regulations apply?
  23. Carriage of Medication - Can I take my medication on board the aircraft?
  24. Defibrillators - Is it compulsory for airlines to carry a defibrillator on an aircraft?
  25. Sleep Apnoea - I suffer from sleep apnoea; can I take my Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) Machine on board the aircraft as hand luggage for use in the aircraft cabin?
  26. Cabin Air Quality - What is the quality of air on board an aircraft?
  27. Infections - Why do I always pick up an infection after I have travelled in an aircraft?
  28. Vaccinations - I am travelling abroad, will I need vaccinations prior to travel?
  29. Malaria - Is it still a problem these days?
  30. Psychiatric Condition - I have a psychiatric condition, which requires me to take medication and I worry that air travel may worsen my condition or that I may not be able to travel.
  31. Reduced Mobility - I have reduced mobility and wish to travel by air. Where can I find more information about my rights to assistance during my journey and will I need a medical certificate?
  32. Plaster Cast - If I have a broken limb with a plaster cast on, can I still fly?