Disability Travel - News: MP calls for an end to airlines’ tax on breathing
Charlotte Atkins MP calls for an end to airlines’ tax on breathing (http://www.politics.co.uk/mps/press-releases/party-politics/labour/charlotte-atkins-mp-calls-for-an-end-to-airlines%E2%80%99-tax-on-breathing-$1339478.htm)
People with respiratory diseases such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and Pulmonary Hypertension often require additional supplementary oxygen due to the low levels of oxygen in their blood. However, due to the policies set by airline companies, it is both expensive and difficult for people with this disability to plan and use air travel.
Nov 9, 09, 1:14 pm
A recent survey of 22 major airlines, conducted by the Pulmonary Hypertension UK, found that just five companies allow people to bring their own oxygen cylinder on to their planes and that only seven companies allow people to bring their own oxygen concentrator on board. Other airlines only allow passengers to use the oxygen that they provide and at an additional cost.
Wow, I am amazed that the rest of the world has not followed the US in this respect. Fortunately, all carriers who fly within, into, or out of the US must allow the use of portable oxygen concentrators on board as of May 13, 2009.
FAA rules do not allow the use of oxygen cylinders on board (except those installed in an approved manner by the airline in the overhead bins for use by a passenger or the canister in the medical kit) following the ValueJet crash in the FL Everglades in 1996.
Nov 21, 09, 1:37 am
I am not sure about that survey, there are a lot more airlines that let you sue POC according to their website: http://www.phassociation.uk.com/living_with_ph/travel.asp
On flights to the US, then US law must be followed (ie concentrators must be allowed).
As far as the situation in New Zealand and Australia goes you can use a POC for domestic travel and between NZ and Australia on many of the airlines. The big two Qantas and AirNZ also allow you to rent approved travel packs (cylinder in a carry bag) from 3 specified companies for use.
(NB: for travel to the US from NZ it is roughly 12 hours, so allowing for 50% extra means you would need a lot of batteries!)