Portable oxygen concentrators
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) generally prohibits the use of personal oxygen units during flights because they contain compressed gas or liquid oxygen, which are defined as hazardous materials. However, the FAA does allow the onboard use of certain portable oxygen concentrators (POCs).
You can carry and use POCs approved by the FAA on board certain United flights worldwide at no charge and according to FAA regulations.
Note: When connecting to or from any other airline, including codeshare flights not operated by United or United Express®, you're responsible for notifying and making independent arrangements directly with the other airline. Current FAA rules allow, but don't require, airlines to accept POCs. Some airlines may not accept them or may charge a fee. Please note that because of safety-related space limitations, not all United Express carriers permit use of oxygen concentrators and/or only accept specific types.
If you want to use a POC on board, you must give us a minimum 48-hour advance notice. The Accessibility Desk at the United Customer Contact Center (1-800-228-2744) will help you determine whether the device you're planning to use is FAA-approved. They also will provide guidance on the number of batteries you'll need for your flight.
These are the POCs currently approved by the FAA:
- The AirSep "Focus," manufactured by the AirSep Corporation
- The AirSep "Freestyle," manufactured by the AirSep Corporation
- The AirSep "Freestyle 5," manufactured by the AirSep Corporation
- The AirSep "Lifestyle," manufactured by the AirSep Corporation
- Delphi Central Air, manufactured by Delphi Medical Systems
- DeVilbiss "iGo," manufactured by DeVilbiss
- Inogen One, manufactured by Inogen Inc.
- Inogen One G2, manufactured by Inogen Inc.
- Inogen One G3, manufactured by Inogen Inc.
- Inova Labs "LifeChoice Activox," manufactured by Inova Labs Inc.
- International Biophysics "LifeChoice," manufactured by Inova Labs Inc.
- Invacare SOLO2, manufactured by Invacare Corporation
- Invacare XPO2, manufactured by Invacare Corporation
- OxLife Independence, manufactured by O2 Concepts
- Precision Medical EasyPulse, manufactured by Precision Medical
- Respironics EverGo, manufactured by Respironics Inc.
- Respironics SimplyGo, manufactured by Respironics Inc.
- eQuinox (model 4000), manufactured by SeQual Technologies Inc.
- Oxywell (model 4000), manufactured by SeQual Technologies Inc.
- SeQual Eclipse, manufactured by SeQual Technologies Inc.
- SeQual SAROS, manufactured by SeQual Technologies Inc.
- Trooper, manufactured by VBOX Inc.
In addition, POC models will be accepted that have a manufacturer's label stating in red lettering: "The manufacturer of this POC has determined this device conforms to all applicable FAA acceptance criteria for POC carriage and use on board aircraft." Other appropriately labeled POC brands and models may be carried in the cabin with the batteries removed, if they meet our carry-on size and weight requirements, or may be transported as checked baggage.
You must have an ample supply of fully charged batteries for the full length of your flight and any ground connection time where the POC will be used, plus three hours of extra battery time in case of flight delays or other disruptions. Please note that in-seat electrical power is available on a limited number of aircraft, and there's no guarantee that the in-seat power will operate or be capable of charging your POC.
POCs are considered assistive devices and don't count toward carry-on bag limits whether or not they are used on board. They must fit underneath the seat or in an overhead compartment. Some seating restrictions may be necessary to comply with certain FAA safety rules.
If you wish to use a POC on board, you must meet the following requirements before boarding the aircraft:
- You must notify us that you're planning to use a POC on board the aircraft.
- You must have a signed, written Medical certificate for Portable Oxygen Concentrator use. We suggest you print the Medical certificate for POC use form available on our website.
- The Medical certificate for POC use must:
- State whether oxygen use is medically necessary for all or a portion of the flight(s) listed on your itinerary.
- Specify the maximum oxygen flow rate in liters per minute corresponding to the pressure in the cabin of the aircraft under normal operating conditions.
- State that the expected total operating time (duration) of the POC extends the entire length of the flight plus three hours.
- Be kept by you and provided upon request to our personnel at any time during travel.
- You must make sure you have ample batteries to power the POC for the duration of the flight, any ground connection time where the POC will be used, plus three additional hours to allow for unanticipated delays. We don't have electrical power available for your use on all our aircraft. In-seat electrical power is available on only a limited number of aircraft, and there's no guarantee that any available in-seat power will operate. Flights operated by United Express don't have in-seat power.
- You must make sure that all extra batteries are properly protected from short-circuiting by having recessed battery terminals or by packaging the batteries so they do not contact metal objects, including the terminals of other batteries.
If you want to use a POC on board, you should let us know when making your reservation. If you use a POC and make reservations with a travel agent or online, you need to contact the United Customer Contact Center at least 48 hours in advance of travel to make sure we have all necessary information and are able to help you meet travel requirements. If you don't meet the requirements, you will be denied use of the POC during travel. Customers in the U.S. or Canada can contact the Accessibility Desk directly at 1-800-228-2744.