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Generally, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) prohibits the use of personal oxygen units during flights because they contain compressed gas or liquid oxygen that is defined as hazardous material. However, the FAA has issued guidelines permitting the onboard use of certain portable oxygen concentrators (POCs).
POCs, approved by the FAA, may be carried and used on board United flights worldwide at no charge, in accordance with specific FAA guidelines.
Note: When connecting to or from any other airline, including codeshare flights other than those operated by United or United Express®, the customer is responsible for notifying and making independent arrangements directly with the other airline. The current FAA authorization enables, but does not require, airlines to accept POCs. Some airlines may not accept them or may require a fee. Please note that not all United Express carriers permit use of oxygen concentrators and/or only accept specific types.
Customers wanting to use a POC on board must provide a minimum 48-hour advance notification to United. The Accessibility Desk at the United Customer Contact Center (1-800-228-2744) will ensure the device you are planning to use is on the list of current, approved devices and will help provide guidance on the number of batteries you will need for your flight.
Currently, specific POCs approved by the FAA are:
- 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 the Inogen Corporation
- Inogen One G2, manufactured by the Inogen Corporation
- Inogen One G3, manufactured by the Inogen Corporation
- Inova Labs "LifeChoice Activox," manufactured by Inova Labs
- International Biophysics "LifeChoice," manufactured by Inova Labs
- Invacare SOLO2, manufactured by Invacare Corporation
- Invacare XPO2, manufactured by Invacare Corporation
- OxLife "Independence," manufactured by OxLife Incorporated
- 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.
Other POC brands and models may be carried in the cabin with the batteries removed, if they meet United's carry-on size and weight requirements, or they may be transported as checked baggage. United may accept other models for use on board in the future as they become approved by the FAA.
Please note that aircraft in-seat electrical power is available on a limited number of aircraft, and there is no guarantee that the in-seat power will be operative. Therefore, customers must have an ample supply of fully charged batteries plus three hours of extra battery time for the flight.
Some seating restrictions may be necessary to comply with certain FAA safety rules.
POCs are considered assistive devices and do not count toward carry-on limits, whether or not they are used on board. They must be able to fit underneath the seat or in an overhead compartment.
Customers wishing to use a POC on board must satisfy the following requirements prior to boarding the aircraft:
- The customer must notify United that he or she is planning to use a POC on board the aircraft.
- The customer must have a signed written doctor's statement. United suggests printing the Medical Verification Statement (PDF: 70 KB) available on this website.
- The doctor's statement must:
- State the user of the POC has the physical and cognitive ability to see, hear and understand the device's aural and visual cautions and warnings and is able, without assistance, to take appropriate action in response to those cautions and warnings
- State whether or not oxygen use is medically necessary for all or a portion of the flight(s) listed on the customer's 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 the expected total operating time (duration) of the POC extends the entire length of the flight plus three hours
- Be kept by the customer and provided upon request to United personnel at any time during travel
- The customer must ensure that he or she has 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. United does not have electrical power available for customer use on most of its aircraft. Aircraft in-seat electrical power is available on a limited number of aircraft, and there is no guarantee that the in-seat power will be operative. Flights operated by United Express will have no in-seat power.
- The customer must ensure 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.
Medical Verification Statement
(PDF: 70 KB)
Customers wanting to use a POC on board should advise the airline of their oxygen requirement when making reservations with United. Customers using a POC who make reservations with a travel agent or on the Internet need to contact the United Customer Contact Center in advance of travel to ensure that United has all of the necessary information and can assist the customer in meeting travel requirements. Failure to meet the requirements will result in 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.
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