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Department of Transportation Orders Airlines to Allow Portable Oxygen Concentrators Onboard

Posted Jul 07 2008 7:14pm

In a long awaited move the U.S. Department of Transportation strengthened the existing persons with disabilities regulation, implementing the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) and extended it to foreign airlines. TheACAA, enacted by Congress in 1986, prohibits airlines from discriminating against disabled passengers.

Portable Oxygen Concentrators must be allowed on all flights originating or ending in the United States within one year.

The new rule will make it easier for passengers to use medical oxygen during flights byrequiring airlines to allow the use of approved portable oxygen concentrators. The new rule expands to cover foreign airlines operating in the U.S. Any flight that originates or ends in the U.S. must abide by the new rule. U.S. airlines must adhere to the rule worldwide. The new rule will be effective in one year to give carriers enough time to begin implementing its provisions.

I would expect to see airlines who don’t currently allow the use of portable oxygen concentrators (POC)on boardto make changes far in advance of the one year deadline. The current approvedPOCsareAirsepLifestyle & Freestyle,InogenOne,RespironicsEverGoandSeQualEclipse. TheInvacareXPO2 should be added to that list very soon.

The new rule follows a strong lobby effort in Washington D.C. I previously posted theFAA Didn’t Go Far Enough for Oxygen Users. Iapplaudthe new rule that will open the door further for oxygen users to be able to travel. Thank you to everyone who contacted their representatives and to the organizations who led the fight against the discrimination of oxygen users.

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