Away from home with oxygen
It is possible to travel and go away from home while dependent on oxygen.
Home oxygen therapy suppliers like Baywater Healthcare offer FREE holiday oxygen services. If you want to travel on holiday or spend time with friends or family anywhere in any part of England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland, then this is easy to arrange.
Holiday oxygen supplied as part of the Home Oxygen Service to any part of England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland is free. Oxygen equipment for travelling to the Republic of Ireland will need to be paid for.
You should always seek medical advice before you travel away from home. In addition, it is beneficial to try to plan your travel away from home at least 2-4 weeks in advance and take details of your home oxygen order with you, along with any accessories you may need.
Within the UK
If you are travelling away from home anywhere in within the UK, the oxygen you need will be provided to you free of charge. Important things to remember for oxygen patients going away from home within the UK:
- Discuss with your GP or respiratory specialist about travelling before you book your travel away from home.
- Contact your destination to obtain permission for your oxygen equipment to be delivered and stored at your accommodation.
- If you require the same oxygen equipment at your destination as you have at home, you can now just contact us directly and provide us with:
- The complete destination address – including the postcode.
- The dates of your trip away from home (from and to).
- A contact name and telephone number at the destination address, not your home telephone number.
- The booking name and reference of the visit, where appropriate.
- If you require different oxygen equipment at your destination than you have at home, contact your GP or respiratory specialist as soon as possible before you travel away from home. Your GP will then send us a home oxygen order. You will receive information to confirm that the oxygen equipment will be installed at your destination address.
Baywater Healthcare will then arrange to deliver your away from home oxygen supplies to your destination, either by ourselves or via a local supplier.
Your away from home oxygen equipment will be delivered to the destination address for you and will be collected after you leave.
Please ensure that you have enough oxygen cylinders for your journey to and from your destination.
If you are travelling by car, check our latest guidance.
Please bring back home any equipment that you took with you that belongs to us.
Outside the UK
Our oxygen equipment is for use within the UK only. If you are going abroad and require oxygen supplies, please call us on 0800 373 580 to help organise your travel requirements to or at your overseas destination. We advise you to seek medical advice from your Healthcare Professional before travelling.
Further advice on travelling with oxygen supplies can be obtained from the Asthma + Lung UK website: www.blf.org.uk/support-for-you/going-on-holiday/abroad
If you need oxygen whilst flying, you need to call your airline/travel company directly. Each airline has their own policy regarding carriage of oxygen.
If you have any queries or require advice on arranging oxygen supplies abroad, please call us on 0800 373 580.
Oxygen Worldwide based in Spain can arrange oxygen supplies worldwide. Their contact details are:
Tel: (0034) 966 882 873
Are you fit to fly? You should always speak to your GP or healthcare team before planning a flight; they may ask you to complete a flight assessment to determine if you can fly and how much oxygen you may need whilst you are in the air.
Please contact your chosen airline to ask what their policy is for passengers with oxygen. Also, check if your flight is ‘code sharing’; this means the flight is listed with an airline’s code and flight number but could be operated by another. In these instances, you will need to check with both airlines.
Further advice on flying and a list of many airlines and their contact details can be obtained from the European Lung Foundation. You can visit their website here: www.europeanlung.org/en/information-hub/air-travel/airline-index/
Away from home checklist
Please read our checklist below to make sure all of the arrangements have been made correctly, and you have all the information you need for your stay away from home with oxygen:
- Have you checked with your destination that they will accept a delivery of oxygen equipment?
- If your order includes liquid oxygen for your stay away from home, have you checked with your destination that they will accept a delivery of liquid oxygen, and there safe storage for the dewar?
- Have you checked how to travel with oxygen equipment?
- Do you have contact details of your destination?
- Do you have a booking reference or a caravan number?
- Have you made your regular oxygen supplier aware that you will be away from home for a period?
- Do you have the correct contact details for the stay away from home oxygen provider if your holiday is not in a Baywater Healthcare area?
- Does the stay away from home oxygen provider have your contact details?
Did you know that if you have a portable concentrator, you will need to take your home machine on your stay away from home in all instances?
Travelling with oxygen
Travelling with oxygen cylinders by car
To safely transport your oxygen cylinders in your vehicle, please follow this advice:
- Always inform your insurance company that you will be carrying oxygen.
Safely secure oxygen cylinders in the boot, behind the front seats or strapped in the vehicle’s back seat. We recommend placing protection around cylinders to ensure that they do not move around in the vehicle’s boot.
- Never transport oxygen cylinders unsecured in the front or rear passenger seats.
- If transporting several ambulatory oxygen cylinders, always carry them in a green safety box in the vehicle’s boot. We can provide this box if needed. Just call us on 0800 373 580 between 8.00am – 6.30pm.
- Individual portable oxygen cylinders should be kept in the carry bag provided to you free of charge and secured using the rear seat belts.
- Never use oxygen in a fuel station.
- Never smoke while using oxygen in the car.
- Do not store oxygen cylinders in your vehicle.
- If you have to leave oxygen cylinders unattended in the car, keep them out of view in the boot.
Transporting your liquid oxygen (LOX) equipment
Secure your LOX flasks behind the vehicle’s driver or passenger seat, making sure they are stood upright at all times.
Travelling with your oxygen machine
You should only transport your oxygen machine if you are visiting another location in an area covered by Baywater Healthcare.
If this is the case, then please remember the following when travelling with your oxygen machine:
- The oxygen machine should be placed in an upright position behind the passenger seat. It should never be placed lying down on the back seat or in the vehicle’s boot.
- Take your backup cylinder with you, just in case of emergencies such as a power cut (again, ensure this is safely secured during transport).
- Do not leave the oxygen machine on view in your car whilst unattended.
- If you travel to one of our regions and have any problems with the oxygen machine, simply call us.
If you travel to a region that we do not serve, we cannot visit you if there is a problem with the machine. We can, however, arrange for a holiday supply free of charge; see the Holidaying in the UK section for more information.
Caution: Oxygen machines are heavy. Always take care when moving them.
Travelling by public transport
You can travel on public transport with your oxygen equipment. However, there is no nationwide guidance on what the trains, coaches, buses and taxis will allow. If you use public transport, always ensure that your oxygen cylinder or equipment is secure whilst the vehicle moves.
If you are experiencing problems travelling on public transport with your oxygen equipment, please call us, and we will speak with your carrier to try and sort the issue. If you are experiencing problems finding a taxi that will take you and your oxygen equipment, contact the taxi legislation office at your local council. They will be able to let you know which taxis are registered to carry disabled passengers.
When travelling, always ensure you have sufficient oxygen for your journey and allow for possible delays.