Skip to Accessibility Tools Skip to Content Skip to Footer

Breathing on an airplane

I had asthma attack during the last flight that I took … a long 6 hour trip from the East Coast to the West Coast … I brought my pulse oximeter finger reader that would measure my oxygen. As we all know 95-100 is great … I am usually around 94-96 when feeling well.

The flight was long and my oxygen levels were between 86-90 and my pulse was racing along at 110+. My doctor later told me that my pulse was racing for most of the trip because my Oxygen levels were low.

I was reading that at 35,000+ planes are pressured to about 8,000 sea level. I have trouble over 6,000 on earth.

Question … do airlines allow portable oxygen concentrator machines on airplanes.

Does anyone use oxygen on flights?


This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • jnes1021 author
    1 year ago

    Thanks for the feedback … I will go to the airlines site … I use mostly Southwest and see their requirements for oxygen … I was very surprised that they set the pressurization
    to around 8,000 feet from sea level …

  • Leon Lebowitz, RRT moderator
    1 year ago

    It’s our pleasure, jnes1021. Good luck with your research – I’m sure you’ll be able to get some answers for your concerns. Please do check back and let us know how you’re doing. All the best, Leon (site moderator)

  • Leon Lebowitz, RRT moderator
    1 year ago

    Hi jnes1021 and thanks for your post. It’s a good question! While I hope you hear from others in the community with their own personal anecdotes, I think you’ll find the airline commercial carriers will be able to provide you with guidelines. They will be able to tell you what is permissible on their airplanes. I think you may be surprised with the many accommodations they make for folks with various health conditions, including asthma! Please be sure to check back and let us know how you’re doing. All the best, Leon (site moderator)

  • Lyn Harper, RRT moderator
    1 year ago

    Hi jnes1021 – Wow! I’m sorry you had to go through that on a flight. What an experience! I’m glad it turned it out ok in the end for you. I hope you were still able to enjoy your trip.
    Many airlines do allow approved oxygen devices. However, you should check with the specific airline you’re flying to get their rules and regulations. Many require a note/prescription from your doctor as well.
    I hope your next flight is much better!
    Lyn (site moderator)

  • Poll