OxygenToGo gets oxygen users airborne

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Monday, February 3, 2020

JACKSON, Wyo. – Oxygen users flying Virgin Atlantic can now go to OxygenToGo for all their portable oxygen concentrator needs.

“One of the things that we try to make sure people know is that they can travel anywhere in the world with oxygen now,” said Dr. Brent Blue, medical director. “They can even go on a safari with oxygen.”

The travel oxygen provider has also been the exclusive provider of POCs and services to Delta Air Lines for more than 12 years.

Customers who don’t have their own POC or enough batteries can contact OxygenToGo while buying their ticket through special assistance. Once their needs have been screened, the company will FedEx the equipment to them a few days before their flight, which can be used on the way to the airport, through security, onboard, during layovers, at their destination, and back. Then FedEx will pick it up when they return.

On average, the service costs between $300-$350 per week, depending on duration and the number of batteries needed. While some insurance companies will pay for it, most customers pay out of pocket.

The big tipping point for OxygenToGo came in 2007 when the first POC was put on the market by Inogen, and then again in 2008 when the FAA approved it for use on airlines.

After 9/11, oxygen users could no longer bring their own tanks onboard flights, forcing airlines to provide them to customers at $100 a leg, even though it cost them $140.

“So the airlines didn’t want to be in oxygen either,” said Blue.

These days, oxygen users are traveling more than ever before. One reason is because baby boomers are at a time in their lives where smoking is catching up to them.

“But probably the biggest difference overall is that oxygen patients are no longer willing to be housebound,” said Blue. “They were lucky if they went out to dinner, but now it’s a whole different world.”