Flying high

 - 
03/27/2009

I came across this letter to a consumer reporter online today:

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During a Florida vacation in January, I developed pneumonia, requiring a five-day stay at a hospital. Upon discharge, I was required to travel with supplemental oxygen.

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I had flown to Florida and had a ticket to return to New Jersey on an airline that does not allow supplemental oxygen on its flights. So I had to rent a car to get home. My son came down and drove me back to New Jersey, with 11 oxygen tanks in the trunk.

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I had to pay $272 in car rental and $85 in gas and tolls. I asked the airline for reimbursement, but it was denied.

The writer did eventually get a travel voucher for his troubles.

While most major airlines now allow patients to bring portable oxygen onboard, not all do. But, hopefully, experiences like this will become a memory in May when new Department of Transportation regulations will begin requiring airlines to allow FDA-approved POCs onboard.

Safe travels.

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Theresa Flaherty