Traveling by plane with breathing problems: tips

Today the world is super connected. Everything is “a plane away.” Obviously, most people around the world want to experience air travel. The ones that haven’t, of course. However, traveling by plane with breathing problems is not always easy. So, is it possible?

There are probably those who think that you cannot travel by plane with breathing problems. Or that there are diseases that prevent air travel. However, with the advancement of medicine and technology, today it is entirely possible. But, it is 100% necessary to take some precautions and follow the advice of specialists.

Tips for air travel

In any trips, the experience begins earlier: flights, accommodation, excursions are sought. In the case of people with respiratory diseases, it will be the same, and that prior will also include some care associated with their requirements. 

So before, during and after, what are the tips?


First, a visit to the doctor is essential. Not only if symptoms were suffered, but to check that everything is fine. Generally, the doctor will make sure to know that:

  • The patient does not experience shortness of breath most of the time.
  • You don’t have trouble breathing when you walk 150 feet (45 meters) or less.
  • If you were in the hospital for breathing problems in the last few days and why.

According to the current situation, the doctor will advise traveling or rescheduling the flight for a more suitable occasion.

On the other hand, two weeks before traveling, if the respiratory illness requires it, it will also be necessary to call the airline to communicate that portable oxygen will be needed on the plane.

You will probably need a prescription and letter from your provider.

During the trip

Already in the plane, the patient should introduce himself to the flight attendants and explain that he is the person who may need oxygen therapy. Thus, attendees can be attentive to their needs.

In the event that he is running out of air, the patient should not hesitate and should immediately ask for an oxygen supply.


Once at the destination, it is important to know what medical care is like, even if it is not needed in the first place. It will be necessary to write down the name, telephone number and address of a doctor to whom you can go. For this, it is very important to bring copies of the most recent medical history.


  • Always request non-smoking hotel rooms, and that they are located away from smoking rooms.
  • Avoid spaces where people are smoking, even if they are outdoors.
  • Try to stay away from cities with polluted air.
  • If you have to travel back on a plane, don’t dive the day before.

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