Airline changes supplementary oxygen charging policy

An airline has changed its policy after the British Lung Foundation campaigned to end the discrimination people with a lung condition can experience when they travel on planes.

Thomson Airways announced it will now allow people who rely on supplementary oxygen to access the airlines' supply or bring their own, completely free of charge.

Currently 90,000 people in the UK with respiratory diseases such as COPD, cystic fibrosis and pulmonary hypertension need some form of supplementary oxygen for at least 15 hours a day due to the low levels of oxygen in their blood.

For these people portable oxygen creates the same degree of freedom and independence that a wheelchair gives to people with other disabilities.

The majority of airline companies do not allow people to bring their own portable oxygen concentrator or cylinder on to their planes while simultaneously charging hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of pounds extra to use the supplementary oxygen that the airline provides.

British Lung Foundation spokesman David Buckle said: ‘Having supplementary oxygen is as essential to someone with a lung condition as a wheelchair is to someone with other disabilities. We are now urging all airlines to follow Thomson's lead.'

neil.durham@haymarket.com

  • Should airlines allow people who rely on supplementary oxygen to fly with it without charge?

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