Travelling with IPF

Although traveling can be tiring if you have IPF, there is no reason to stay at home while others take vacations, visit family, or travel for business.

Traveling with supplemental oxygen may mean that you encounter some extra challenges, but with planning, you can be comfortable and safe on the road or in the air. Also check if your final destination has medical oxygen available.

Ensure you have travel insurance if visiting the United States, as medical costs there can be extremely expensive.

As a Canadian citizen, you have health coverage for travel anywhere in Canada.

  • If you use supplemental oxygen, plan travel in advance
  • Work with your healthcare team to improve your breathing ability
  • Check with your doctor to make sure it is safe for you to travel
  • Decide how you will be most comfortable traveling; by car, bus, train, plane, or ship
  • If your destination is at a high elevation, ask your doctor about additional oxygen needs
  • Ask your doctor for a letter stating the medications you are on and take your original prescription bottles with you.
  • Always carry a list of the medications you are taking in case of an emergency

Ground Travel

While some people load the car with their oxygen tanks and make road trips, others prefer the comfort of a train or bus.

Travel requirements change frequently on trains or buses, so check with your carrier for the latest and most accurate information.

  • Make reservations as far in advance as possible
  • Speak with someone in Customer Relations when making reservations
  • Do not depend on on-board electrical power
  • For longer trips, plan for a 12-hour, backup oxygen that does not require electricity
  • If transporting your oxygen by car, be aware of safety issues
  • Bring enough oxygen for the length of your trip, plus 20 per cent extra to allow for delays

Air Travel

Each airline has different rules that can change at any time.

You may be required to provide a doctor’s statement of your ability to travel and of your oxygen needs before you will be allowed to take or use oxygen on a commercial airline flight.

  • Contact the airline as far in advance as possible
  • Speak to airline’s special services
  • As about bringing your own oxygen equipment
  • If you must use airline­‐supplied oxygen, ask about the cost
  • Airlines often do not provide oxygen for use in terminals; if you must change planes, you may need to make other arrangements
  • Call your current oxygen provider; they may be able to provide helpful information
  • For more information, contact your travel agent or airline directly