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How to Travel With Medical Equipment on British Airways

Updated April 17, 2017

Flying with medical equipment can be challenging because of varying airline policies on transporting these items. Most passengers on British Airways flights can easily travel with their medical equipment, though passengers may need to take precautions, including advising the airline in advance of any equipment that may be used on-board a British Airways aircraft.

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  1. Visit the British Airways website to confirm if you are required to advise the airline in advance of travelling with your medical equipment. Passengers travelling with portable dialysis machines or who intend to use portable oxygen concentrators or battery-operated nebulisers must advise British Airways before travelling.

  2. Contact British Airways Reservations or the Passenger Medical Clearance Unit to notify the airline that you intend to use medical equipment during a flight. For other medical equipment for use only at a destination, passengers can contact their booking agent to make special arrangements to transport equipment.

  3. Contact the Passenger Medical Clearance Unit to confirm whether your condition requires medical clearance before travelling. Clearance is needed when fitness to travel is in doubt because of an illness, injury, hospitalisation, or surgery. It is also needed if a passenger has an existing unstable medical condition, requires special services such as oxygen or the use of medical equipment on-board, and for passengers travelling for medical reasons or treatment.

  4. Complete the MEDIF-POC form available on the British Airways website if travelling with a portable oxygen concentrator. A passenger's medical doctor must complete part of the form, which should be returned to the British Airways Passenger Medical Clearance Unit.

  5. Ensure you have a sufficient supply of batteries for your journey, including time between connecting flights and unexpected delays. Passengers with medical equipment are generally not permitted to use the aircraft's power supply to operate equipment or charge batteries.

  6. Pay for any additional baggage charges at the airport when travelling with medical equipment. In most cases, passengers can travel with medical equipment without additional cost. For some equipment, such as portable dialysis machines, passengers may exceed baggage allowances and may be asked to pay additional baggage charges if they do not contact British Airways before travelling.

  7. Tip

    Medical clearance is not needed for travel with continuous positive airway pressure machines.


    British Airways policies may be subject to change. Passengers should always confirm current policies with the airline before travelling with any medical equipment.

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About the Author

John Costa covers travel, public policy and consumer issues for various online publications. He has also worked as a government adviser since 2005, developing policies and programs. Costa holds a B.A. in history and political science from the University of Toronto, as well as an M.A. in comparative politics from the University of York in England.

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