• A meeting in Aspen, Colorado, chaired by Dr. Petty and to be attended by Dr. Casaburi, scheduled less than a week after the tragedy on September 11th was also cancelled. This meeting was to have discussed the latest developments in pulmonary medicine.
  • Dr. Brian Tiep and Dr. Rich Casaburi also had their flights to Berlin, for the European Respiratory Society (ERS) annual meeting cancelled. Dr. Casaburi was able to get a flight much later in the week and arrived in time to give his four scheduled lectures. He reports that the Europeans were also in a state of shock regarding the events in New York and were effusive in their expressions of sympathy.
  • And finally, the Champagne and Croquet fund raiser for PERF's Chair in Rehabilitative Sciences, planned by Barbara Borak, also became victim to the tragedy and joined the long list of cancellations.
  • But what about your planned flights in the next few months, or over the Christmas and New Year holidays? Here is the latest information from Craig Murga with facts you need to know before you decide to what to do.
  • As America searches for ways to keep the public safe and secure from terrorism, the FAA has imposed some strict guidelines on the air carrier's and airport authorities around the country. These restrictions have made travel extremely difficult, but not impossible, for those needing supplemental oxygen. As time goes on I'm sure many of the problems we are currently experiencing will be remedied, but for the time being we are all concerned that life will never be the same again. I have recently spoken with several of the airlines, and the LAX airport authority. The information I have received is confusing at best. The FAA has reaffirmed a provision that airlines must continue to support those who need medical attention. This provision only begins when the traveler has entered the terminal. The problem is getting to the terminal. In the case of LAX, the airport authority is responsible for the security of the airport parking structure, buildings, and the surrounding area. The airport authority at LAX has decided to use parking lots located outside the main terminal as drop off points for travelers. The only vehicles allowed inside the main terminal are taxis, limousines, parking lot shuttles, and hotel shuttles. Only ticketed passengers are allowed within the terminal area. This makes it impossible for oxygen providers to meet those that need oxygen support at the gates or for layovers. As with many of the airports located in major metropolitan areas these extreme security measures may remain in place for a while, but be aware that not all airports impose the same conditions. John Wayne Airport, just 30 minutes away, does allow private vehicles to drop off passengers at the terminal.
  • The best recommendations I can offer at this time are the following.
  • If driving a little farther will get take you to a direct flight, do so.
  • Call the airport security office, NOT airline security, to find out what level of restrictions are being imposed at the airport. Remember, airlines are under extreme financial pressure to keep passenger use up and may unknowingly provide you with misinformation.
  • If you need oxygen during a layover, most major airlines have first aid stations, or they can make arrangements through the airport clinic.
  • Minimize your exertion when going from plane to plane by requesting a wheelchair and transport.
  • Take advantage of the curbside wheelchair access to get you through security a little faster.
  • Make prior arrangements with an oxygen provider to drop off a cylinder at your destination point with family or friends who plan to meet you as you exit the terminal.
  • If you are taking carry-on luggage, minimize objects that would cause you delays, like metal nail files or aerosol cans.
  • Most of all, be patient, relax, and remember your pursed lip breathing technique!
  • Thanks, Craig, for again providing us with some very helpful information. If you would like to discuss this with Craig you may call him at his Lincare office at 1-800-251-7322. We also recommend that you discuss this with your current oxygen supplier in addition to contacting any airports that you may need to use.