Southwest Airlines is now allowing San Diego-based SeQual’s Eclipse Portable Oxygen Concentrator to be used onboard. Southwest joins American, Alaskan, Frontier, Horizon, Midwest, and WestJet in allowing the Eclipse to be used on its flights.
In September, the FAA cleared the Eclipse for use aboard all commercial airliners and SeQual has since worked to have individual airlines allow oxygen patients to operate the Eclipse in-flight. Airline approval now means that over 2 million Americans needing continuous flow oxygen therapy now have several options when making travel plans. Previously, patients could transport, but not use the Eclipse on an airplane, forcing them to rely on oxygen cylinders provided by the airline while in flight.
“I have an Eclipse at home where it is my primary oxygen source for continuous flow while sleeping,” said Mike Rosenthal, an oxygen patient in Phoenix. “But the reason the unit is so attractive to me is that I can use it for travel as well. I just recently took a 3-hour plus flight to Chicago on battery power. And I can now take road trips since the Eclipse works on a 12 volt automobile power source.”
Developed over 5 years at a cost of $12 million, the Eclipse weighs 17 pounds, has a retractable handle and wheels for mobility, and is about the size of a student’s backpack. It was designed to fit easily under standard airplane seats.
A complete list of airlines that allow the Eclipse on board—which is changing weekly as additional airlines are added—along with guidelines for travel aboard each airline can be found online at [removed]www.sequal.com/Travel_connection.asp[/removed].