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Mar 29, 2006|
Frontier to Allow Use of Portable Oxygen Concentrators on All Flights
Denver Airline Makes Low-Cost Air Travel a Reality for Underserved Market of Therapeutic Oxygen Users
DENVER, March 29 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Beginning Saturday, April 1, Frontier Airlines (NASDAQ: FRNT) will allow passengers who need access to oxygen to utilize Portable Oxygen Concentrators (POCs) on all of its over 260 daily flights in the US and Mexico. The new policy follows a recent Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR) issued in 2005 that went into effect allowing users of therapeutic oxygen to use an approved POC in the cabin of an aircraft during all phases of flight, if necessary. Currently, only the Inogen One (http://www.inogen.net/) and AirSep Lifestyle (http://www.airsep.com/) POCs have been approved by the FAA for in-flight use. While the SFAR does not require carriers to allow POCs on-board, Frontier chose to make the investment in time and training to certify use of POCs because prior to the SFAR, there were only limited and very costly options for supporting passengers who required oxygen in flight. POC leasing and sales companies, like OxygenToGo (http://www.oxygentogo.com/), have made it possible to now economically serve this important segment of the traveling public.
A POC is a small medical device that filters out nitrogen from ambient air and concentrates oxygen into an output level of 90%. The oxygen is then delivered to the patient through a nasal tube at a rate of approximately 5 liters per minute (lpm). The POC weighs less than 10 pounds and may be powered through household current or a self-contained battery, though only battery power and a maximum flow rate of 4 lpm is permitted on Frontier. For a passenger to utilize an approved POC device during a Frontier flight, it is required that the passenger provide a physician-signed POC Medical Authorization form (downloadable from Frontier's website at http://www.frontierairlines.com/), or equivalent, stating the magnitude and nature of the passenger's oxygen needs. The medical authorization is not flight-specific and covers all flights within a one-year period from the date of the physician's signature.
"April 1 marks a very important day for Frontier and oxygen users alike, as we open the world of air travel to millions of passengers who were previously restricted from enjoying the benefits of low-cost travel due to their reliance on oxygen," said Frank Barr, Director of Inflight Training and Standards. "Frontier's training department as well as all of our flight attendants, customer service agents and pilots should all feel very proud of the work they put into ensuring that Frontier could add this important component to our customer service offering. We recognize that air travel can be stressful, particularly for those with medical needs, and we are hopeful that by allowing passenger to now utilize POCs on the plane, we can take at least a little bit of the stress out of the equation for some of our passengers."
"People in need of supplemental oxygen can now travel in comfort and convenience," said Dr. Brent Blue, a doctor specializing in high-altitude pulmonary medicine and the founder of OxygenToGo.com. "We couldn't be more pleased that Frontier Airlines is expanding its already award-winning customer service to this large and growing group. In partnership with OxygenToGo, Frontier can ensure that oxygen-dependent travelers have portable, reliable equipment for their entire trip. Air travel now includes air!"
OxygenToGo provides short-term rentals of portable oxygen concentrators to travelers around the world, along with 24-hour technical and medical support and express shipping. The company also supplies extra batteries, a carrying case, and a custom-designed shipping crate to ensure that oxygen-dependent travelers are free to move.
Currently in its 12th year of operations, Denver-based Frontier Airlines is the second largest jet service carrier at Denver International Airport, employing approximately 4,700 aviation professionals. With 50 aircraft and the youngest Airbus fleet in North America, Frontier offers 24 channels of DIRECTV® service in every seatback along with 33 inches of legroom in an all coach configuration. In conjunction with Frontier JetExpress operated by Horizon Air, Frontier operates routes linking its Denver hub to 56 destinations including 48 destinations in 29 states spanning the nation from coast to coast, Calgary, Canada, and to seven cities in Mexico. Frontier's maintenance and engineering department has received the Federal Aviation Administration's highest award, the Diamond Certificate of Excellence, in recognition of 100 percent of its maintenance and engineering employees completing advanced aircraft maintenance training programs, for seven consecutive years. In July 2005, Frontier ranked as one of the "Top 10 Domestic Airlines" as determined by readers of Travel & Leisure magazine. Frontier provides capacity information and other operating statistics on its Web site, which may be viewed at http://www.frontierairlines.com/.
SOURCE: Frontier Airlines
CONTACT: Joe Hodas of Frontier Airlines, +1-720-374-4504,