The other day a lady asked me about overseas air travel with a laryngectomee – would an eight hour flight present a problem. I could only relate my experience. In 1995 we went to Europe and the return flight was London-Bangkok-Sydney, two sectors, each of eleven hours. The air-conditioning on an aircraft is very high so my wife bought a spray bottle of Evian water. We used this to spray our faces at regular intervals (it dries in moments) and I also sprayed my stoma cover. I still coughed a little more than usual (as you do if your lungs get dry) and I had some crusting around my stoma but it really wasn’t a problem. Apart from that there were no problems that I wouldn’t have had on the ground.

It can be quite cold on a flight so if you have circulation problems take some gloves and a scarf and wear warm socks – but don’t take your shoes off. It may be very comfy, but your feet will swell and when you put your shoes on for landing it’s agony. If you don’t need oxygen at home, you shouldn’t need it on the flight either. However, if you think you may need oxygen, notify the airline in plenty of time, in writing, so they can have the different mask available on your flight – although I think the major airlines carry them as standard and I think the normal mask would be adequate anyway. That’s it for the traveller’s tales – enjoy your trip!