People with chronic obstructive lung disease, emphysema and other serious lung diseases can safely travel by airplane, but they should be evaluated by their doctor before travel.

 In a study of 500 lung disease patients surveyed after a planned flight, British researchers reported in the European Respiratory Journal that 18 percent travelers suffered some type of respiratory symptom on the plane, most commonly shortness of breath, coughing and chest pain. However, the symptoms were typically moderate, and there were no serious incidents requiring an emergency landing.