Airline policies for pregnant travellers

Airline policies for pregnant travellers

Can you fly when pregnant? We round up the biggest airlines' policies in our handy guide

Updated 9th March 2018

Airline policies for pregnant women

Image: istock

It is fine for you to fly when pregnant on commercial airlines whilst you are in your first and second trimester, but airline policies differ between each airline once you reach the last few months of pregnancy.

It might be a good idea to get a ‘permission-to-travel’ letter from your GP before you travel, but bear in mind your return date and whether this will be past the time airlines permit you to fly. If your pregnancy is considered high risk at all, your GP may advise you not to fly.

Although all airlines recommend that you consult your doctor before traveling during pregnancy, we've rounded up the various policies from all the major airlines so you can start your holiday planning. 

You should always check these policies on the airline's website before you fly as they may change or get updated.

European travel during pregnancy

Atlantic Airways

Pregnant passengers may travel with Atlantic Airways as follows:

  • At 0 - 34 weeks you can fly without presenting a medical certificate and you are fit to fly.
  • At 35 - 37 weeks a medical certificate is required confirming that the pregnancy is normal.
  • At 38+ weeks pregnant travellers cannot travel.
  • Pregnant women with an expected birth within 2 weeks will not be accepted onboard Atlantic Airways flights.
  • In case the birth is expected to take place within 4 weeks, the passenger has to show a medical certificate at check-in, confirming that the transportation is approved from a medical point of view, by a physician, under the condition that the duration of the flight is no more than 4 hours, The medical certificate must not be more than 10 days old.

For more information, visit Atlantic Airways

Aer Lingus

Flights within Europe: 

  • You may travel up to week 27 of pregnancy with no special requirements. Between weeks 28-35 your doctor must complete an Expectant Mother Travel Advice Form.
  • Aer Lingus will not carry any passengers over 36 weeks for any part of their journey, outbound or return.

Transatlantic flight routes:

  • As with flights within Europe, you may travel up to week 27 of pregnancy with no special requirements. Between weeks 28 - 25, your doctor must also fill out the Expectant Mother Travel Advice Form online and send it by fax to 00 353 1 886 6868.
  • Passengers at week 34+ will not be accepted on Aer Lingus flights.

For more information, visit Aer Lingus's website.

Air France

The airline suggests consulting a medical profession prior to embarking on air travel at any time during pregnancy, although you do not need medical clearance.

They suggest avoiding travel starting from week 37 and during the 7 days following childbirth.

For more information, visit their website for tips and advice.

Alitalia

Alitalia advises you not to travel if you have given birth 7 days before you travel, or if you are due to give birth 7 days after you travel.

Before embarking on your trip, you should have your doctor complete, sign and stamp their Medicial information form not more than 7 days prior to your departure date, if the following applies to you:

  • You are in the last 4 weeks of pregnancy.
  • Your pregnancy has some medical complications.
  • You are going to have twins.

For more information, visit their policy page

Austrian Airlines

  • Austrian Airlines accept pregnant women who are more than 4 weeks from their expected due date.
  • This is due to some births in Central Europe occuring too early in 6 or 7 % of the cases, around the 38th pregnancy week.
  • Each risk pregnancy means an absolute no for flying with this airline.
  • A pregnant woman should consult her gynecologist or treating doctor prior to every flight during the pregnancy as there could be a higher risk of the development of a deep vein thrombosis.

For more information, visit Austrian Airlines site for medical advice.

British Airways

British Airways states that for you and your baby's safety you cannot fly after:

  • the end of the 36th week if you are pregnant with one baby.
  • the end of the 32nd week if you are pregnant with more than one baby.

After 28 weeks pregnancy you must carry a confirmation of from your doctor or midwife, such as a letter or certificate, in addition to your pregnancy record. This should be written within 7 - 10 days prior to travel to confirm your approximate due date, that you're fit to travel and that there are no complications with your pregnancy.

This letter covers you for your entire journey, unless there are any complications with your pregnancy that requires medical intervention. Only then, would you be required to obtain an updated letter from the doctor that treated you.

BMI and BMIbaby

  • You can travel up to the end of the 36th week for single pregnancies and the end of the 32nd week for multiple births (e.g. twins).
  • After the end of the 30th week of pregnancy, you need to carry a certificate from your doctor or midwife confirming the estimated date of delivery and that there are no complications with your pregnancy.  
  • You are not recommended to travel within 7 days of giving birth.

For more information, visit BMI and BMIbaby's airline policies.

Easyjet

Although pregnancy is not considered to be a medical condition, and you are able to travel until quite late into your pregnancy, please note that:

  • If you have experienced any complications during your pregnancy you must consult your medical practitioner before flying with Easyjet.
  • You can travel up to the end of the 35th week for single pregnancies. 
  • If you are expecting more than one baby you can travel up to the end of the 32nd week.

Airline Policies for Pregnant Women3

Flybe

Flybe are happy to accept expectant mothers on domestic and international flights however, there are certain restrictions that apply as outlined below: 

  • Up to 28 weeks into pregnancy you are permitted to travel.
  • 28 - 33 weeks into pregnancy you are permitted to travel with a valid medical certificate.
  • 34 weeks onwards you will be unable to travel.

A medical certificate can be obtained from a local doctor's surgery or hospital. Simply bring it with you to the airport and present it at check-in to be able to board your flight.

Furthermore, Flybe do not recommend that either mother or child travel within 7 days after childbirth. They usually recommend at least 2 weeks to ensure there are no complications. For more information, visit Flybe.

KLM

KLM advises that pregnant passengers should not travel from 36 weeks of pregnancy, or during the 7 days following childbirth. If you are expecting more than 1 baby, they recommend consulting your physician first. If you've had complications, you will always need to have permission to fly from your phyisician. 

Iberia

  • Iberia does not require any specific authorisation before 28 weeks of pregnancy.
  • At 36+ weeks of pregnancy (or 32+ weeks for multiple pregnancies without complications) the IATA recommends against flying. As a result, you will not be able to fly on IB5XXX flights operated by Vueling.
  • If you still feel you need to travel, Iberia urges you to let you docotor to decide. In any other case, you will require previous authorisation from the Ibera Medical Service. 
  • You can start to fly again one week after giving birth.

For more information, visit Iberia.

SAS Scandinavian Airlines

SAS Scandinavian Airlines holds no restrictions for women pregnant with one child up until 4 weeks before expected delivery. For women expecting twins or more, there are no restrictions up until 12 weeks before expected delivery.

For saftey reasons for both mother and child, there are a number of restrictions on how late a passenger can fly the expected due date. These include:

  • From 2 - 4 weeks before expected delivery of one child, a special medical certificate (MEDC) is required, not more than 10 days old. The passenger must also be authorized by SAS' medical department. The flight time cannot exceed four hours.
  • From 2 weeks or less before expected delivery of one child, SAS Scandinavian Airlines cannot accept you onboard.
  • From 8 to 12 weeks before expected delivery of multiple births, a special medical certificate is required, not more than 10 days old. The passenger must also be authorized by SAS' medical department. The flight time cannot exceed 4 hours.
  • From 4 - 8 weeks before expected delivery or less than 4 weeks before expected delivery of multiple children, SAS Scandinavian Airlines cannot accept you onboard.

For more information, visit SAS Scandinavian Airlines

Swiss

  • Mothers-to-be whose pregnancy has proceeded without complications can travel on Swiss flights up to the end of the 36th week of pregnancy, i.e. up until four weeks before their scheduled delivery date.
  • If you are expecting a multiple birth and the pregnancy proceeds without complications, you can travel up to the end of the 32nd week of pregnancy.
  • Swiss Airlines recommend expectant mothers beyond the 28th week of their pregnancies to carry a current letter from a physician stating that the pregnancy is uncomplicated and confirming the expected date of delivery.
  • The physician should state that the patient's pregnancy does not prevent her from travelling by air.
  • Pregnant women run a higher risk of developing a deep-vein trombosis throughout their pregnancy. In view of this, if you are flying while pregnant, Swiss Airlines advise you to wear compression stockings, and to drink plenty of fluids.

For more information, visit Swiss Airlines.

TUI Airways

Whether you booked a holiday before you realised you were expecting, or have a baby on the way and want to squeeze a babymoon in before your due date, TUI Airways have the answers to the most common questions when it comes to flying during pregnancy, as well as NHS advice.

  • You can fly up to the 36th week, providing your pregnancy is progressing as normal and there have been no complications.
  • If you’re flying after 28 weeks – including your return flight – you’ll need to let TUI Airways customer services know and you’ll need a note from your doctor or midwife that states you’re fit to fly.
  • Long-distance travel – flights of more than five hours – carries an increased risk of deep vein thrombosis, or blood clots. According to the NHS website it’s not clear if that risk is higher if you’re pregnant, but TUI Airways recommend wearing compression stockings to help reduce risk.
  • For multiple pregnancies, TUI Airways will carry expectant mothers up to 32 weeks, so you’ll need to have completed the return leg of your journey by the end of that week.

As with any holiday, your insurance must cover you for the whole trip. Most standard travel insurance policies only cover up to the 28th week of pregnancy, so make sure you check with your provider. For more information, visit TUI Airways to view their airline policies.

Turkish Airlines

Turkish Airlines allows pregnant women to fly with them up until the 28th week of pregnancy without a doctors note.

  • Women expecting a single pregnancy are able to fly without a doctors note can travel by air between 1 - 27 weeks however, by 28 - 35 weeks a doctors note stating fitness to fly is required. After this time they are no longer cleared to fly even with medical permission.
  • Women expecting a multiple pregnancy can fly without a doctors note can travel by air between 1 - 27 weeks however, with a doctors 28 - 31 weeks a doctors note stating fitness to fly is required. At 32 weeks and beyond they will not be able to fly even with medical permission.

The doctors note must have been written and signed no earlier than 7 days before the flight.  The note for medical clearance should clearly show your doctor's name, surname, diploma number and signature. For more information, visit Turkish Airlines airline policies. 

Virgin Atlantic Airlines

Virgin Atlantic state that as long as no complications during your pregnancy have occured, you can fly until your 28th week without needing to inform them. Past the 28th week however, you will need to inform the airline.

For a single pregnancy:

  • If you want to travel between the 28th and 36th week, you will need to travel with a certificate from your doctor. The certificate should state that you've had no complications and your estimated delivery date.  
  • You must not fly after your 36th week of pregnancy, unless there are mitigating circumstances.

For a multiple pregnancy:

  • If you want to travel between the 28th and 32nd week, you will also need to travel with a doctor's certificate stating that you've had no complications and your estimated delivery date. 
  • You must not fly after the end of your 32nd week.

Travelling after the cut-off date:

For travel after the 36th week for single pregnancies or after the 32nd week for multiple pregnancies, Virgin Atlantic can only carry you for urgent medical or compassionate reasons, and only on approval from our medical advisors. They may also ask that a suitable medical attendant accompany you. For more information, visit Virgin Atlantic to view their airline policies. 

Ryanair

Expectant mothers are able to fly up to 28 weeks of pregnancy. Once an uncomplicated pregnancy enters its 28th week, expectant they are required to carry a 'fit to fly' letter completed by their midwife/doctor. This completed letter should be dated within 2 weeks of your booked flight and presented at either the bag drop desk and/or the boarding gate.

Ryanair reserves the right to refuse travel of an expectant mother over 28 weeks pregnant who does not present a completed  "fit to fly" letter from their midwife/doctor at either the bag drop desk and/or the boarding gate.

For uncomplicated pregnancies travel is not permitted beyond the following dates:

  • For an uncomplicated single pregnancy, travel is not permitted beyond the end of the 36th week of pregnancy
  • For an uncomplicated twins, triplets etc. pregnancy, travel is not permitted beyond the end of the 32nd week of pregnancy
  • A mother can be accepted for travel from 48 hours after the birth of her baby subject to having delivered without any complications or surgery. (Ryanair does not accept infants under the age of 8 days old).
  • If a caesarean section was performed or if surgery was needed for the mother then the minimum period before Ryanair could accept her for travel would be 10 days. However, this is also subject to approval for travel from her treating doctor.

For more information, visit Ryanair's airline policies.

Africa/Middle East

Emirates

Up until 28 weeks Emirates do not need a written letter from your doctor or midwife stating your fitness to fly. At 29 weeks they will ask for a medical certificate or letter signed by an appropriately qualified doctor or midwife stating:

  • The confirmation of either a single or multiple pregnancy.
  • Proof of a pregnancy without complications.
  • The due date for delivery.
  • That you are in good health.
  • That in their opinion there is not reason you should be prevented from flying.

If you choose to not carry this letter then you may not be accepted for travel if there is doubt about your ability to travel safely.

If the mother is expecting multiples, twins for example, then no air travel is permitted after the 32nd week of pregnancy. For a single pregnancy, no travel after the 36th week unless permitted for clearance by the Emirates medical department. Emirates requires that a medical information form (MEDIF) is to be submissed for clearance purposes.

Emirates states that you shoud be aware that some medical facilities at your destination country may not be up to standards to cope with problems that could occur when abroad. This means that sufficient travel insurance is strongly recommened incase of a premature labour. It is also wise to avoid travelling to remote areas or locations whilst pregnant.

Also, some countries might restrict or limit the entry of non-national pregnant women. Emirates recommended that if in any doubt you should consult the local consulate or embassy.

Heavy lifting during pregnancy should be avoided, so take care with your baggage.

Airline Policies for Pregnant Women

Qatar Airways

Prior to booking your ticket, Qatar Airways recommends that you visit your doctor and inquire about your fitness to fly the length of trip you intend to take.

For your own safety and the well being of your child, Qatar Airways will not accept expectant mothers who are pregnant from their 36th week or beyond.

Expectant mothers travelling after their 28th week of pregnancy are required to provide a medical certificate from a qualified doctor.

We also recommend that you provide a medical certificate during early and mid-stages of pregnancy to ensure a smoother and easier check-in process at the airport. The medical certificate should include:

  • Confirmation that the pregnancy is free of complication.
  • That the mother is “Fit to travel”.
  • The estimated delivery date.
  • The date of the consultation, the doctor’s stamp and contact details.

If you have a multiple or complicated pregnancy at the 29th  through 32nd week of term, a medical approval from a Qatar Airways doctor via a MEDIF form filled by your obstetrician will be required in order to travel. A MEDIF form can be obtained from your travel agency or your nearest Qatar Airways sales office.

Qatar Airways will not accept expectant mothers who have a multiple or complicated pregnancy that is in their 33rd week of term or beyond.

Saudi Arabian Airlines

Saudi Arabian Airlines state that, 'it is the duty of pregnant passengers to advise "Saudia" of the progress of their pregnancy at the point of booking a seat and at the check-in counter. The carriage of pregnant passengers is subject to following conditions:' 

Up to the eighth month of pregnancy, you will be able to travel without a medical note. A note will be required if:

  • Child birth is expected in less than 4 weeks
  • Uncertainty exists over the progress of the pregnancy and due date
  • There were previous multiple births childbirth complications are expected
  • The medical certificate must be issued within 10 days of the flight

You will be refused on flights if you are in the 35th+ week of pregnancy. After the 32nd week of pregnancy, a medical certificate (MEDIF) should be provided by your doctor and the form is valid for a period of 10 days from the date of issue.  

Asia/Pacific

Qantas Airlines

If you are pregnant, the following precautions must be observed.

For travel after the first 28 weeks of your pregnancy you need to carry a certificate or letter from a registered medical practitioner or registered midwife confirming:

  • The estimated date of delivery.
  • Whether it is a single or multiple pregnancy.
  • That there are no complications with your pregnancy.

The certificate or letter must be available on request and be carried with you at the airport and during the flight in your cabin baggage. If you do have complications with your pregnancy, Medical Clearence is also required.   

For flights of four hours or more:

  • If you are having no complications with your pregnancy you can travel up to the end of the 36th week of your pregnancy for single pregnancies or up to the end of the 32nd week for multiple pregnancies (for example, twins).

For flights of less than four hours:

  • If you are having no complications with your pregnancy you can travel up to the end of the 40th week of your pregnancy for single pregnancies and up to the end of the 36th week for multiple pregnancies (for example, twins).
  • If you wish to travel within seven days after delivery, medical clearance is required. Infants cannot travel for 48 hours after delivery and need medical clearance to travel between three and seven days after delivery.

Please Note:

  • We do not represent that travel is safe for you at any particular point during your pregnancy. You must seek advice from your own medical practitioner prior to your flight. The periods referred to above are only our minimum requirements.
  • Some countries place limitations on the entry of non-national pregnant women. Check with the relevant embassy or consulate before you travel to confirm any further limitations.

AirAsia

AirAsia states that it is the duty of pregnant passengers to inform the airline of their pregnancy when booking their seat and again at the check-in counter. Pregnant passenges on this airline are subject to the following coniditions:

Pregnancy before 28 weeks: You must sign the AirAsia/AirAsia X Limited Liability Statement at the check-in to absolve AirAsia/AirAsia X against liabilities against them.

Pregnancy after 28 weeks and up to 34 weeks: A doctors's medical certificate must been submitted confirming the number of weeks of pregnancy and stating that you are fit ad healthy to travel.  The note should not be dated more than 30 days before the outbound OR inbound departure date. You must also sign the AirAsia/AirAsia X Limited Liability Statement at the check-in to absolve AirAsia/AirAsia X against liabilities against them.

Pregnancy 35 weeks and later: carriage not permitted on AirAsia/AirAsia X.

Air China

Expectant mothers within 32 weeks of pregnancy or more than 8 weeks from estimated delivery date may travel and be accepted by China Airlines as normal passengers without a medical certificate.

For the expectant mother whose estimated date of delivery is 4-8 weeks, a release from indemnity” form, and a “Medical Certificate for Air Travel” must be filled out and signed by an obstetrician within 7 days prior to commencement of travel.

In principle, during the last 4 weeks of pregnancy, an expectant mother cannot travel on China Airlines flight.

China Airlines will not carry a new mother within 14 days after her delivery for safety reasons.

Some countries have stipulated different regulations for the limitation of expectant mother's arrival. We recommend you check travel requirements with the local diplomatic mission of your destination country before your travel.

Air New Zealand

A medical clearance is required if:

  • You have a complicated pregnancy such as placenta previa or bleeding
  • You have a multiple pregnancy such as twins or triplets
  • You have a history of premature labour
  • You have begun the early stages of labour 

When and how long you can fly, will depend on how far through your pregnancy term you are.

  • For multiple pregnancies, such as twins, you can fly up to the 31st week
  • For a single baby with an uncomplicated pregnancy and clearence from your doctor or midwife, you can board flights over five hours, up to the end of the 35th week. You can also board flights under five hours, up to the 37th week.

If you are beyond you 28th week, Air New Zealand recommends carrying a letter fromy our doctor or midwife saying they believe you are fit for travel, confirming your pregnancy dates and that there no complications.

If you are travelling internationally in the late stages of pregnancy and have stop-overs in your journey, please consider the possibility of early labour occurring during your stop-over. We have seen occasions where this happens and causes considerable distress - and often unexpected expense - for the mother.

Our advice is to travel well ahead of the date your baby is due. We also advise that whilst onboard, you drink plenty of water (bottled may run out, so you may want to purchase additional water to bring with you once you have cleared security. Go for plenty of walks where permitted and if at all possible, elevate your legs.

ANA (All Nippon Airlines)

Pregnant women withing 28 days of their due date (including the deu date itself) need to submit a medical form. The medical form must indicate:

  • That there are no complications of pregnancy 
  • That the passenger has no health problems preventing them from flying, and the due date
  • The form must be issued by a physcian and no more than 7 days prior to depature (including the departure date itself)
  • The medical information form will be accepted even if it is not ANA's precribed form

A medical information form is requires for passengers within 14 days of their due date and they must be accompanied by their physician. For passengers within 15-28 days of their due date, a medical form is required. 

Passengers within 28 days of their due date may accompany only one infant. In cases where a mother is accompanying more than one infant, a ticket needs to be purchased and any other infant/child must sit by their self using a child seat.

Pregnant passengers may not be allowed to travel if the flight might change the destination due to weather conditions, etc. or if the conditions may be considered to effect on the passenger's health during the flight.

Cathay Pacific

Cathay Pacific will accept passengers with uncomplicated multiple pregnancies up to 32 weeks (i.e. 31 weeks + 6 days).

Cathay Pacific will accept passengers with uncomplicated single pregnancies up to 36 weeks (i.e. 35 weeks + 6 days)

Cathay Pacific airlines advises their pregnant passengers to consult their treating doctor or midwife before planning a trip.  This is because it's recommeded that pregnant passengers carry documentation (doctors notes etc) staying the expected due date whilst travelling.

For all pregnancies after 28 weeks, Cathay Pacific requires a medical certifiate dated within 21 days of the outbound departure date.  The certificate should note:

  • Whether the pregnancy is single or multiple.
  • The expected due date.
  • The estimated week of pregnancy.
  • That you are in good health and the pregnancy has been without complication.
  • That you are fit to travel.

If you experience medical complications during your time travelling, then prior to your return journey you will need medical clearance from Cathay Pacific's medical team.

If you choose to not carry a medical certificate, or your medical certificate is outdated and/or does not contain the correct information, Cathy Pacific Airways reserves the right to deny you boarding.

Complicated Pregnancies

If complications occur during your pregnancy, you will need to secure medical clearance from Cathay Pacific medical team prior to travelling. Make sure that you and your treating doctor completes the MEDA form and its relevant sections to submit no later than 48 hours prior to the planned departure.

It is viable that your health/travel insurance covers your pregnancy and all pregnancy-related problems when travelling abroad. It is also recommened to check the medical facilities at the destination country are able to cope with any problems which might arise during your visit, as well as avoiding travelling to remote locations whilst pregnant to prevent unecessary problems.

If you require medications during your pregnancy, please ensure that you have an adequate supply for the journey. Please remember that certain medications, such as some types of malaria prophylaxis and vaccinations, cannot be used in pregnancy. If the destination country requires such prophylaxis, it may be better to postpone the journey until after your pregnancy.

Some countries place limitations on the entry of non-national pregnant women. It is advisable to check with the local consulate to confirm the country specific requirements.

JAL Japanese Airlines

JAL Japan Airlines recommendeds careful planning in consideration of your flight destination and scheduling.

Precautions before travel:

  • Speak with your doctor or midwife to know whether you are fit to fly.
  • Consult with your doctor if you have any systems such as bleeding or morning sickness, or if you have any complications including threatened miscarriage, anemia, or toxemia of pregnancy during pregnancy.
  • Aim to reduce your stress as much as possible.
  • Between 12 and 28 weeks is the most stable time of your pregnancy, it is recommened to travel then.

When a consent form and medical certificate is required for international routes:

  • If you are flying and your expected delivery date is in 4 weeks or less (you are in your 36th week of pregnancy or after)
  • When your due date is in 14 days or less, you must be accompanied by an obstetrician.
  • When your due date is not certain.
  • When you are expecting a multiple birth, twins for example.
  • When you have experienced a premature birth before.

(Consent forms and medical certificates are always available at JAL offices)

Medical certificates

  • The consulting doctor must state the due date, whether or not (in their opinion) it is safe for the woman to fly, and any special precautions that should be taken during travel.
  • Medical certificates must be completed 7 days or less before departure.

Precautions during travel

  • For easy access to the lavatories it is recommened to book or request an aisle seat.
  • Perform leg exercises during long flights, and request a foot/leg rest to keep your legs elevated during the flight.
  • Fasten the seatbelt over a blanket so that pressure is not applied directly to the uterus.

Airline Policies for Pregnant Women2

Korean Air

At Korean Air, pregnant passengers may check-in at 'Passengers with special needs' counters. They also provide priority boarding which available at all airports.

Timetable for safe travel for single pregnancy:

  • Less than 32 weeks, no special requirements
  • 32-36 weeks, indicate your term during booking and present your declaration form during check-in
  • 37 weeks or more, air travel is prohibited for saftey reasons  

Multiple pregnancy:

  • Less than 32 weeks, no special requirements
  • 32 weeks, indicate your term during booking and present your declaration form during check-in
  •  33 weeks or more, air travel is prohibited for safety reasons

Required documents:

If you are experiencing complications (gestational hypertension, gestational diabetes, obstetrical hemorrhage), you must present a medical certificate and a declaration form at check-in.

Malaysia Airlines

If you are travelling with Malaysia Airlines during pregnancy, you will require a letter from your doctor stating the duration of your pregnancy and any risk factors. The following periods are not recommended for women the travel:

  • After 32nd week fort hose with multiple pregnancies (e.g. twins)
  • After 35th week of pregnancy for international flights
  • After 36th week for domestic flights
  • Until 7 days after delivery

Note: check with the embassy if your country of destination should be any local restrictions into the country for pregnant women. 

Thai Airways

Pregnancies last on average 40 weeks. For uncomplicated pregnancies, THAI has imposed certain guidelines for traveling expectant mothers, as follows:

  • After the 28th week of pregnancy, passengers must obtain a medical certificate of fitness to travel issued by their attending obstetrician, stating the number of weeks of pregnancy and estimated date of delivery. The medical certificate issued by the doctor must be issued no later than 7 days prior to departure, which must be carried with the expectant passenger when boarding the flight.
  • For safety reasons, THAI reserves the right to deny boarding under certain circumstances if expecting passengers choose not to carry a medical certificate.
  • Expectant mothers may be permitted to travel up to the end of the 36th week of pregnancy on flights less than 4 hours (the estimated date of delivery being 4 weeks or more).
  • On flights more than 4 hours, expectant mothers may be permitted to travel up to the end of 34th  week (for pregnancies with the date of delivery estimated at being 6 weeks or more).
  • Expectant mothers whose pregnancy has entered beyond the 36th week of pregnancy will not be permitted to travel due to safety reasons.

Complicated Pregnancy

  • Expectant passengers with pregnancy complications such as twin babies or history of miscarriage are required to obtain medical approval from their obstetrician. The passenger’s obstetrician is required to complete a  “Medical Clearance Form” (MEDA) and submit it to THAI no later than 48 hours prior to flight departure.

It is strongly advised that expecting passengers contact the local THAI office if they need travel-related assistance or further information.

Note: Since certain countries, such as Singapore or Malaysia, have imposed certain restrictions regarding expectant mothers of other nationalities from entering their nation, THAI strongly advises that passengers obtain information prior to flight departure.

Latin America/Caribbean

Gol Linhas Aereas

If you are pregnant or are accompanying someone who is, please go to the GOL check-in counter at the airport to request preferential treatment.  It is important to remember that if the pregnancy has not progressed into the 27th week, or 25th week for twins, no medical authorization is required to travel.

But if the pregnancy is between the 28th and 36th week, the mother must complete the Declaration of Responsibility provided by GOL and present a medical authorization for travel by air. 

An expectant mother who is in her 37th to 39th week of pregnancy, or 33rd for twins, must be accompanied by the responsible physician.  Over the 40th week of pregnancy, the customer cannot board, unless it is due to an extreme medical necessity and she is in the company of an OBGYN.

Important! In order for the medical authorization to be valid, it must have been issued no more than one week prior to boarding.  Even with medical authorization it is not recommended for a mother to fly seven days before  or seven days after giving birth. GOL also recommends that newborn babies only travel after they are one week old.

LATAM Airlines

Pregnant women can travel without restriction up until they reach the 27th week of pregnancy. If you have complications, you must present a medical certificate.

At the beginning of the 28th week, you must bring a medical certificate that has been issued 10 days before your trip. It must include:

  • Origin and destination of your trip
  • Details about the departure and and arrival dates
  • How many weeks you have been pregnant
  • Written authorisation to travel in an airplane

From week 36, you need written authorisation from the LATAM medical department. Starting on week 37, you can travel on flights under 6 hours. 

From week 39, for the safety of you and your baby, you cannot travel on any LATAM flight. Women pregnant with more than one baby, will need to provide a medical certificate and authrisation from the LATAM medical department from week 32.

Pregnant women will not be boarded on any flight within seven days of their expected delivery.

North America

American Airlines

In addition to the information below, please also be aware that a medical certificate is required if you will be traveling within four weeks of your delivery date in a normal, uncomplicated pregnancy.

Domestic Travel (Not Including Travel Over Water)

  • For domestic flights under five hours, travel on American Airlines is not permitted within seven days before and after your delivery date. If you should need to travel within seven days before or after delivery, a medical certificate is required as well as clearance from our Special Assistance Coordinators.

International/Over Water Travel

  • Travel is not advised within 30 days of the due date if its international or over water, unless you are examined by an obstetrician within 48 hours of outbound departure and certified in writing as medically stable for flight.
  • Travel within 10 days of the due date for International travel must have clearance from American Airlines' Special Assistance Coordinators.
  • Travel within 7 days after delivery requires clearance as well.

Air Canada

Any woman with a normal pregnancy and no previous history of premature labour may travel up to and including her 36th week on Air Canada, Jazz and Air Canada coded flights operated by Tier 3 carriers.

Continental Airlines

Medical certificate required if traveling within seven days of due date. Certificate must state that the passenger has been examined and is fit to travel.

Delta Airlines

No restrictions for pregnant travellers.

Delta Airlines does suggest referring to a medical professional to make sure that pregnant passengers traveling within one month of due date are fit to travel.

Southwest Airlines

While travelling by air is not usually a cause for problems during pregnancy, unless delivery is expected within 14 days or less, there have been cases of air travel causing complications or premature labour.

Southwest Airlines recommends against air travel for pregnant women at the 38th week of pregnancy and later, and that at any stage before this week they should consult their consulting physician prior to air travel.

Depending on their physical condition, strength, and agility, pregnant women may, in some cases, be asked not to sit in the emergency exit row.

United Airlines

Any woman travelling before 36 weeks of pregnancy will be allowed to travel on a United flight without medical documentation.

After 36 weeks, you must have the original and two copies of the obstetrician's certificate, which must be updated within three days (72 hours) prior to your flight departure. To best assure the pregnant traveller's safety, it's preferable to have the certificate dated within one day of flight departure. 

The certificate must state:

  • The passenger has been examined by an OB and is physically fit to travel by air.
  • Departure and arrival destinations and dates.
  • The estimated due date of the baby.

You should provide the original certificate to a United representative at check-in. The remaining copies are for reference during air travel.

US Airways

If your due date is within 4 weeks, you must provide a doctor's certificate stating that you've been recently examined and you're fit to fly.

Domestic travel:

For domestic flights under five hours, you won't be permitted to travel within 7 days (before and after) your delivery date. If you need to travel within this time frame: 

  • Approval from your physician and a special assistance coordinator is required
  • Your physician will be required to fill out a passenger medical form before your flight. 

International travel:

Clearence from a special assistance coordinator is required for internation travel over water:

  • Within 4 weeks of your due date (travel also requires a physician's note stating that you've been that you've been examined within the past 48 hours and you're fit to fly)
  • 7 days before or after your delivery date (travel also requires a passenger medical form to be completed by a physician)

The certificate should state that the expecting mother has been examined by her consulting doctor and found to be physically fit for air transportation.

If you are planning to fly whilst pregnant please check each airline's policy before you book tickets in case they have been updated or changed.

 

Is there anything we should add? Tweet us at @GurgleUK or follow our Facebook page

 

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