Travelling With Your Bump: 10 Airlines’ Policies
With the summer holidays just around the corner, you might be planning a relaxing babymoon in France, New York or Sydney before your due date.
But are you worried about whether you’ll be able to fly with your ever growing baby bump?
You can still fly with commercial airlines during your first or second trimester of pregnancy. However, each airline’s set of policies differ once you reach your third trimester.
Always bear your return date in mind when travelling somewhere as some airlines won’t allow you on the flight when you passed the amount of weeks before you’re due.
Be safe and consult with your doctor or midwife first before you travel – especially if your pregnancy is considered high risk at all. Your health care professional may advise you not to fly at all.
Here are 10 airlines’ policies regarding mommies-to-be flying:
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Up to week 27 of your pregnancy you may travel with no special requirements (both European and transatlantic flights).
- Flights withing Europe – Between weeks 28 and 35 your doctor must complete an Expectant Mother Travel Advice Form online. If you’re 36 weeks or over, you cannot travel on any Aer Lingus flights.
- Transatlantic flights – Between 28 and 33 weeks your doctor must complete an Expectant Mother Travel Advice Form. If you’re 34 weeks or over, you won’t be allowed on any flights.
- Visit Aer Lingus for more information.
Mummies-to-be are free to fly up to 28 weeks of pregnancy. But once you reach 28 weeks, you should carry a “fit to fly” letter completed by your doctor or midwife.
- If you expect only one baby and you have an uncomplicated pregnancy, you can fly with Ryanair up until the end of the week 36. After that, you’re not allowed on the flights.
- If you expect more than one baby and you have an uncomplicated pregnancy, you can still fly with this airline until the end of week 32. After that, you’re not allowed on the flights.
- A mother can fly with them again from 48 hours after giving birth if she delivered without any compications or surgery. Ryanair don’t allow babies under the age of eight days old on their flights.
- If you had a C-section or surgery was needed then you’re only allowed to fly with Ryanair after a minimum of 10 days. But this is also subject to approval for travel from your treating doctor.
- For more information, go to Ryanair.
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During the first 28 weeks of your pregnancy (whether you’re expecting one or more than one baby), Etihad Airways allows you to travel without a medical certificate.
- You’ll need a medical certificate issued on a clinic/hospital letterhead, signed and stamped by your doctor or midwife. The certificate shouldn’t be older than three weeks. It should state, in easily understood and written Arabic or English, that you are fit to fly, how far along you are as well as the expected due date.
- If you’re expecting only one baby, you’ll be allowed to travel with Etihad from the 29th week to the end of the 36th week. However you’ll have to submit a medical certificate. From 37 weeks onward, you won’t be allowed to travel with Etihad until a week after the birth.
- For multiple pregnancies, you can travel from the 29th week to the end of the 32nd week by providing a medical certificate. From the 33rd week you won’t be allowed to travel with them.
- Go to Etihad Airways’ website for more information.
- If you’re travelling with this airline, you won’t need medical clearance, but they do recommend to consult with your doctor or midwife first before travelling.
- They suggest avoiding travel starting from week 37 of your pregnancy and during the seven days following childbirth.
- For more tips on travelling while pregnant, go to their website.
Up until week 28 of your pregnancy you’re free to travel with the, but for you and your child’s safety, British Airways recommends the following:
- Don’t fly after the end of your 36th week if you’re pregnant with one baby.
- Don’t fly after the end of the 32nd week if you’re pregnant with more than one baby.
- After 28 weeks you must carry a confirmation (a letter of certificate) from your doctor or midwife to show that you’re fit to fly. It shouldn’t be older than seven to 10 days prior to your travel. It should also confirm your approximate due date and that there are no complications with your pregnancy.
- Visit Britsh Airways for more information.
- Mums-to-be who are over 36 weeks pregnant are recommended not to fly.
- This airline also discourages flying during the first week after giving birth and the same for your newborn baby.
- If you are expecting more than one baby, you have to consult your physician first.
- If you have had complications, you always need permission to fly from your doctor or midwife.
- Visit KLM for more information.
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Up until 28 weeks you can fly with Emirates if you have a pregnancy without any complications.
- Once have entered your 29th week of pregnancy, a medical certificate or letter signed by your doctor or midwife is required. If you choose not to carry this certificate, you may not be accepted for travel if there is any doubt about your ability to complete the journey safely. The certificate should state the following:
- Whether you’re expecting one or multiple babies
- You have an uncomplicated pregnancy
- The estimated date of birth
- The date up to which you are expected to be fit to travel
- That you are in good health
- That there is no reason known that would prevent you from flying
- Travel after the 36th week for single, uncomplicated pregnancies, and after the 32nd week for multiple, uncomplicated pregnancies, will be permitted only after prior clearance from Emirates medical Services. A medical information form (MEDIF) will need to be submitted for clearance purposes.
- Sufficient travel insurance is strongly recommended in case of preterm labour abroad. Emirates suggests to avoid travelling to remote locations whilst pregnant.
- For more information go to Emirates’ website.
This airline recommends that you visit your doctor or midwife about your fitness to fly and the length of your trip you intend to take before you book your ticket.
- During the early and mid-stages of your pregnancy Qatar recommends that you provide a medical certificate to ensure a smoother and easier check-in process at the airport. The certificate should state the following:
- Confirming that the pregnancy is uncomplicated
- That you’re “fit to travel”
- The estimated delivery date
- The date of the consultation, the doctor’s stamp and contact details.
- If you’re travelling with them after your 28th week of pregnancy, you should provide a medical certificate from your doctor or midwife. The certificate
- From the 36th week of your pregnancy, you will not be allowed on any Qatar flights.
- If you have a multiple or complicated pregnancy between weeks 29 and 32, a medical approval from a Qatar Airways doctor via a MEDIF form filled by your obstetrician will be required to order to travel. You can get a MEDIF form from a travel agency or your nearest Qatar Airways sales office.
- On week 33 or after that women expecting multiple babies or have a complicated pregnancy is not allowed on Qatar Airways’ flights.
- Go to Qatar Airways’ website for more information.
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If you travel with Qantas Airlines 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’s a single or multiple pregnancy and that there are no complications with your pregnancy.
- For flights of four hours or more:
- If you have an uncomplicated pregnancy, you can travel up to the end or the 36th week of your pregnancy if you’re expecting one baby, or up to the end of the 32nd week for multiple pregnancies.
- Medical clearance is required if you are having complications with your pregnancy.
- For flights of less than four hours:
- If you have an uncomplicated pregnancy and expect only one baby, you can travel up to the end of the 40th week; if you’re expecting more than one baby, you can travel up to the end of the 36th week.
- Medical clearance is required if you are having complications with your pregnancy.
- They do recommend you seeking medical advice prior to your flight. Go to their website for more information.
You can travel with United Airlines without medical documentation up until your 36th week of pregnancy.
- Any mum-to-be travelling at or after 36 weeks of pregnancy, must have the original two copies of a medical professional’s certificate which must be dated within three days (72 hours) prior to her flight departure. To best assure your safety, it’s prefereable to have a certificate dated within one day of flight departure.
- The certificate must state that the health care professional has examined you and found you physically fit for air travel between the specified dates of your travel. It should also include the estimated birth date.
- You should provide the original certificate to a United Representative at check-in. Keep the other two copies for reference during air travel.
- For more information, go United Airlines’ website.
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