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The Best Advice on Flying When Pregnant 2019

You’re about to jet off on that dream trip to Barbados you booked a year ago. Except now you’ve got an extra passenger on-board. Don’t fret; you may still be able to fly. Because depending on what stage in your pregnancy you’re at - flying when pregnant isn't a problem!

Can you fly when pregnant? – Advice for travel during pregnancy 2019

Pregnant Woman in Airport

The HSE (Health Service Executive in Ireland) advises that when it comes to travelling, flying when pregnant poses no risk to pregnant women or their unborn babies. As long as you fly before the 37th week of pregnancy. That’s if you’re carrying one baby. If it’s an uncomplicated twin pregnancy, they recommend before 32 weeks. However, as the chances of going in to labour increase, it’s vital you ensure you and your baby are healthy enough to take to the air. Because apart from the obvious complications of giving birth thousands of feet up in the air, you are at greater risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT).

Pregnant Woman Relaxing in Swimming Pool

Before Flying When Pregnant

If the sea and sun are calling you for a much deserved ‘babymoon’ and flying is the only way to get to your destination here are a few ways to prepare for your trip:

  1. Talk to your doctor about flying when pregnant. You may need to request a letter confirming that you’re fit to fly, and won’t give birth as they’re soaring across the Sahara.
  2. Phone the airline you’re travelling with, or check their website for information, as rules can differ. For example you cannot fly transatlantic with Aer Lingus if you are 34 weeks pregnant or over. For reference see the table below for a guide on flying when pregnant policies of the top airlines from Ireland.
  3. Most airlines allow you to choose your seat. And often the bulkhead seat is preferred by pregnant women looking for a bit more in-flight comfort. If the airline you are flying with doesn’t allow seat pre-allocation, or the fee for booking a seat is too high, then the option is to arrive at check-in early to ensure you get a suitable seat.
  4. If you can, book yourself on to Business or Premium Economy. Seats here tend to have more legroom – but this will come at an additional cost.
  5. Pack your European Health Insurance Card. This is by no means a substitute for full medical coverage, but if you’re travelling within the EU then this will entitle you to emergency care.
  6. Make sure your travel insurance gives you adequate cover when you are travelling or flying when pregnant. Most insurers will insist that the mum-to-be has at least 8 weeks until she gives birth upon return. Others may stipulate that cover only extends up until week 27 or 28 of pregnancy. Contact them to find out their particular conditions and exactly what you could claim for.
Woman by the sea looking up through binoculars

Flying when Pregnant Policies of the Top Airlines from Ireland 2019

The policy information below is based on uncomplicated pregnancies. And where there was no policy information to be found on the airlines official site – it has been left blank.

AirlineAllowed
Fly
Not Allowed
Fly
RyanairUp to
Week 36

Doctors Cert:
from Week 28
From
Week 37

Multiple pregnancy:
from Week 33
Aer Lingus
Up to
Week 35

Doctors Cert:
from Week 28
From
Week 36
easyJetUp to
Week 35

From
Week 36

Multiple pregnancy:
from Week 33
Virgin Atlantic
Up to
Week 28

Doctors Cert:
from Week 28
From
Week 37

Multiple pregnancy:
from Week 33
Air Canada
Up to
Week 36
From
Week 37
Flybe
Up to
Week 33

Doctors Cert:
from Week 28
From
Week 34
British AirwaysUp to
Week 36

From
Week 37

Multiple pregnancy:
from Week 33
Emirates
Up to
Week 36

Doctors Cert:
from Week 29
From
Week 37

Multiple pregnancy:
from Week 33
Air New ZealandOver 4hr Flight:
Up to Week 37

Under 4hr Flight:
Up to Week 41

Multiple pregnancy:
Over 4hr Flight:
from Week 33

Under 4hr Flight:
from Week 37
DeltaNo restriction
No restriction
United
Up to
Week 36

Doctors Cert:
from Week 36
Estimated birth date
must be after the date
of the flight
American Airlines
Doctors Cert:
if due date is
within 4 weeks
of flight
Physician Approval:
7 days
before and after
your delivery date
QantasOver 4hr Flight:
Up to Week 37

Under 4hr Flight:
Up to Week 41

Multiple pregnancy:
Over 4hr Flight:
from Week 33

Under 4hr Flight:
from Week 37
TUI
Up to
Week 36

Doctors Cert:
from Week 28
From
Week 37

Multiple pregnancy:
from Week 33
Turkish Airlines
Up to
Week 35

Doctors Cert:
from Week 28 and
Week 32
From
Week 36

Multiple pregnancy:
from Week 32
Thai Airways
Single Pregnancy:
Over 4hr Flight:
Up to Week 34
Under 4hr Flight:
Up to Week 36

Doctors Cert:
from Week 28
From
Week 36

Multiple pregnancy:
medical approval from
Thai Airways required
KLM
Up to
Week 36
From
Week 37
Luftansa
Up to
Week 36

Doctors Cert:
from Week 28
From
Week 37

Multiple pregnancy:
from Week 29

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Woman On Plane

During Your Flight

So you’ve checked with the airline, your insurers and your doctor about flying when pregnant. And you’ve got the all clear to fly. But there are a few ways you can make your flight as comfortable as possible:

  • Get up and move around the plane every couple of hours or so.
  • It may be the ultimate fashion faux-pas, but wearing DVT socks and sandals will help make flying a little more bearable if your feet start to swell.
  • Try to get us much shut-eye as possible.
  • Pack healthy snacks and lots of water, as pregnant ladies are more susceptible to dehydration.
  • Avoid tea and coffee, they don’t help you stay hydrated.

Got a long haul flight coming up and wondering how to get some sleep on the plane? Here’s our advice on how to sleep well on long flights.

Pregnant woman on a beach

When You Land

Safe landing complete, baggage collected, and you’re en route to your hotel before a little bit of sight-seeing. You’re becoming a pro at flying when pregnant but take extra care whilst you’re on holiday with these top tips:

  • Keep the hat and high factor sun protection on at all times, as your skin is more sensitive to the sun’s rays during pregnancy.
  • Steer clear of the banana boats, jet skis, any diving or water based activity.
  • Take a copy of your medical notes and insurance policy.
  • Make your own list of local doctors, hospitals and the embassy with contact details and directions.

Long flight ahead, and wondering how to beat that jet lag? Here are our top tips on how to prevent jet lag and what you can do to stay awake (or sleep!) once you’re in your new destination.

*Published 30 May 2019. Whilst information was correct at the time of publication, we’d recommend that you check the details with the airline or OTA before booking.

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