Is it safe to fly during pregnancy? Know the complete Airline guidelines and Rules
Many women will have to fly during pregnancy and it is completely safe during the second trimester. But, to confirm that flying is safe for you, consult with your doctor before considering an international trip.
It is safe to book international flights from USA to India until 36 weeks of pregnancy but some airlines restrict international travel after 28 weeks. Airline policies vary depending on various reasons like travel duration, stage, and complications of pregnancy. Certain airlines may ask you for a medical certificate from a doctor during the last month of pregnancy. So, you need to confirm the rules and regulations of the airline ahead of time. Here in this blog, check with specific carriers for airline requirements and make your trip hustle free.
United Airlines Pregnancy Policy:
- The guidelines by United Airlines for long-distance travel during pregnancy are not so strict. United Airlines allows pregnant women to travel without medical documentation if flying before the 36th week.
- Once you have reached the 36th week you will have to carry an obstetrician’s certificate with two photocopies. The original certificate will be inquired at the check-in. The certificate must state that you are fit to travel and should be dated within three days (72 hours) of the departure time.
Air India Pregnancy Policy:
- Air India allows women to travel on flights from USA to India till the 32nd week of pregnancy without any additional formalities. If the expectant mother is in good healthy condition, they may be accepted for transportation up to including 35th week of pregnancy with a medical certificate from an obstetrician. The certificate must be dated not more than 3 days, before departure.
- In case of pregnancy beyond 35 weeks, the expectant mothers will only be allowed to travel if there is an emergency or urgent reason. Air India flight USA to India is possible only if you fill out the MEDIF (Medical Information Form) form and get permission from the authority of the Executive Director – Medical Services.
Emirates Pregnancy Policy:
- With Emirates, you can book your flight as usual up to your 29th week of pregnancy as long as you are healthy and fit to fly.
- Traveling after the 29th week is also safe and does not harm your baby but the risk of going into labor increases. Thus, Emirates will allow you to fly only after you show them the medical certificate describing your health condition. It should include confirmation of single or multiple pregnancies, estimated date of delivery, and mother’s good health condition.
- If you are a case of multiple pregnancies Emirates will not allow you to fly with them after the 32nd week of gestation. Although, women with single pregnancy case can fly only after they get a clearance that there is no complications or medical concerns from the medical team of the Airline. You will be asked to fill out the MEDIF form too.
Qatar Airways Pregnancy Policy :
- The first thing Qatar Airlines expects from their pregnant passengers is to consult a doctor before booking international flights to India from USA. Till the 28th week of pregnancy, you can fly without any doctor’s note or certificate.
- Expectant mothers from 29 to 32 weeks can fly after they provide proof of pregnancy with no complications on a doctor’s note or medical certificate. Make sure the medical certificate is issued within 10 days of the departure date.
- Those who are going through multiple pregnancies must provide a doctor’s note and MEDIF. Please note down you cannot fly with Qatar if your pregnancy has reached 36 weeks or beyond.
Lufthansa Pregnancy Policy :
- Depending on the stage of your pregnancy and related details fly with Lufthansa till the 36th week of pregnancy without any medical certificate. This is only applicable if you have no complications in your pregnancy.
- If there is any risk of complication beyond the 28th week, it is suggested to carry a certificate from your gynecologist confirming there is no complications in pregnancy. Furthermore, it should also include the expected delivery date.
- Those with multiple pregnancies are only allowed to fly till the 32nd week. To avoid thrombosis you can wear compression stockings while flying.
- It is strongly suggested to get familiar with country-specific laws before booking flights from India to USA.
American Airlines Pregnancy Policy:
- Occasional air travel during pregnancy is generally safe unless you have medical or obstetric conditions. If there are 4 weeks left for a due date then you must provide a doctor’s certificate confirming that you’ve been lately examined and you’re fit to fly internationally.
- The doctor’s certificate must be issued within 2 days of the departure. If you are traveling before and after 7 days of delivery then American Airlines will ask for a medical form to be completed by your physician.
Each airline has its own specific rules and slightly different policy and a cut-off point after which they may refuse to carry you. Now you have find out their policy and what documents you may need during travel over us to India flights. With the proper precautions, vaccinations, necessary information, and guidelines pregnant women can travel securely and avoid the risk of complications.
Travel Tips for Pregnant Passengers in an Airplane:
- Pregnant passengers who have obstetric conditions or complications are not recommended to travel. So, try to avoid long international travel unless it is necessary.
- There might be low humidity in the cabin so make sure you drink plenty of fluid to avoid dehydration.
- Some people are prone to blood clots and it is more difficult to travelers who are pregnant. Carry Decompression stockings with you because they help in blood flow.
- Buy trip insurance! In this way, if you have to cancel your trip for any reason you can easily recover from the loss.
- Keep your medications in your carry-on bag so they it is easily accessible when needed.
- During the trip, wear the lap belt under your abdomen to avoid sudden jerks.
- Feed the obstetrician’s number on your phone and make sure your travel companion also has the number.
- Flying duration has a great effect on health. So, book non-stop flights to India as they take less travel time to reach their destination as compared to connecting flights. Air India, United, Delta, and American Airlines operate non-stop flight service from USA to India (add link Revised List of USA to INDIA Non-Stop Flights). You can compare all of them and book the best suitable flight for your trip.
- Pregnant women need to use washrooms frequently. So, choose an aisle seat so you can easily walk to the restrooms.
-> Can I fly on us to India flights during pregnancy?
Yes, pregnant women can have safe international travel with some general precautions. You can fly to India without any restrictions during 24-28 weeks of pregnancy. But, beyond 28 weeks you have to carry a certificate from your doctor confirming you have no complications and are physically fit to air travel.
-> Can I fly at 32 weeks pregnant?
Yes, airlines allow you to fly until 36 weeks if there are no pregnancy complications. Some international flights won’t let passengers fly after 28 weeks unless you show a medical certificate to them. But, it is highly recommended to go through a checkup and consult your doctor before booking flights from India to USA.
-> Can I travel in the 8th month of pregnancy?
Most airlines allow passengers to fly in the 8th month after receiving their medical certificate of good health condition. Each airline has its rules and regulations that can be country-specific too. Thus it is also suggested to call the airline ahead of time and ask about their policy and necessary documents they may need.
-> Which seat is best in-flight for a pregnant lady?
An aisle seat is a good option for pregnant passengers because of more legroom than other seats. This seat makes getting up to go to the toilet easier.
-> What are the best international flights from the USA to India that allow pregnant passengers to fly?
Mostly all airlines allow pregnant passengers to fly long-haul international travel. Some of the best airlines that you should prefer are Air India, Delta Airlines, United Airlines, and American Airlines.
-> Flying in-plane is harmful to me during pregnancy?
As long as you are not close to the due date flying is totally safe. While flying makes sure you wear a seatbelt under your abdomen that prevents you from any injury that may occur during turbulence.
Also Read: Revised List of USA to INDIA Non-Stop Flights