Flying while pregnant: What you need to bear in mind - Flightright UK

Trustpilot 4.1/5 based on 2,132 reviews

Flying while pregnant: What you need to bear in mind when travelling by air

Check your claim for compensation online now in just 2 minutes

Air passenger rights expert

Approved by Oskar de Felice

Air passenger rights expert

99% success rate in court
Since 2010 on the market
No financial risk

Key Points about “Flying while pregnant”

  • Pregnant women can fly in most cases.
  • Travel during first and second trimesters is generally safe.
  • Third trimester travel may require medical clearance.
  • Pregnant women should stay hydrated and move regularly.
  • Some airlines have restrictions and may require medical documentation.

You had a flight delay or a flight cancellation? Check your rights now and increase your chances of compensation

Having a baby is always a reason for great joy. But given the new addition to the family, some people naturally ask themselves whether they should rethink certain ways of life. This regularly includes the question of the right way to travel. With a growing belly, one is increasingly concerned not only about one’s health. Of course, one also worries about one’s offspring. Is flying still advisable at all? Since pregnancy lasts nine months, it is not possible to make any general statements that apply to the entire period.

Apart from the medical concerns, you must of course also pay attention to the airline’s regulations. After all, they always have certain rules for pregnant women. But there are sometimes significant differences between the individual airlines on this subject. In the following, we will take a closer look at what pregnant women have to bear in mind when traveling by air.

Can you fly when pregnant?

If you want to fly while pregnant, you should first inform yourself about the risks before you start your journey. After all, it is not only your health that plays a major role during pregnancy. With an embryo in your belly, you have to worry about two people at once. However, this does not mean that air travel is unthinkable for pregnant women.

Nevertheless, there are a few things to keep in mind. But should pregnant women fly? Whether flying is a good idea for a pregnant woman cannot be said in general terms. You have to decide on a case-by-case basis. In particular, the course of your pregnancy plays an immensely important role. If you are unsure, you should always consult your gynaecologist. His or her opinion carries the most weight, at least when it comes to health concerns.

Besides the question whether you should fly, however, there is also a completely different question. Are pregnant women allowed to fly? The combination of being pregnant and flying is possible in principle. However, certain conditions must be met. If your state of health does not speak against it, you can get on an aeroplane without restrictions up to the 28th week of pregnancy and follow your flight live. Pregnant women who are at least 28 weeks pregnant must have their fitness to fly certified. A certificate from your doctor or midwife can be used here. This certificate also clarifies the question: Can you fly when you are pregnant? 

The question whether it is allowed to fly when pregnant no longer arises for many pregnant women after the 30th week of pregnancy. Pregnant women should avoid flying at this point because of the cramped conditions in the cabin or the toilet. On the other hand, those who cannot say no to flying can, at least theoretically, board a plane up to the 35th week of pregnancy. Anything beyond that, however, is refused by most airlines. Since the airlines want to be on the safe side for insurance reasons, a simple medical certificate is usually no longer sufficient. For reasons of proof, they also require a maternity passport, which provides information about the pregnancy status. 

What risks do pregnant women face in the aircraft cabin? Contrary to common belief, it is not the oxygen pressure that can be dangerous for pregnant women at high altitudes. The only exception to this is women who are known to have an underactive placenta. However, a conscientious doctor would not permit them to fly. The greatest risk factor for all pregnant women on board an aircraft is immobility. Your blood circulation is already disturbed by the pregnancy. Since you can only move to a limited extent or not at all in the aircraft cabin, the risk of thrombosis is therefore significantly increased. 

If you are pregnant and want to take a flight, it is important that you at least take the risks into account. This includes some rules of conduct that will protect you from thrombosis. Probably the most important rule is: drink. It is best to keep your body hydrated throughout the flight. You risk having to go to the toilet more often, but it is important. It is also important to move around as much as possible. Even if space is limited, you should do what you can to be mobile. Stand up and tense your leg muscles from time to time. A practical aid that protects against thrombosis is to wear medical support stockings. 

Are you affected by an overbooking, flight delay, cancellation, or missed connection? Use our compensation calculator to check whether you can receive compensation for your problem flight and instruct Flightright conveniently online to enforce your claim. Check your flight now.

According to the EU Air Passenger Rights Regulation, the amount of compensation is calculated according to the flight route (distance):

Short distance up to 1500 kmMedium distance up to 3500 kmLong distance from 3500 km
e.g. London – Edinburghe.g. London – Athense.g. London – Tokyo
Check your claim in 2 minutes

What should a pregnant woman know before travelling by air? 

Pregnant and flying, what should I bear in mind? Many expectant mothers struggle with this question. And quite rightly so. After all, boarding an aircraft is not just about her health. Flying while pregnant is not in itself prohibited. Nevertheless, many pregnant women who fly ask themselves the question: What do I have to bear in mind? There are several rules for flying during pregnancy. If you are one of the lucky ones who have a problem-free pregnancy up to the 28th week of pregnancy, you do not have to worry about flying. Up to this point, you can travel by plane without any problems.

From the 28th week of pregnancy, however, most airlines require a certificate from your midwife or doctor. This must show that there are no health concerns that would prevent you from travelling by plane. To prove that your pregnancy has not progressed further, you should also carry your maternity passport with you. From the 30th week of pregnancy, this is even compulsory for a flight. If you are in the 35th week of pregnancy and even more advanced, however, you will not be allowed to fly with most airlines. The risks are too great.

In addition to the requirements of the airline, you should always keep health aspects in mind. For example, sufficient fluid intake and, if possible, plenty of exercise on board are essential to counteract the risk of thrombosis on board. It is best to talk to your doctor again in detail before each flight. He or she will know what is best for you and your child. If you follow the rules for flying during pregnancy, you usually don’t have to worry about yourself or your baby.

Which airline do you fly with? 

The rules around transporting pregnant women can differ from airline to airline. Depending on the airline, there are different conditions of carriage. Women who want to fly while pregnant should keep these in mind. If you are planning to fly during pregnancy, it is important to check the regulations of the airline in question beforehand. 

What should a medical certificate contain?

From the 28th week of pregnancy onwards, most airlines require you to present a certificate from your midwife or the doctor treating you. The certificate should not only state that a flight is medically safe for you as a pregnant woman. It is also important that the date of birth is mentioned on the certificate. This way, the airline can easily calculate which week of pregnancy you are in. By the way, there is a special rule if you are pregnant with multiples. In these cases, it is necessary for the doctor to explicitly confirm that a flight is possible without any problems until the end of the 28th week of pregnancy. 

How long can a pregnant woman fly? 

How long can a pregnant woman fly? This is a question asked by many pregnant women who are looking forward to having a baby but still want to go on holiday far away. Flying while pregnant is not a problem in itself. Each airline decides how long you can fly while pregnant. The best thing to do is to take a look at the relevant website and call the airline’s customer service. Here you will get an answer to the question: How long is a pregnant woman allowed to fly? Most airlines state that there is a general flight ban for pregnant women from the 35th week of pregnancy. 

Can you fly anywhere during pregnancy?

Theoretically, flying while pregnant is possible even if the destination is far away (long-haul or non-stop flight). But if you are pregnant and want to fly, there are a few points you should consider. In particular, wearing support stockings, drinking enough fluids and getting as much exercise as possible is essential. This way you can prevent the risk of a blood clot. 

Can a pregnant woman fly in the first 3 months?  

Flying while pregnant in the first 3 months is possible without any problems from the airlines’ point of view. However, if you ask a doctor, the answers will probably be different in many cases. Regarding the question ‘Can you fly in the 12th week’, many doctors will shake their heads. After all, the risk of miscarriage is very high when flying while pregnant in the first 3 months. If you want to fly while pregnant, you should avoid it at the beginning of your pregnancy if possible. In the so-called second trimester, being pregnant and flying go better together.

When is the ideal time to fly during pregnancy?

If possible, you should fly in the second trimester.  

Why are pregnant women not allowed to sit in the front of the plane?

Certain seats are off-limits for pregnant women on planes. These include the seats in the front and the seats by the emergency exits. This is a rule for safety reasons.

When should pregnant women not fly? 

The second trimester is the optimal time to fly during pregnancy. Flying when pregnant is hardly dangerous if you follow a few rules. This is true, at least in most cases. But why are you not allowed to fly during the first 12 weeks? And when can you fly when pregnant? In the first 12 weeks, the risk of miscarriage is too high. Conversely, you should not fly after the 35th week of pregnancy. The middle of pregnancy is therefore the most advisable time. 

In principle, air travel during pregnancy can be quite unproblematic under certain circumstances, but there are some things to bear in mind. In the first three months of pregnancy there is an increased risk of miscarriage, so flights should be avoided during this time if possible. Even after the third week of pregnancy, you should think carefully about whether a flight is absolutely necessary, as the strain on the body can increase during the flight.

However, it is possible to fly up to a certain point in pregnancy. Most airlines allow flights up to the 36th week of pregnancy, although there may be differences. Condor and EasyJet, for example, have special regulations for pregnant women who want to fly during their pregnancy. It is therefore advisable to check with the airline before booking and possibly present a medical certificate. At check-in, you should definitely point out that you are pregnant so that any restrictions or special measures can be taken into account.

Can you have a miscarriage if you fly?

Especially if you fly during the first 12 weeks, the risk of miscarriage is quite high. The fact that flying while pregnant is dangerous should be kept in mind at this time. 

Is radiation exposure dangerous for a pregnant woman or the baby?

No question that flying while pregnant can be dangerous. But the so-called cosmic radiation is one of the least dangerous risks. Although it is higher in the air than on the ground, you can safely disregard it. How harmful flying is during pregnancy should therefore not depend on this factor.

10 tips for a pleasant and relaxed flight during pregnancy

If you want to fly while pregnant, there are a few tips you should keep in mind. We have put together tips for women who want to fly while pregnant. 

Tips for flying during pregnancy:

There are many tips for flying during pregnancy. We have put together the most important ones for you. Here we go into tips before and during the flight. 

Before the flight:

  • Do you have health insurance for abroad? If not, make sure you get one.
  • Stay overnight in a hotel close to the airport before departure. This will save you stress.
  • Use the online check-in
  • Dress in loose and comfortable clothes

And when you finally board the plane:

  • Choose an aisle seat to make going to the toilet easier
  • Fasten your seat belt under your belly
  • Do regular leg exercises to stimulate blood circulation
  • Drink and eat enough
  • Use a neck pillow to help you rest
  • Use support stockings under your clothes

How can Flightright help you?

You are pregnant and still do not want to give up travelling by plane. You are at the airport, impatiently waiting for your flight. Of a sudden, the airline announces a flight delay / cancellation.

Tip: Flightright helps you enforce your air passenger rights! With us, you can check your claims free of charge in two minutes. ✔️Easy, ✔️fast & without ✔️risk

According to the EU Passenger Rights Regulation, passengers are entitled to compensation in the event of a delay, cancellation, overbooking, or missed connection. You can claim up to 600 euros of compensation per person (minus commission fee). This compensation is independent of the ticket price. Flightright enforces your right for you. If necessary also in court.

As experts on the subject of air passenger rights, we enforce your right to compensation against the airline! Flightright’s air passenger rights experts are also happy to help you with ticket reimbursements

Scroll to Top