Until what week can I travel by plane if I am pregnant?

The plane is, without any doubt, the safest means of transport for a long trip. However, although this is the case and in most of the occasions the plane trip does not suppose any type of problem, during pregnancy it is possible that the future mother will have different doubts, especially as to whether or not it is really safe for his gestation the trip in airplane. The fear of flying is added the worries of pregnancy. What is the policy of the airlines in this regard ?.

Is it really safe to fly? And for a pregnant woman?

According to data from the Aviation Safety Network (ASN) collected by AFP and published by Verne (El PaĆ­s), 2017 was the safest year for civil aviation, since "only" 10 passenger aircraft suffered accidents, the 36.8 million flights that were carried out around the world (that is, an accident every 7.36 million flights).

Deepening a little more, according to data from the Global Fatal Accident Review 2002-2011, a passenger would need to make 3.1 million flights to die in a plane crash.

That said, it is clear that for anyone, making a plane trip is extremely safe. And, in the case of a pregnant woman also, especially if it is a safe pregnancy that does not have any type of risk, and above all, it is flown up to the weeks recommended both by the gynecologist and by the conditions indicated by the own airline.

In other words, in order for an airplane flight for a pregnant woman to be totally and completely safe, it is necessary and essential to comply with the following basic conditions:

  • It is not a risky pregnancy.
  • There is no medical prohibition by the gynecologist.
  • You are among the recommended pregnancy weeks for the flight to be safe.

In what weeks is it safe to travel by plane during pregnancy?

It is usual that, during the first and second trimesters of pregnancy, traveling by plane does not imply practically any type of problem. However, it is always highly advisable to consult your doctor before planning or taking the trip, especially if there has been any problem during pregnancy: blood loss even if it was mild and without risk, gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, or either a premature birth in a previous pregnancy.

Thus, while during the first trimester it is usually common that the trip by plane is more complicated for the pregnant woman due to the different discomforts and complications that usually occur during the first weeks of pregnancy (vomiting and nausea, tiredness ...), during week 14 at 27-that is, in the second quarter-it is common to travel by plane much easier and easier.

In general, if no complications have arisen and you are not pregnant with twins, it is possible - and safe - to fly until the 36th week of pregnancy. However, due to the risk of premature delivery during the flight, some airlines may not allow you to travel if you have more than 28 weeks. Everything will depend, therefore, on the airline with which you are going to travel:

  • Iberia:Before 28 weeks of gestation, Iberia does not require any type of specific authorization to travel. From this week, until the 36th, it is necessary to present a certificate from your doctor when boarding. You have more information at //www.iberia.com/es/viajar-con-iberia/embarazo/
  • Air Europe:It does not recommend traveling beyond the 36th week of gestation (32 in the case that the pregnancy is twins but without complications). After this week a medical certificate will be necessary that includes: authorization to travel (roundtrip), number of days of pregnancy, estimated date of delivery, if it is a first birth or not, pregnancy or twin pregnancy complications of pregnancy. More information at //www.aireuropa.com/es/vuelos/pasajeros#embarazadas
  • Vueling:It is possible to travel until week 27 without providing any medical certificate. If you are between the 28 and the 35 it is necessary to present an original permission of the doctor. It is not possible to travel from week 36 onwards. More information at //www.vueling.com/en/services-vueling/prepare-your-travel/information-for-trafficients/pregnant-and-overweight
  • Ryanair:It allows flying until week 28. Then it requires a form issued by the midwife / doctor in which it is indicated that the pregnant woman is "apt to fly". Otherwise, the right to refuse the flight is reserved. In addition, in case of simple pregnancy is not allowed to travel after week 36 (32 in case of twins). More information at //www.ryanair.com/es/informacion-util/centro-de-ayuda/faq/embarazo

As we can see, each airline has its own particularities, but in general rules most allow travel without authorization or medical certificate until the 28th week of pregnancy, as long as there is no type of complication.

Images of Istockphoto. This article is published for informational purposes only. It can not and should not replace the consultation with a Physician. We advise you to consult your Trusted Doctor.

Can I travel by flight during pregnancy?- Dr. Shefali Tyagi (January 2021)