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Flying While Pregnant – Your Guide to Airline Policies [2023]

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Chris Hassan
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Chris Hassan

Social Media & Brand Manager

218 Published Articles

Countries Visited: 24U.S. States Visited: 26

Chris holds a B.S. in Hospitality and Tourism Management and managed social media for all Marriott properties in South America, making him a perfect fit for UP and its social media channels. He has a ...
Edited by: Jessica Merritt
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Jessica Merritt

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A long-time points and miles student, Jessica is the former Personal Finance Managing Editor at U.S. News and World Report and is passionate about helping consumers fund their travels for as little ca...
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Keri Stooksbury

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Whether heading on a vacation or babymoon, traveling for work, or visiting family for the holidays, flying while pregnant is extremely common and generally safe when following standard air travel precautions.

As always, wearing a seatbelt and staying hydrated is very important, but so is checking with your doctor, as well as your airline, to confirm any additional requirements.

Depending on your destination and airline, policies may vary, so we created a guide to help make the process just a little bit easier for expectant moms.

Let’s look at what you can expect on your next flight if you are expecting.

Flying While Pregnant Overview

Many airlines allow pregnant women to fly if they haven’t passed 36 weeks of gestation.

However, that number may vary based on medical conditions as well as the destination of the flight, as international flights can have different rules.

Airline Policy Chart

SCROLL FOR MORE
AirlineRestrictions?Medical Clearance Required?
AeromexicoYesAfter 33 weeks
Air CanadaYesAfter 36 weeks
Air FranceNoNo
Alaska AirlinesNoN/A
American AirlinesYesWithin 4 weeks of the due date
Avelo AirlinesNoNo
Breeze AirwaysNoNo
British AirwaysYesAfter 36 weeks
Cathay PacificYesAfter 28 weeks
Delta Air LinesNoN/A
EmiratesYesAfter 29 weeks
Etihad AirwaysYesAfter 29 weeks
Frontier AirlinesYesAfter 36 weeks
Hawaiian AirlinesYesWithin 7 to 30 days of the due date
JALYesWhen delivery date is within 28 days (or uncertain), when multiple births are expected, or when there were previous premature births
JetBlueYesWithin 7 days of the due date
KLMNoN/A
LATAMYesAfter 30 weeks
LufthansaYesAfter 28 weeks
Qatar AirwaysYesAfter 28 weeks
Singapore AirlinesYesAfter 28 weeks
Southwest AirlinesNoN/A
Spirit AirlinesNoN/A
United AirlinesYesOn or After 36 weeks
Virgin AustraliaYesAfter 28 weeks
Virgin AtlanticYesAfter 28 weeks
WestJetNoN/A

U.S. Airline Pregnancy Policies

Smiling pregnant woman on plane
Image Credit: Odua Images via Adobe Stock

Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines does not have any specific policy for flying while pregnant.

American Airlines

American Airlines requires pregnant passengers to provide a doctor’s certificate stating they’re fit to fly if they’re due within 4 weeks of the flight.

If the flight is within 7 days of the delivery date, your physician must complete a special approval form, and a special assistance coordinator from American Airlines will be assigned to you.

For international travel or travel over water within 4 weeks of your due date, a physician’s note stating that you are fit to fly after being examined within 48 hours of the flight is required.

Avelo Airlines

Pregnant passengers do not face any restrictions when flying on Avelo and a medical certificate is not required for you to travel.

Breeze Airways

Breeze does not have restrictions or require a medical certificate for pregnant passengers.

Delta Air Lines

Delta Air Lines has no restrictions for pregnant passengers and does not require medical clearance, regardless of the due date.

Frontier Airlines

Frontier Airlines requires a medical certificate starting at the 36th week of pregnancy.

Alternatively, a waiver may be signed at the ticket counter, releasing the airline of liability.

Hawaiian Airlines

Hawaiian Airlines requires a medical certificate if you’re due within 7 days when flying within Hawaii.

For international flights or between North America, an exam completed within 48 hours of your flight and a certificate are required if the flight is within 30 days of your due date.

JetBlue

JetBlue only requires a medical certificate if you’re due within 7 days of the flight. The exam must be completed within 72 hours of the departure date.

If you are past due, you will not be allowed to fly, even with documentation.

Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines recommends against air travel for passengers at or past 38 weeks of pregnancy but does not prohibit it.

The airline may, however, ask pregnant passengers not to sit in the emergency row.

Spirit Airlines

Spirit Airlines “urges” pregnant passengers past 8 months (32 weeks) to get a doctor’s exam before flying to confirm it is safe to travel.

However, no mention of a medical certificate being needed to fly.

United Airlines

United Airlines has no restriction for up to 36 weeks of pregnancy.

Starting the 36th week, an obstetrician’s certificate (original and 2 copies) is required, stating that mother and baby are fit for travel. The certificate must be dated within 72 hours of the flight, although it is preferred to be within 1 day of departure if possible.

The due date must be after the final flight on the itinerary.

International Airline Pregnancy Policies

Aeromexico

Aeromexico passengers who are 33 weeks pregnant or more must provide a medical certificate that can be uploaded 48 hours before the flight departure.

The exam must be completed within 5 days of the flight, and it is a good idea to bring a copy of the certificate to the airport just in case.

Air Canada

Air Canada has no restrictions for passengers until their 36th week of pregnancy. After 36 weeks, there is no official statement or requirements.

Air France

Air France does not require medical clearance before flying. However, the airline recommends seeking a doctor’s opinion before flying.

Although it is not prohibited, Air France recommends avoiding air travel starting at 37 weeks of pregnancy.

British Airways

British Airways does not permit pregnant women to fly after the 36th week if they’re pregnant with 1 baby or after the 32nd week for more than 1 baby.

The airline recommends expectant mothers travel with a note from their doctor or midwife confirming:

  • If the pregnancy is single or multiple
  • Expected due date
  • No complications with the pregnancy

This note should be completed as close to the travel dates as possible.

Cathay Pacific

The table below shows the requirements and certificates needed to travel for those with uncomplicated pregnancies.

SCROLL FOR MORE
Pregnancy DetailsPregnancy StageMedical Certificate Required*MEDA Rorm Required
Uncomplicated single pregnancy
Before 28th weekNoNo
28th – 36th weekYes
(Certificate must be dated within 10 days of the initial outbound travel date)
No
After 36th week
(i.e. 35 weeks + 7 days)
Not accepted onboard
Uncomplicated multiple pregnancy
Before 28th weekNoNo
28th – 32th weekYes
(Certificate must be dated within 10 days of the initial outbound travel date)
No
After 32th week
(i.e. 31 weeks + 7 days)
Not accepted onboard

Cathay Pacific advises that you may be denied boarding if you’re not carrying a required medical certificate or if that certificate is outdated or incomplete.

Emirates

Emirates has flight restrictions starting at 29 weeks of pregnancy.

Expectant mothers traveling during or after 29 weeks must bring a medical certificate signed by a doctor or midwife that includes:

  • Single or multiple pregnancies
  • No complications with the pregnancy
  • Estimated due date
  • The latest date your doctor expects you to be fit for travel
  • You are in good health
  • That there is no known reason that would prevent you from flying

Passengers are prohibited from flying after the 36th week of a single pregnancy or the 32nd week of a multiples pregnancy.

If you need to request an exception to the rule, you can apply for medical clearance by submitting a medical information form.

Etihad Airways

Etihad Airways has flight restrictions starting at 29 weeks of pregnancy.

From weeks 29 to 36 (29 to 32 for a multiples pregnancy), a medical certificate is required to fly.

Passengers are prohibited from flying once reaching the 37th week of a single pregnancy or the 33rd week of a multiples pregnancy.

If you need to submit a medical certificate, you can download it before arriving at the airport.

JAL

Japan Air Lines requires a medical certificate for the following circumstances:

  • When the expected delivery date is within 28 days or is uncertain
  • When expecting multiple births
  • When there were previous premature births

KLM

KLM advises expectant mothers not to fly after reaching 36 weeks of pregnancy. Getting medical clearance to fly is not required, but it is recommended.

LATAM

LATAM allows pregnant passengers of up to 29 weeks to fly without authorization. From the 30th week on, a medical certificate is required.

After 39 weeks, travel is prohibited.

Lufthansa

Lufthansa does not require medical clearance until after the 28th week of pregnancy.

Beyond the 28th week, it is recommended that you travel with a certificate that includes:

  • Confirmation that the pregnancy does not have any complications
  • Expected due date
  • A statement from an obstetrician stating that the pregnancy does not prevent you from flying

From the 36th week, this certificate is required to fly. In the case of twin or multiples pregnancy, flying is prohibited after the 32nd week.

Qatar Airways

Qatar Airways recommends traveling with a doctor’s certificate until the 29th week of pregnancy. After the 29th week arrives, the certificate is required.

At the beginning of the 33rd week, a doctor’s certificate, as well as a MEDIF form, is required and must include the following:

  • Patient’s name and date of birth
  • Estimated date of delivery
  • Proposed dates of air travel
  • Confirmation of uncomplicated pregnancy
  • Confirmation that the patient is fit for travel
  • Date, stamp, and contact details of a qualified doctor

After the 36th week of pregnancy begins, Qatar Airways will not allow you to fly, or 33 weeks in the case of a multiples pregnancy.

Singapore Airlines

Singapore Airlines has no requirements until after the 28th week of pregnancy.

From the 29th week to the 36th week (32nd week for a multiples pregnancy), a medical statement is required to fly that includes:

  • Fitness to travel
  • Number of weeks pregnant
  • Estimated date of delivery

This certificate must be dated within 10 days of the first flight.

After the 36th week (or the 32nd week for a multiples pregnancy), air travel with Singapore Airlines is not allowed.

Virgin Australia

After 28 weeks, you will be required to provide a letter from your doctor, dated within 10 days of travel, “outlining the estimated due date, single or multiple pregnancies, the absence of complications, and your fitness to fly for the duration of the flight(s) booked.”

Medical clearance is required for any pregnancy with complications or within 5 days of normal vaginal delivery.

The following conditions are unacceptable for travel:

SCROLL FOR MORE
Single PregnancyMultiple PregnancyWithin 48 Hours of Delivery Normal Vaginal Delivery (NVD)
Flights greater than 4 hoursAfter the 36th weekAfter the 32nd week
Flights less than 4 hoursAfter the 40th weekAfter the 36th week

Virgin Atlantic

Virgin Atlantic has no requirements until the 28th week of pregnancy.

From the 28th week to the 36th week (32nd week for a multiples pregnancy), a doctor’s certificate may be requested at the airport or onboard. The certificate should state that there have been no complications and show the estimated due date.

After the 36th week (or 32nd week for a multiples pregnancy), air travel with Virgin Atlantic is prohibited. Travel after the cut-off date may be permitted in special circumstances.

WestJet

WestJet only recommends that expectant mothers check with their physician or midwife before traveling if they are more than 36 weeks pregnant.

Hot Tip: Are you planning your first trip with your little one? Read the ultimate guide to booking a lap child on your next flight.

Tips for Flying While Pregnant

Pregnant woman sitting airport
Image Credit: Odua Images via Adobe Stock

Most of these travel tips are helpful for everyone, but especially for expectant mothers.

Choose the Right Seat

Choosing the right seat can make a big difference on an airplane. By sitting in a bulkhead or an aisle seat, you will have more room to stretch your legs and more freedom to get up to use the bathroom if needed.

Also, this may be a good time to splurge on a business or first class seat so you can lie flat and get some rest.

Wear Comfortable Clothing

Wearing comfortable clothing is travel 101, but wearing comfortable layers will give you options if you find the cabin too hot or cold.

Wear Compression Socks

A popular travel hack (even if you aren’t pregnant) is to wear compression socks to reduce swelling and help with blood flow.

However, it may be a good idea to speak with your doctor if you haven’t used them before.

Get Up and Stretch

Walking up and down the aisle is a great way to get your blood flowing and keep oxygen levels up.

Stay Hydrated

Planes are notorious for being dry and sucking moisture out of the air. Pack a big water bottle and ask for more while onboard to ensure you don’t get dehydrated.

Beat Nausea

If you are prone to nausea, bring remedies such as candies and crackers (or whatever works for you) because smells can sometimes be unavoidable inside a plane.

Buy Travelers Insurance

Having travelers insurance is always a good idea, especially if you are traveling far from home — even more so if you are late in your pregnancy.

Hot Tip: Once your little traveler is born, they will want to fly with you. Here is the ultimate guide to baby bassinet seats on 50+ airlines.

Final Thoughts

Pregnancy is a beautiful thing, and combining it with travel can be a recipe for some wonderful memories.

If you’re planning a bucket list babymoon or just need to keep working and traveling, knowing which airlines will best accommodate you is essential when booking travel.

This guide has plenty of information, and when you’re ready to start traveling with your little one in tow, be sure to come back and read our family travel guides!


All information and content provided by Upgraded Points is intended as general information and for educational purposes only, and should not be interpreted as medical advice or legal advice. For more information, see our Medical & Legal Disclaimers.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it safe to fly when pregnant?

In most cases, flying while pregnant is perfectly safe as long as normal safety precautions are taken.

Can you fly during the third trimester? 

Most airlines will allow expectant mothers to fly until the 36th week of pregnancy, often with a doctor’s note.

Do airlines restrict pregnant passengers?

Most airlines allow pregnant passengers to fly until they are 36 weeks pregnant. Some have no restrictions at all.

What are the rules when flying while pregnant?

Each airline sets its own policy regarding flying while pregnant, and it often depends on gestation age and how complicated the pregnancy is. We put together a list of the most popular airlines and their pregnancy policies.

Chris Hassan's image

About Chris Hassan

Chris holds a B.S. in Hospitality and Tourism Management and managed social media for all Marriott properties in South America, making him a perfect fit for UP and its social media channels. He has a passion for making content catered toward family travelers.

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