Whether heading on a vacation or babymoon, traveling for work, or just visiting family for the holidays, flying while pregnant is extremely common and generally safe¹ 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 take a 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 as long as you 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
U.S. Airline Pregnancy Policies
Alaska Airlines does not have any specific policy for flying while pregnant.
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, a special approval form must be completed by your physician 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.
Delta Air Lines does not have any restrictions for pregnant passengers and does not require medical clearance, regardless of the due date.
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 requires a medical certificate if you’re due within 7 days when flying within the state of 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 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 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 to not sit in the emergency row.
Spirit Airlines “urges” pregnant passengers past 8 months (32 weeks) to get a doctor’s exam before flying to confirm it is safe for them to travel.
However, there is no mention of a medical certificate being needed to fly.
United Airlines has no restriction for up to 36 weeks of pregnancy.
Starting at 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 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 has no restrictions for passengers up to their 36th week of pregnancy. After 36 weeks, there is no official statement or requirements.
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 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.
Emirates has flight restrictions starting at 29 weeks of pregnancy.
Expectant mothers traveling after 29 weeks must bring a medical certificate signed by a doctor or midwife that includes:
- Single or multiple pregnancy
- 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 to fly after the 36th week of a single pregnancy or the 32nd week of a multiple 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 has flight restrictions starting at 29 weeks of pregnancy.
From weeks 29 to 36 (29 to 32 for a multiple 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 multiple pregnancy.
If you need to submit a medical certificate, you can download it before arriving at the airport.
KLM advises expectant mothers to not fly after reaching 36 weeks of pregnancy. Getting medical clearance to fly is not required, but it is recommended.
LATAM allows pregnant passengers of up to 29 weeks to fly no authorization is needed. From the 30th week on, a medical certificate is required.
After 39 weeks, travel is prohibited.
Lufthansa does not require any 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 multiple pregnancy, flying is prohibited after the 32nd week.
Qatar Airways recommends traveling with a doctor’s certificate up 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 multiple pregnancy.
Singapore Airlines has no requirements until after the 28th week of pregnancy.
From the 29th week to the 36th week (32nd week for a multiple 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 32nd week for a multiple pregnancy), air travel with Singapore Airlines is not allowed.
Virgin Atlantic has no requirements until the 28th week of pregnancy.
From the 28th week to the 36th week (32nd week for a multiple 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 multiple pregnancy), air travel with Virgin Atlantic is not allowed. However, in special circumstances, travel after the cut-off date may be permitted.
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 already planning your first trip with your little one? Be sure to read the ultimate guide to booking a lap child on your next flight.
Tips for Flying While Pregnant
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 a bit 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
Going for a walk up and down the aisle is a great way to get your blood flowing and keep oxygen levels up.
Planes are notorious for being dry and sucking moisture out of the air. Be sure to pack a big water bottle and ask for more while onboard to make sure you don’t get dehydrated.
If you are prone to nausea, be sure to 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 are going to want to fly with you. Here is ultimate guide to baby bassinet seats on 50+ airlines.
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 you’re 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 all of 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.