It is common knowledge that pregnant women will not be allowed to air travel after a certain period of their pregnancy. But what people usually don’t know is that each airline has its restrictions and rules for pregnant women. So, it is always better not to go through a hustle at the last moment and be informed prior. One of the main reasons why airlines impose this restriction is to avoid women going into labour while on air. Adding to this, pregnant women are at the risk of developing Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), which are dangerous blood clots that usually occur when the body is at rest for prolonged periods. The clots begin at the legs and travel up to the lungs where they can cause constrictions of blood flow and pose a threat to life.
When Can You Fly?
Spicejet does not allow women who are 37 weeks pregnant and above to fly. Women who are between 28 – 36 weeks must have a valid doctor’s certificate that clearly states the stage of pregnancy. If there are any complications, a doctor’s certificate, not more than 48 hours old, must be presented during check-in.
IndiGo airlines expects a ‘Fit to Fly’ certificate from the obstetrician, which is not more than a week old in case of normal or multiple pregnancies up to 32 weeks and 36 weeks respectively. For complicated pregnancies, women will not be able to fly post 32 weeks, and a certificate is required for any journey within 28 – 32 weeks that is not more than three days old. Further, medical clearance will be issued by the IndiGo company doctor after discussion with the passenger’s doctor.
AirIndia allows healthy expectant women to fly up to 32 weeks without further validation. However, to fly between 32 – 35 weeks, a medical certificate stating the conditions of pregnancy must be submitted. Unlike other airlines, AirIndia allows flight in any stage of pregnancy on the grounds of urgency after filling out the MEDIF form and obtaining approval from the Executive Director of Medical Services.
Vistara restricts women who are more than 36 weeks pregnant in case of uncomplicated pregnancies; a medical certificate is required between 29 – 36 weeks. For complicated and multiple pregnancies, a medical certificate is required between 29 – 32 weeks and restricted post 32 weeks. Moreover, a medical clearance must be obtained from Vistara’s Medical Department for complicated pregnancies, and an MBBS doctor must accompany the passenger.
GoAir has no restrictions for expectant mothers up to 27 weeks post which a Fit to Fly certificate must be submitted to the Airport Manager at the time of check-in. It must be dated within 24 hours before travel. After 36 weeks, it is completely restricted.
Tips To Make Flight During Pregnancy More Easier
Firstly, make sure your clothes are very comfortable and loose-fitting. Reach the airport extra early as you wouldn’t want to make a dash for the gate. It is better to sit on an aisle seat as it will allow you to get in and out of your seat easily and also give you more space. Fasten the seat belt under your abdomen and make sure it is not too tight. Make sure you take trips now and then down the aisle. Don’t sit in the same position for a long time. Stretch and relax; keep your ankles and hands in frequent motion to ensure proper circulation. Drink plenty of water and stay hydrated throughout the trip. Avoid food and drinks that are gassy as this might make you bloat while on-air and cause unnecessary discomfort. Air turbulence might cause nausea, so be prepared. And above all, make sure you don’t travel alone.
- Know the pregnancy restrictions on airlines before booking the tickets and follow the required guidelines.
- Make sure you take steps to keep yourself comfortable and safe throughout the flight,
Thrinethra is a passionate writer, obsessive binge watcher and dog lover. She loves to explore and experience new, exciting stuff and her ultimate goal is to travel the world and share her stories. “The only thing you need to remember is this, ‘YOLO’, so don’t let anyone or anything stop you from chasing your dreams”.