Airline Pregnancy Policy — Travel Restrictions for Pregnant Women

blue airplane interior with seats

Some airlines have policies that restrict how late in pregnancy women can fly. Airline pregnancy rules are in place because there is a risk that a woman who is in her late third trimester of pregnancy might go into labor while flying.

Airline policies for pregnant travelers can be grouped into three categories – airlines that do not restrict the travel of pregnant women, airlines that require a woman in late pregnancy to carry a doctor’s note, and airlines that prohibit travel after a certain week of pregnancy.

Pregnancy policies are available on each airline’s website. To find out about the safety of flying while pregnant, read Is It Safe to Fly During Pregnancy?

Airlines with No Pregnancy Restrictions

Some airlines, including Delta, Southwest, Air France, and KLM, do not have any pregnancy restrictions. These carriers, however, do have pregnancy information online that outlines suggestions and recommendations for traveling while pregnant. See each individual airline’s website to review pregnancy air travel tips.

Airlines Requiring Pregnant Women to Have Doctor’s Note

Several airlines’ pregnancy rules necessitate that pregnant travelers have a doctor’s note when traveling after a certain week of pregnancy. Generally, airlines require that the doctor confirm that the pregnant woman is healthy enough to fly, baby’s due date, and air travel date. Most airlines require the note be dated within 24 to 72 hours of the flight.

United Airlines requires that women in their ninth month of pregnancy have a certificate from a doctor.

After the 36th week of pregnancy, Lufthansa stipulates a woman must have a medical note from a doctor to fly. For flights to or from Canada, Lufthansa recommends women who are past the 28th week of pregnancy carry a certificate, while those beyond the 36th week must have a doctor’s note.

Continental Airlines and US Airways require pregnant women whose due date is within seven days of their flight to have a doctor’s certificate.

American Airlines requires a doctor’s note for women traveling within four weeks of their due date and does not allow women to fly seven days before of after their due date unless they have a medical certificate.

Airlines That Have Pregnancy Travel Restrictions

A few airlines have more stringent pregnancy policies that prevent women from flying late in pregnancy.

British Airways requires women who are between their 28th and 36th weeks of pregnancy to carry a doctor’s note. The airline prohibits pregnant women from flying after the 36th week of pregnancy and stipulates that women who are carrying multiple babies (twins, triplets) cannot fly after the end of the 32nd week.

Singapore Airlines necessitates that all pregnant women have a doctor’s note. The airlines’ restrictions on pregnancy travel are the same as for British Airways pregnant passengers.

Pregnancy and Flying

It is advisable for women who are pregnant to first check with their doctor to ensure that it is safe for them to fly. Next, pregnant women should read over the pregnancy policy of the airline on which they wish to purchase a ticket. Many airlines require pregnant women to carry a doctor’s note stating they are having a healthy pregnancy in order to fly, while a few airlines prohibit pregnant women from traveling late in pregnancy.