Whenever I travel, I use a company called APH parking. I’ve mentioned them before, and I love them, because you basically just drive to the airport, where they meet you, whisk your car away, then keep it safe while you travel. On your return, you give them a bell when you’ve picked up your suitcase and hey presto, your car’s waiting for you outside at the airport ready for you to drive home. No muss, no fuss. They’ve recently published a really interesting article about flying when you’re pregnant and I thought I’d share some of the key facts. It makes interesting reading and is a great guide if you’re preggers and considering flying.
The research encompasses over 20 major airlines. Apparently the ‘official’ safest time to fly is before 37 weeks but the first thing I noticed is that airlines differ wildly in their treatment of pregnant passengers. Some ban them altogether over 6 months (Malaysian Airlines, take a bow), some require advance notice (Aer Lingus) and other airlines differentiate between single and twin (and more) pregnancies. Some airlines (Delta and Japan Airlines) have no restrictions at all.
Flight restrictions for short-haul flights are understandably less stringent, with 13 of the airlines having no rules or restrictions up to 36 weeks for a single pregnancy and 32 weeks for a multiple pregnancy.
For long-haul flights, travellers who are over 25 weeks pregnant with a single pregnancy cannot travel with Malaysia Airlines and this is also the case for those who are 28 weeks pregnant and travelling with Aer Lingus. For multiple pregnancies, Lufthansa puts the top limit at 28 weeks, but a lot of them increase this to 32 weeks. At the other end of the scale you can fly up to 38 weeks with Atlantic.
If you’re flying long haul AND expecting more than one baby, your options are considerably reduced with quite a lot of the airlines, including Air Canada, Emirates, Japan Airlines, KLM and Qantas Group setting the limit at 36 weeks (although why you’d want to fly that late when you’re expecting twins is kind of beyond me!).
Aside from flight restrictions, a lot of airlines require medical certificates over a certain number of weeks of the pregnancy. These include Air Canada, American Airlines, and British Airways. Although some, including Air France, Delta Air Lines, easyJet, Singapore Airlines, Swiss Air and Virgin Atlantic don’t require any medical clearance.
Clearly it’s a bit of a minefield so the message is check in plenty of time if you’re likely to be flying while you’re pregnant. To read the Airport Parking and Hotels comprehensive guide for pregnant travellers, check out the Know Before You Go section of the APH website at aph.com/pregnanttravellers