Am I fit to travel?
Most people are fit to travel by air, but special attention is required for passengers whose medical conditions may be exacerbated by altitude, hypoxia, travel stress, carrying luggage, changing climates, and food, as well as other travel-related difficulties.
All passengers should ensure they are medically fit prior to embarking on air travel. We strongly recommend that you consult your own doctor or an aerospace medical specialist if you have any concerns about your fitness for travel.
Some passengers may require medical clearance from our Aviation Medicine Unit to help us ensure their health, safety, and comfort inflight and facilitate the provision of any special assistance that may be required during the journey. Medical clearance to fly may be required when:
- a passenger’s fitness to travel is in doubt as a result of recent illness, hospitalisation, injury, or surgery.
- a passenger has an existing medical condition where there is reasonable doubt that they can complete the flight safely, without requiring extraordinary medical assistance during the flight, e.g. breathing difficulties, unstable angina, terminal illness, etc.
- special services, such as oxygen or the use of medical equipment on board is required.
Although most passengers may have already had vaccinations as children, boosters or new immunisations may be required depending on the destination. You can find out more about vaccination requirements for different countries at the IATA website.
It is recommended that you consult your doctor or local travel health clinic 4-6 weeks prior to travel to get appropriate advice on health precautions to take and immunisations required for the places you will be visiting. Make sure you carry all immunisation certificates in your cabin baggage together with your travel documents.
General travel tips
- We strongly recommend passengers purchase travel insurance that provide sufficient cover for illness, injury, or accidents that may result in treatment or repatriation. This is particularly important for adventure holidays, skiing, and diving trips.
- Bear in mind that healthcare facilities in the destination country may not be as good as what is available at home, particularly in remote destinations or developing countries. It is better not to travel to such places if you are pregnant or have a medical condition that may require access to advanced healthcare facilities. If you are taking "adventure holidays", make sure that adequate facilities are available if you are injured and need urgent treatment.
- If you need to take any medication on a regular basis, make sure you have enough in your cabin baggage for the journey plus one or two extra days. We recommend you carry your prescriptions with you to avoid problems at customs. For more details please also read “Carriage of Medications/Sharps”.
- It is better to pack two lighter items of check-in baggage than one very heavy bag, as that may cause injury when being handled.
- Try to get a good night's sleep before your flight as this helps to avoid additional problems with jet lag.
- Eat lightly before your flight to avoid indigestion.
- It is better to wear generously cut, comfortable clothes made from natural fibres for air travel and comfortable shoes or boots with sufficient room to accommodate a small amount of swelling which may occur after long periods of sitting.