Flying When Pregnant – Is it Safe?

Is it safe to fly when Pregnant

Last updated on Feb 27th, 2024 by Heena Ganotra

There are a lot of myths and misconceptions out there about flying when pregnant. Many women feel nervous and overwhelmed when they seek information regarding this online. The good news is that, for the most part, flying is safe for pregnant women – as long as you take a few precautions. 

Also, flying while pregnant can be a nerve-racking experience for women, especially if they are in the advanced stages of their pregnancy. Here are the details that will give you valuable insights into the how(s) and (whys).

how many weeks pregnant can you be to fly?

There is no straightforward answer to this question as each pregnancy is different and each woman’s body reacts differently to pregnancy. 

  • Most experts agree that the safest time for flying while pregnant is during the second trimester. This is because the risk of miscarriage is lowest during this time and the pregnancy is not far along enough to cause any complications. 
  • Most airlines discourage air travel after 36 weeks of pregnancy and 32 weeks if you’re pregnant with twins or more or have a complicated pregnancy. 

If you are planning on flying during your pregnancy, be sure to consult with your doctor first to make sure that it is safe for you to do so. Bear in mind that the flight between New Delhi to Sydney is at least 12 hr 25 min long, which can be arduous for a regular traveller, much less a pregnant woman. 

When is it NOT Safe to Fly When Pregnant?

There are a few instances when it might not be safe to fly while pregnant. As a general rule, most doctors discourage flying for longer than four hours at a stretch. If you’re on a long-haul flights from Melbourne to Delhi, consider planning accordingly.

  • If you have a high-risk pregnancy and are experiencing complications, you should avoid flying and stay as close to hospital or reliable doctor as possible. 
  • If you’re close to your due date, your doctor may advise against flying. 
  • Flying can also be more uncomfortable in the later stages of pregnancy, so it’s important to be prepared for that. 
  • Avoid flying if you have health conditions like severe anaemia or have experienced severe vaginal bleeding close to your journey date.
  • Avoid air travel entirely if you have bad morning sickness and general weakness. That’s one of the reasons why doctors don’t recommend travelling during the first trimester.

If you have any concerns about flying when pregnant, be sure to talk to your doctor beforehand. They will offer recommendations and state clearly if you shouldn’t be flying with pregnancy. And if you need to know the essential items to carry on a long-haul flight, we can help. 

What Should You Consider Before Flying in Pregnancy?

Flying during pregnancy can be a safe and comfortable experience. However, there are a few things to consider before booking a flight:

  • Stage of Pregnancy – Most airlines allow pregnant women to fly up to 36 weeks gestation. After 36 weeks, many airlines require a doctor’s note stating that the pregnancy is low-risk.
  • Length of the Flight – It is generally recommended that pregnant women avoid flights longer than four hours. If a long-haul flight is necessary, consider booking a direct flight to reduce the amount of time spent sitting.
  • Food and Drink Available on the Flight – It is important to stay hydrated during pregnancy, so make sure to bring a water bottle on the plane. It is also a good idea to bring along some snacks in case the airplane food is not to your liking. This may not be possible with international travel so be prepared by looking at the onboard menu to identify what would be safe and comfortable to eat.
  • Risk of Deep Vein Thrombosis – DVT is a high risk for pregnant women so wear DVT socks and avoid wearing tight shoes during the flight. Avoid tight leggings and uncomfortable clothing as well. 
  • Walk While Flying – Walk around during your flight to ensure you don’t feel stiff and tired. It is also a good idea to get the aisle seat instead of the middle or window seat. 

We also recommend packing a kit with essential vitamins, any emergency medication, and a copy of your medical records if you’re travelling internationally.

Precautions to Take When Travelling While Pregnant

1. Check with your doctor before flying

This is probably the most important thing to do if you’re pregnant and planning to fly. Your doctor will be able to tell you if flying is safe for you and your pregnancy.

2. Choose a safe airline

Not all airlines are created equal when it comes to safety. Do your research and choose an airline that has a good safety record.

3. Book a direct flight

If possible, book a direct flight to your destination. This will minimize your time in the air and reduce your risk of experiencing turbulence. If you’re on a long-haul flight, consider booking a flight with a long layover. For example, you can book a flight from New Delhi to Singapore, rest in Singapore for a night, and then book a flight from Singapore to Melbourne.

4. Drink plenty of water

Drink a lot of water, even if it means you need to use the bathroom more often. Hydration is very important when you travel with pregnancy. 

These precautions will ensure you are safer and more comfortable flying during pregnancy. 

Major Airlines Policy for Pregnant Women

1. Qantas Policy for Pregnant Women

As of September 2019, Qantas has a new policy in place for pregnant women travelling with the airline. The new policy is as follows:

  • Women who are 28 weeks pregnant or more will need a medical certificate from their doctor or midwife dated within 10 days of their flight, confirming that they are fit to fly
  • Women who are between 14 and 27 weeks pregnant will need to provide a medical certificate if they are requesting a seat with extra legroom
  • Women who are 13 weeks pregnant or less will not need a medical certificate

This new policy has been put in place to ensure the safety of both the mother and child during air travel.

2. Virgin Australia Policy for Pregnant Women

As of January 2020, Virgin Australia has a new policy in place for pregnant women. The new policy states that:

  • Pregnant women are able to travel up to and including their 36th week of pregnancy. Beyond that, a medical certificate will be required in order to travel.
  • This policy applies to both international and domestic travel. For international travel, a medical certificate will also be required if travelling beyond the 36th week.

Again, this policy has been put in place for the safety of the child and mother. 

3. Air India Policy for Pregnant Women 

Air India has a special policy for women flying internationally while pregnant. This policy is designed to make travel safer and more comfortable for expectant mothers.

  • Pregnant women must have a medical certificate from a registered medical practitioner, dated no more than 7 days before the date of travel, stating that the passenger is fit to travel by air.
  • Pregnant women up to the end of their 32nd week of pregnancy can travel without any restrictions.
  • From the 33rd week onwards, pregnant women can only travel if they have a medical certificate.

Most major airlines travelling between India and Australia have similar policies. We recommend reading up on them to get a good idea of what to expect. 

Airlines That You Can Consider Booking While Pregnant

If you are looking for reviews to shortlist the airline you want to fly with based on the comfort they offer, we can help. While our travel experts are available 24*7 to help you out, you can carry your own research by giving these a read – 


Q. Can a pregnant woman go on a plane?

Ans: Yes, pregnant women can get on a plane but you need to observe certain precautions and avoid flying during vulnerable periods of your pregnancy. 

Q. Will I need to go through security?

Ans: Yes! That is normal for all domestic and international flights. However, security checks and scanners will not harm your baby. 

Q. Can I fly during the first three months of my pregnancy?

Ans: Yes, if you have a safe and strong pregnancy. If you are experiencing any complications, we don’t recommend taking that risk. 

Q. When is the best time to fly?

Ans: We recommend flying during your second trimester but still encourage you to consult with a doctor before making a decision. 

Now that all of your questions have been answered, it is time to book a flight! 

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Don’t worry, MyTicketsToIndia can find you the safest and most comfortable flight possible. Just call us or request a call back from us! Our team will be happy to help you have the most comfortable flight from Australia to India. Furthermore, you can join the live chat and have your queries resolved there too. 


About Heena View All Posts

A writer by both passion and profession, Heena Ganotra is "half agony, half hope" but all heart. And oh, she has been a book lover from the start! Her love for books is what convinced her to make a career in the wonderful world of words. She loves what she does and is out-and-out a satisfied soul with a wish to spread happiness and kindness in abundance. Insight- Some say she is living the best life anyone could because she reads, writes, travels, and makes merry. They’re right because what else does one really need! :)

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