When Not To Travel

When is air travel not recommended?

Travel by air is not recommended in the following cases:

i) Infants less than two days old.

ii) Women:

  • After 32nd week of pregnancy for those with multiple pregnancies (e.g. twins).
  • After 35th week of pregnancy for international flights.
  • After 36th week of pregnancy for domestic sectors.
  • Until seven days after delivery.

iii) Those suffering from:

  • Angina pectoris or chest pain at rest.
  • Serious or acute infectious disease.
  • Decompression sickness after diving.
  • Increased intracranial pressure due to haemorrhage, trauma or infection.
  • Infections of the sinuses or infections of the ear and nose, particularly if the Eustachian tube is blocked.
  • Skull fracture, if the sinuses are involved.
  • Recent myocardial infarction and stroke (time period depending on severity of illness and duration of travel).
  • Recent surgery or injury where trapped air or gas may be present, especially abdominal trauma and gastrointestinal surgery, cranio-facial and ocular injuries, brain operations, eye operations and penetrating injuries of the eyeball.
  • Severe chronic respiratory disease, breathlessness at rest, or unresolved pneumothorax.
  • Psychotic illness, except when fully controlled with medication.

Further reading

World Health Organisation's "International Travel and Health, Chapter 2"

For medical professionals, further information is available from Aerospace Medical Association's Medical Guidelines for Airline Travel.