Flying Pregnant – How to not get Bumped

Can you fly while pregnant? Yes, you can. 

Up to a point. 

Did you ever explain international conventions and airline regulations to a stressed, heavily pregnant woman at the airport? No, we didn’t think so either.

Because a heavily pregnant woman can do whatever the hell she wants. Whenever she wants. That’s 100% a global rule.



Buuuut, just in case. Here are the guidelines. The real ones. As usual, we don’t play with the obvious here at WT Towers. For example, you would never catch us telling a woman in labor to “breathe”. We like our facial features where they are thanks very much. 


If you just got to take that trip telling you about hydration and threats of DVT is an insult to your intelligence. But you have taken the decision to distance yourself from key resources such as your bed, your doctor, and your country of residence during pregnancy. There is some risk, so just consider the following.

We are not here to say don’t fly. No no no. But it is your duty to behave responsibly toward the bump when you take that last-minute flight to Las Vegas. Or Sydney.

International travel while pregnant is risky for several reasons:

1. You may be exposed to more than one type of bacteria or virus which could cause infection or disease.

2. Your body may not react well to changes in altitude. This means that if you are flying high above sea level, your blood pressure will rise, and this can lead to problems.

3. If you are traveling by air, there is a greater chance of developing deep vein thrombosis (DVT). This happens because your legs swell up during pregnancy, making them longer and wider. This increases the amount of blood flowing through veins in your lower limbs. When you stand up on an airplane, gravity pulls the blood back down into your heart and lungs, but when you lie down your body can correct these effects. 

aircraft cabin

Flight Seat Limits 

Flying is good up to 36 weeks. Unless you have been blessed with twins, in which case it’s 32 weeks. After that, you could have a problem with your airline. But the threshold is 4 hours flying time maximum. If you want to fly from Atlanta to Tokyo at week forty, all bets are off. And those annoying airlines like to make you get a “fit to fly” certificate.

Also, the physical act of flying in an aircraft will have zero effect on you or the baby. But that is not to say you, the possessor of the bump, will not be affected by traveling.

Travelling can be stressful, physically demanding, and subject to the unpredictable and our ability to predict future events – such as spouses’ response times to straightforward text messages – remains pitifully poor. But we’ve tested pregnant women’s common sense and bullshit detectors and they’re top of the charts.

Medical Attention

But we have the absolute best advice and tips for you. We answer those important questions like “Will my Airplane baby be Canadian?” and “Will Southwest give my baby free travel for life” (Spoiler – No)

IATA is great. They have a medical manual which they give away for free. You can get it here. But most airlines will ask for medical clearance, and “fit to fly” letter from your doctor.

Jus Soli

“The right of the soil” It’s your right to citizenship in that country if you were born there. It’s only a thing in the Americas. The list of countries is available, but it does apply to the USA, just so long as you are in US Airspace when the bundle of joy arrives

This is great until you find out years later that the US Federal government makes US Citizens pay taxes regardless of where they are in the world. But Jus Soli is not automatic and, these Air babies will most likely take the nationality/citizenship of the parents.

Ryanair watchers

Here are some other resources you should find useful for your next trip

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