WIBU to go on holiday at 30/31 weeks pregnant without a fit to fly letter?

(32 Posts)
Uiscebeatha85 Mon 23-May-16 12:19:58

My doctors surgery are being really unhelpful with a fit to fly letter request. Midwife appointment last Friday - she gave all clear to go but said the GP would have to do the letter, long haul destination for a week (10 hr flight) just advised flight socks. I'll be 30 weeks on way out, 31 on way back.

GP surgery receptionist has now rang to say that the doctor needs to see me before they'll issue the letter, but they don't need to physically examine me hmm Looking at my notes is apparently not enough. Problem is there's no appointments before I fly.

Flying with KLM whose policy for pg women is just that 36 weeks is the cut off and if there's complications, a fit to fly cert. Guy on the KLM helpline has said that having the fit to fly is advisable but not compulsory. I've had no complications. WIBU to go without a fit to fly cert and hope for the best? What is the worst that can happen?

AndNowItsSeven Mon 23-May-16 12:21:36

Worst that can happen is they won't let you on the flight. Can't you get a telephone app?

VimFuego101 Mon 23-May-16 12:22:01

They can decide that you look more pregnant than you are/ are not fit to fly and don't allow you on the plane? Obviously travel insurance won't cover you for that.

MaryPoppinsPenguins Mon 23-May-16 12:22:07

I think the worst that could happen is they won't let you on the plane?

I had a fit to fly letter and was 31 weeks and didn't have to show it to anyone on the way out, but on the way back they were adamant to see it, photocopy it, talk to the manager. It was really stressful. I'm so glad I had it!

AndNowItsSeven Mon 23-May-16 12:22:23

Actually check your insurance you might not be covered and that would be a real issue.

scandichick Mon 23-May-16 12:23:11

That your insurance isn't valid and you have the baby abroad needing NICU... The clincher wasn't the airline for me, it was the travel insurance that required a letter. I absolutely would not travel without it for the above reason, although if it's within the EU you might decide to risk it. If so, you need a valid EHIC card as well, though.

Pinkheart5915 Mon 23-May-16 12:24:53

Totally up to you. Might not let you on the plane though without the letter, call the airline for advice?

If it was just an holiday and not an emergency trip for what ever reason, I personally wouldn't fly at 30/31 weeks to late for me babies are born early.

jonsnowssocks Mon 23-May-16 12:25:11

I'd be most worried that it wasn't a problem on the way out but might be on the way back! That could cause all manner of issues.

Is there absolutely no way to get your hands on a note at all? You'll at least have your medical file on you to show how far along you are, but I don't know if airlines would take that as proof.

20thcenturybitch Mon 23-May-16 12:27:08

I came on to say YABU but actually if you can get in writing/email that it's not a requirement for KLM from their head office/print out from T&C to brandish at gate staff then I don't think you are.

I would just wear something baggy and keep your coat on hanging open. These people are busy and aren't really looking at your belly however big it feels to you. Depends how you are carrying but I flew several times more pregnant than you and was never asked for my fit to fly certificate.

20thcenturybitch Mon 23-May-16 12:29:14

Do check that your travel insurance is not only valid for you for pregnancy related issues and birth but also for your baby if he/he is born there and needs treatment as that seems to be the thing that catches people out when baby born early in wrong country.

TrickyD Mon 23-May-16 12:29:48

I would be rather angry with my GP and the 'Catch 22' thing of 'you need an appointment but there are none' . Try asking for a phone consultation and do not tell the receptionist why.

Without the GP's OK, the problem is likely to be with your travel insurance should, God forbid, you need it, regardless of KLM. You could ring your insurers to check it out.,

The worst that can hapoen is that you pay a hell of a lot for medical treatment, repatriation etc etc.

.

specialsubject Mon 23-May-16 12:32:21

and that is a HELL of a lot, as two recent uninsured tragic cases prove.

don't even think of chancing travel without valid insurance. Call your travel insurers and get some answers, repeating them back for the recording and asking for them to be confirmed in writing.

Threesoundslikealot Mon 23-May-16 12:33:52

Years ago I was almost stopped from flying because I didn't have a fit to fly letter. Problem was, I wasn't pregnant, just fat! The ground crew member refused to believe me, and of course how do you prove a negative? Luckily his boss appeared and was mortified, as obviously was I, and I got an upgrade. Sadly it was only an hour long flight.

SoThatHappened Mon 23-May-16 12:38:28

The worst thing thst can happen is you end up cap in hand like baby Dax's parents in New York.

Toddzoid Mon 23-May-16 12:51:53

I went to Paris at 30 weeks without one. Long haul may be different though... Check with insurance/airline

Sedona123 Mon 23-May-16 13:29:44

YABU to fly long haul twice so late in pregnancy. Worst that can happen is that you go into labour in the middle of the flight. My first (and only) labour was only 4 hours.

JessieMcJessie Mon 23-May-16 13:31:30

You probably realise this but there are 2 separate issues here: flight and travel insurance. You need to make sure insurance is clear about how pregnant you are and, as others have said, look into getting cover for a premature birth. I am on hols at the moment while 25 weeks and my policy says it will only cover "complications", however the policy wording is clear that premature birth less than 8 weeks before your due date is NOT a complication ie not covered. So if you were with my insurer you'd be OK, just. They don't require a letter at any stage of pregnancy though.

As to the airline, they have already told you the FTF letter not compulsory. However airlines can be a bit crap for saying one thing on the phone and another at the gate, so if possible to get an email from them confirming not needed, much better.

Could you afford to go to a private GP? You'd get an appt quickly that way.

Uiscebeatha85 Mon 23-May-16 13:47:35

Jessie who is your travel insurance provider please? I hadn't even thought of a private appointment to be honest. I just assumed I would have to go to my own GP. Is it possible to just see a private GP for a cert like this?

Lymmmummy Mon 23-May-16 13:47:41

Wouldn't fly that distance at that gestation

Serious conditions such as preeclampsia can appear around this time - eg high blood pressure affecting the functioning of other organs leading to serious complications - requiring early delivery - flying would make this type of thing far worse

Who is going to insure you for the trip? very high risk in my opinion -

obviously if you really want to go there will be a way to make it happen - but can see why some medical professionals would not be happy to sign off on it

Uiscebeatha85 Mon 23-May-16 13:55:39

Lymm not asking for your opinion on whether to go or not, read the OP. The midwife has said she's happy for me to go as I've had no complications so far.

Lymmmummy Mon 23-May-16 14:21:41

I appreciate that - but you also said what's the worst that can happen and that was the point I was responding to you

Your body your choice - sure you can find a way if it's what you want to do

JessieMcJessie Mon 23-May-16 14:41:50

Insureandgo Uisce. In my experience private GPs will do whatever you ask them to do for the right price, but there may be some issue regarding them not having your full records for this- yellow book may be enough though. Best to phone and ask first.

NB I have not checked whether my insurance would cover care for a premature baby, or just my care if I went into labour now. Reason is twofold- I am in the EU (Italy) and chances of baby making it if born on this holiday pretty small I think. Different kettle of fish for you.

scaevola Mon 23-May-16 14:53:21

You're not up against KLM guidelines, but World Health Organisation ones (which all reputable airlines use).

And it's letter from 28 weeks, cut off 36 weeks (assuming singleton and non-problematic pregnancy).

And yes, you do need to give accurate dates to your insurers and make sure that new born (if arriving early) is also covered as is extending your stay until infant has a passport and is cleared as fit to fly.

JessieMcJessie Mon 23-May-16 14:59:34

I've just looked at the KLM website. This is all it says:

"Pregnancy
Travel by air is usually safe for mothers-to-be. Women that are over 36 weeks pregnant are recommended not to fly. We also discourage flying during the first week following delivery, also for your baby.

If you are expecting more than 1 baby, we recommend consulting your physician first. If you have had complications, you always need to have permission to fly from your physician."

I think that all you need, therefore, is something confirming your due date to show you are not yet over 36 weeks, and even then only if asked. They would have to say so here if you needed a FTF letter.

JessieMcJessie Mon 23-May-16 15:03:35

scaevola KLM can't insist on a FTF without notifying passengers in advance, regardless of what the WHO say. If their website was silent as to the requirements for pregnancy it might be considered reasonable for a pregnant passenger to assume a letter might be required and/or to make enquiries in advance. However here they have a stated policy on their website with no mention of FTF. ( and OP has checked with them as well).

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