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Letter from doctor when flying in pregnancy

(25 Posts)
Cies Fri 31-Jul-09 11:52:31

I'm flying at 26 and 27 weeks and my airline requires a letter from the doctor after 27 weeks. What do I ask the doctor to write in it?

Also, I don't really look 27 weeks pregnant, so if I didn't offer the letter I'm not sure what the airline would do. Demand to know my due date? I could lie, couldn't I?

What have you done when flying while pg?

June2009 Fri 31-Jul-09 11:56:43

The GP will probably have a standard form for you.
You could probably lie but your insurance most likely wouldn't cover you if you needed it to for whatever reason (lost luggage, cncelled flight etc.)

BrigitBigKnickers Fri 31-Jul-09 11:57:36

I think you might find that your travel health insurance would be invalidated should you need attention while you are away so for that reason I would get a doctors letter anyway.

pasturesnew Fri 31-Jul-09 12:02:26

Yes, go to your GP, but note that there might be a charge for the letter. Mine cost £15 and it was a hoo-ha paying for it as the receptionists couldn't process card or cheque and had no change for a £20 note! So my tip is to ring and check what charge applies beforehand and then bring the exact money with you.

Cies Fri 31-Jul-09 12:05:27

Ok, I was only joking about lying wink

I'll call up and see what they say.

Did you proffer the letter as you were checking in or were you asked for it?

EyeballsintheSky Fri 31-Jul-09 12:05:54

I just rang and asked for a note, I needed it to travel on a plane and a ship and they just wanted in writing what my EDD was, how many weeks pg I would be on the journey and that I was fit to travel.

I did think about not having the letter but if anything does go wrong you don't want to be in the position of not having told them.

Cies Fri 31-Jul-09 12:11:06

Thanks all. smile

chrysanthamumm Fri 31-Jul-09 12:59:12

I got one for hols at 26wk, GP said there might be a charge, but when went to pick it up receptionist said no need. Same info as EyeballsITS. Wasn't asked for it by airline (EasyJet) on the way out, but was on the way back so better safe than sorry!

greensnail Fri 31-Jul-09 13:04:37

When I got one (flew to australia and back at 28 and 31 weeks - crazy behaviour!) doctor didn't charge as she wrote it during an appointment for a check up, but said she would have charged otherwise. Just needs to say, when baby due and that there are no complications with the pregnancy.

cornichons Fri 31-Jul-09 13:51:57

Don't even get me started on this doctor's note malarkey!!

I went to France a few weeks ago when I was 30 weeks pregnant. I posted on here as I was wondering what to do about the note and in the end decided to be sensible and ask for one.

It was so much the fact that no one blinked at me at the airport that annoyed me but the fact that to get the doctor’s note all I had to do was ask for it, pay £15 in cash (how convenient) and come and pick it up the day after. No one even checked me!! And it wasn’t even my GP who wrote the letter it was some other guy in the practice who wrote I was 28 weeks pregnant and fit to fly, for all he knew I had sky high BP!! I know most people want the note so they don’t want their GP to find something wrong with them but it really pissed me off that they claim it’s to make sure you’re fit to fly when in fact no one gives a toss. As far as I could tell it was just an easy way to make a bit of money for the practice.

Needless to say that I won’t bother next time.

Ninni Sat 01-Aug-09 08:54:21

Ive flown both pregnancies at 28 wks, noone asked either time.

Toppy Sat 01-Aug-09 09:21:49

Just been away at 32 weeks. Went to see doctor at 31 weeks - he said such letters really annoyed him because if you are within the limits to fly then thsoe should be the limits full stop and not require extra reassurance.
My resulting letter was a unsurprisingly a curt one liner. It reads

'Dear Sir, Toppy is 31+2 weeks pregnant - there ar no complications and she is fit to fly'

on headed paper

I was pretty glad that he did not charge me for this letter even though there is a list of fees in reception syaing such letters cost £15. I need another one for next Saturday (34 weeks) and am seeing MW on Thursday and am hoping she will just scribble on the bottom of the doctors letter that I am still fit to fly.

No-one asked to see my letter - they really just do not care. In fact you will receive no special attention or boarding assistance or help getting luggage in overhead locker etc etc.
IMO the airlines are just covering themselves should they need to divert plane and land early

greensnail Sat 01-Aug-09 21:13:41

Oh I definitely needed my letter (had to fax it ahead to the airline). Got lots of special attention though, and extra seats saved for me by friendly cabin crew, extra drinks brought to me etc. Probably because I was flying longhaul though.

olivo Sun 02-Aug-09 08:52:03

i was asked for one when i was 22 and 24 weeks respectively; admittedly, my bump was fairly noticeable. they were happy with the '...is 22wks pg with edd of ... and is fit to fly'

we took a voluntary switch of airlines on the way home and i had to sign a disclaimer for if i went into labour on the flightshock!

Treats Mon 03-Aug-09 15:58:46

I flew about a week and a half ago at 29 weeks. I had a scheduled GP appointment about 4 weeks previously and he gave me the letter then - even though he couldn't known what state of health I'd be in! I didn't have to pay a fee although there was a sign in reception saying it would be £15.

Even though I was very prominently pregnant, nobody asked to see it any time before boarding or during the flight. Tbh I think the airlines are just covering their backs - if you don't have a letter and fall ill on the flight, then it's your problem not theirs. And if you DO have a letter and fall ill on the flight,then it's still not their problem because they made 'appropriate' checks.

One extra precaution I did take was to take out additional travel insurance before I booked any flights/ hotels, etc. These all had to be booked some months in advance before I knew whether I would get a doctor's letter or not. I took out a policy that covered cancellation in the event that the doctors wouldn't let me fly and also covered for any pregnancy-related conditions while I was away. Bit pricey but we travelled around a lot, so cancellation fees for all the different places we stayed would have been very expensive.

Rindercella Mon 03-Aug-09 16:05:38

I flew when I was about 27/28 weeks pregnant. When I asked my GP for a note she just said, oh you don't need to worry about that hmm Luckily I did worry about it and had to see my mw anyway, so asked her & she wrote one for me (no cost). I was sooo huge I doubt very much the airline would've believed me if I had said I was only 27 weeks pg! They asked for doctor's note both ways and I really don't know what would have happened if I had listened to my GP and didn't have a letter.

lynneevans51 Mon 03-Aug-09 16:15:00

I thought you only needed a letter if you were over 28 weeks (although do understand its individual airline policy) but am shocked to read Olivo saying she needed letters for 22 weeks pg!!!

mumof2222222222222222boys Mon 03-Aug-09 16:19:14

all airlines have different requirements. I had to go to the US when I was 6.5 months pg (about 5 years ago). Most airlines were fine up to 7 months - but Delta let you fly until 9 months - I did take a letter but I don't think anyone asked to see it.

The insurance stopped me from going after 7 months...the thought of going to a US hospital for birth / complications without insurance was very scarey!

olivo Mon 03-Aug-09 17:20:09

lynee, i suspect i looked a bt further ob with my 'blooming bump'!! was glad i had it though!

lynneevans51 Mon 03-Aug-09 17:23:41

Olivo - yes, so do I - I'm 17 weeks and look 6 months! Always have with my pg - however, still surprised that you would need to get a letter. I'm off on Saturday for hols and haven't even considered it.

olivo Mon 03-Aug-09 18:39:21

my GP didnt do a formal letter - at my 20ish wk check,she wrote on my pg notes that all was well, how far on i was and that i was fit ti fly, and she stamped it with the official practice stamp.It was her suggestion and i didnt need to pay anything.

enjoy your hols!

angel1976 Mon 03-Aug-09 21:43:51

You can ask for a letter from your midwife and it's FREE! The airline I am flying with says I need a letter from doctor of midwife. I did that at my standard antenatal check and she pretty pooh-pooh at a letter like that (she said so what if I am fit to fly now, things can change really quickly in pregnancy) but she wrote it on hospital-headed paper. I'm off in less than 2 weeks so wish me luck! wink

angel1976 Mon 03-Aug-09 21:44:39

I mean 'doctor or midwife'.

FairyMum Mon 03-Aug-09 21:55:27

Depends on how far you are flying. I flew 3 days before my due date without a note. Noone asked anything. It was Ryanair so I am suprised they did not try to charge me extra for the featus. If you only fly a few hours, I don't see the problem with flying when pregnant at all. Its very unlikely you give birth on the flight, and anyway if I gave birth in 2 hours I would be delighted.

Toppy Tue 04-Aug-09 21:09:48

Haaaaaaaaa haaaa at thought of Ryanair charging you extra. That made me snort out loud

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