Flying when sick or after an operation

If you have recently undergone an operation or are suffering from a serious medical illness or disease, we advise you to be particularly careful, as flying may put an excessive amount of strain on the body in such a condition. In case of doubt, or if you develop any pain or other problems as your departure date approaches, it is better to cancel or postpone your trip.

Conditions and illnesses with which you should not fly:

  • For divers: you should not fly if you made your latest dive less than 24 hours ago. If you developed any problems when surfacing from any dive, consult a doctor, who will be able to tell you when you can safely fly again.
  • If you are pregnant, you should not fly within four weeks of your planned due date.
  • You should not fly if you have a heavy cold or high fever.
  • You should not fly if you have a serious heart or lung condition with associated difficulty breathing, if you had a heart attack recently, if you have angina pectoris (unless this is sufficiently stable) or if you have a cardiac insufficiency or pneumothorax.
  • You should not fly if you recently had a stroke.
  • You should not fly if you are severely anaemic
  • You should not fly if you are carrying an infectious or (particularly) a contagious disease, such as chickenpox
  • You should not fly if you had an operation recently, especially on your abdomen or thorax
  • You should not fly if you are suffering from acute mental illness

For further information please see the IATA Medical Manual (Section 6, Pages 51-57).