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There are many medical conditions that could make air travel a problem. These include:


Contracting any infectious disease may apprehend your ability to fly, and one of the most common of these is the flu. Although flu will often stop people from flying due to ill-health, flu can also be infectious over 3-5 days after you first contract symptoms.

If you do still intend to fly with an infectious disease, you may have to get a ‘Fit to Fly’ certificate from your local GP. Some airlines even check waiting rooms and boarding areas for ill passengers.

Respiratory Diseases

Other medical conditions that could stop you from flying include short-term, serious respiratory diseases such as pneumonia. Whilst these can also be infectious, they may cause breathlessness.

Whilst long-standing and stable medical conditions should not stop you flying, you should keep your medication or inhalers with you at all times. If you have a long-term medical condition, there are many travel insurance companies that can cover you for this. However, if your long-term respiratory condition is not stable, you may have to use oxygen on the flight which can be determined by a fit-to-fly test.


If you have recently had a stroke, then you should wait at least 10-21 days before flying, dependant on the airline. The loss of oxygen that occurs when you fly could be a risk for those who have recently had stroke-related problems as these are caused by a loss of oxygen to the brain. Flying can increase your chance of having another stroke, which is already higher in the months after having a stroke.

Strokes can also leave you with reduced mobility and, if this is the case, flying could increase the risk of DVT as you will be sitting for a number of hours. To reduce the risk of this, you should book seats with extra legroom and ensure that you do exercise during the flight.