Before You Travel


To help ensure that your flight with Emirates is as safe and comfortable as possible, please review the information below for passengers and medical practitioners.

A few practical suggestionsImmunizations
MalariaTraveling while pregnant
Traveling with newborn babiesTravelers with special needs
Medical conditionsTraveler’s Medical Kit

A few practical suggestions

  • Make sure you get travel insurance that provides sufficient coverage for treatment and repatriation, particularly for adventure vacations, skiing, and diving trips.
  • Plan to pack well. Two lighter suitcases are better than one very heavy one, which can cause muscle injuries. Some countries have safety limits on what luggage handlers may transport.
  • Carry your regular medications in your carry-on luggage, along with your prescriptions and a letter from your family doctor stating that you are on the medications for medical reasons. This is to avoid problems at Customs.
  • Check that there are no import restrictions on your medications in the country you are visiting (e.g., codeine when entering the UAE or stimulants such as pseudoephedrine when visiting Japan).
  • Plan to get a good night’s sleep prior to your flight, as this has been shown to help to reduce stress and problems with jet lag.
  • Wear comfortable and appropriate clothing for the flight and your destination.
  • Arrive at the airport with sufficient time to check in and go through Immigration. Emirates requires passengers to be at the boarding gate 45 minutes before the scheduled departure time to ensure flights leave on schedule.

Immunizations

Although most travelers have already had vaccinations as children, they may still require boosters or additional immunizations. Consult your doctor 4–6 weeks prior to travel (or shorter, if you are traveling on short notice) to see if you will need any vaccinations, or use our vaccination requirements finder to identify vaccinations required for your itinerary. Remember to bring a copy of your vaccination records on your trip.

Malaria

You should also check whether your destination is a risk area for malaria and if so, consider taking malaria prevention medications, which can be obtained from your doctor.

See the US Center for Disease Control’s searchable map to check destinations for malaria risk.

Traveling while pregnant

If you plan to travel in your 29th week of pregnancy or later, a medical certificate or letter signed by an appropriately qualified doctor or midwife is required. The letter should state:

  • confirmation of a singleton or multiple pregnancy
  • confirmation that the pregnancy is progressing without complications
  • the estimated date of delivery
  • the date through which the mother is expected to be fit to travel
  • that the mother is in good health
  • that there is no known reason that would prevent the mother from flying

If you choose not to carry a valid medical certificate, you may not be accepted for travel; Emirates reserves the right to deny boarding if there is any doubt about your ability to complete the journey safely.

No air travel is permitted after the 32nd week of gestation for multiple pregnancies. For single pregnancies, travel after the 36th week of gestation will be permitted only after clearance is granted by the Emirates medical department. A medical information form (MEDIF) will need to be submitted for clearance purposes.

Thought should be given to whether the medical facilities at your destination country are adequate to cope with any problems that may arise. Sufficient travel insurance is strongly recommended to provide coverage in case of preterm labor abroad. It is wise to avoid traveling to remote locations while pregnant.

Some countries restrict or limit entry of non-national pregnant women. We recommend that you consult with the local consulate or embassy if in any doubt.

Heavy lifting during pregnancy should be avoided, so take care with your baggage.

Download a standard medical certificate for pregnant passengers (PDF)

Traveling with newborn babies

Air travel is not permitted in the first 7 days after birth, except for travel for emergency medical treatment with an approved Medical Information for Fitness to Travel or Special Assistance (MEDIF) form.

Download a MEDIF form now (PDF)

Travelers with special needs

For information for passengers with special needs, including those traveling with wheelchairs or requiring the use of medical equipment, please see our special needs section.

Medical conditions

If you have a preexisting medical condition such as diabetes, asthma, heart disease, epilepsy, or any other chronic disease, here are some steps you can take to remain healthy on your travels.

  • See your doctor at least 4–6 weeks prior to travel. Your doctor should make sure your conditions are well controlled and that any required prescriptions are up to date.
  • Ask your doctor for a letter describing any medical conditions you have and the usual treatments, including specific medications and dosages.
  • Bring adequate supplies of your usual medications and carry them in your carry-on luggage. Please note that we cannot refrigerate medicine for you. Please ensure that you arrange for any such medicines to be kept cool, in either a cool bag or a vacuum flask.
  • Make sure your immunizations are up to date and carry your immunization card with you.
  • Check your health insurance coverage to ensure you are covered for international travel, including repatriation costs.

Traveler’s Medical Kit

The following is a list of handy medical items you should consider carrying with you on your travels. You can individualize this list based on your itinerary, your planned activities, and your medical history. Ready-made kits are also available from pharmacies and travel clinics.

  • Your regular medications (Remember, any medications carried overseas should be accompanied by a letter from a medical practitioner.)
  • Vaccination certificate
  • Travel insurance with medical coverage
  • Digital thermometer
  • Analgesics (paracetamol, aspirin, ibuprofen)
  • Antacids
  • Topical antiseptic/antibiotic
  • Antihistamines
  • Dressings and adhesive bandages
  • Mosquito repellent
  • Malaria tablets, if prescribed
  • Sunscreen
  • Oral rehydration preparation