Passengers traveling with any of the following conditions should complete a MEDIF when making a booking:
- Passengers whose medical condition requires a supply of oxygen, a stretcher, a medical escort, or treatment while on the flight.
- Passengers who may need to use medical equipment or instruments during the flight.
- Passengers whose fitness for air travel is in doubt, whether because of recent instability, disease, treatment, or surgery.
- Passengers who aren’t usually accepted for travel or who suffer from serious or unstable illnesses or injuries.
There are two primary factors we consider when assessing a patient’s fitness for air travel:
- Reduced atmospheric pressure—Cabin air pressure changes greatly in the 15–30 minutes after take-off and before landing, and gas expansion and contraction can cause pain and pressure effects.
- Reduction in oxygen tension—The cabin is pressurized to the equivalent of 6,000–8,000 feet in altitude; oxygen partial pressure is approximately 20% less than it is on the ground.
Any medical condition that could render a passenger unable to complete the flight safely without extraordinary medical assistance during the flight is considered unacceptable for air travel.
Conditions usually considered unacceptable for air travel
We assess each case on its own merits and take into account whether the passenger is accompanied by a medical escort. However, as a general guide, the following conditions are usually considered unacceptable for air travel:
- Severe cases of anaemia.
- Severe cases of either middle ear infections (otitis media) or sinusitis.
- Acute, contagious or communicable diseases.
- Those suffering from congestive cardiac failure or other cyanotic conditions which aren’t fully controlled.
- Uncomplicated myocardial infarctions (MI) within two weeks of onset, or complicated MIs within six weeks of onset.
- Those suffering from severe respiratory diseases or recent pneumothorax.
- Those with gastrointestinal lesions which may cause hematemesis, melena or intestinal obstruction.
- Post-operative cases:
- Within 10 days of simple abdominal operations
- Within 21 days of chest or invasive eye surgery (not including laser surgery).
- Jaw or jawbone fractures with fixed wiring of the jaw (unless medically escorted).
- Unstable mental illnesses without escort and suitable medication for the journey.
- Uncontrolled seizures (unless medically escorted).
- Uncomplicated single pregnancies beyond the end of the 36th week or multiple pregnancies beyond end of the 32nd week.
- Infants within seven days of birth.
- Those who have introduced air to body cavities for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes within the previous seven days.
Notes on other conditions
- Food allergies: passengers don’t need to complete this form to request a special meal for their flight. Please note we can’t guarantee peanut-free meals. However, passengers with life-threatening food allergies that may require treatment during the flight, particularly those who may react to the presence of traces of food in the air, should complete this form.
- Asthma: Medication for asthma must be carried in carry-on luggage. Nebulizers typically require their own power source; spacer devices used with inhalers are an effective onboard alternative.
- Escorts: Medical escorts should ensure that they have all items needed to provide proper care for the patients; they are responsible for attending to all aspects of the patient’s needs. Due to food-handling regulations, cabin staff can’t assist with these needs.
- Fractures: All new long-bone fractures and full leg casts require a medical certificate. Casts must be at least 48 hours old. Plasters should be split for fresh injuries (48 hours or less), which could swell inside the cast on a long flight. Unfortunately, extra legroom for leg elevation isn’t possible in Economy Class; however, an aisle seat can be reserved. Please state whether the injury is on the passenger’s left or right.
- Inflight care: We do not provide nursing attendants; our cabin crew are only trained in first aid.
- Lung or heart disease: Cardiopulmonary disease that causes dyspnea on walking more than 100 meters on a flat surface or has required oxygen in hospital or at home (or in flight previously) may require supplementary oxygen. The aircraft oxygen is for emergency use only. Patients with serious cardiopulmonary cases as well as those requiring continuous oxygen, a stretcher, or an incubator should enclose a recent detailed medical report with the medical certificate. (A copy of a specialist or hospital referral should be sufficient.)
- Physical disabilities: If the passenger requires a wheelchair only as far as the aircraft door, there is no need to complete this form. Note: Civil Aviation Rules require that all passengers be able to use the aircraft seat with the seat back in the upright position.
- Special meals: Special diets for religious or other medical reasons can be ordered by managing your booking online, or directly through a travel agent if you booked with one.
- Terminal illnesses: Passengers in the advanced stages of terminal illness will usually require a medical or nursing escort.