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Flying with a medical condition

Travelling itself can often be a stressful experience, and on top of that there are many medical conditions that could make air travel more problematic for you. That's why we've created a comprehensive guide to what medical conditions may impact your travel.

Ask your doctor

It's always a good idea to consult your doctor if you're unsure whether you are fit to fly, and they can advise accordingly.


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 may 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, Holiday Extras travel insurance may 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.

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

Holiday Extras Cover Limited are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority under registration number 828848, Holiday Extras Cover Ltd 05058680 is registered in England and Wales. Registered address, Ashford road, Newingreen, Kent CT21 4JF

Holiday Extras Cover Ltd is underwritten by White Horse Insurance Ireland dac is registered in Ireland No. 306045. White Horse Insurance Ireland dac’s Registered Office is First Floor, Rineanna House, Shannon Free Zone, Shannon, County Clare, Republic of Ireland. White Horse Insurance Ireland dac is authorised and regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. Deemed authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and subject to regulation by the Financial Conduct Authority and limited regulation by the Prudential Regulation Authority. The nature and extent of consumer protections may differ from those for firms based in the UK. Details of the Temporary Permissions Regime, which allows EEA-based firms to operate in the UK for a limited period while seeking full authorisation, are available on the Financial Conduct Authority’s website, our FRN is 203320.