This page tells you who might need to obtain medical clearance before they fly, including passengers with medical conditions, or who are pregnant, or who have severe allergies.

In certain cases, you may need to check your doctor is happy for you to fly before you can travel with us.

This might be because:

  • You have a pre-existing medical condition
  •  You have an unstable medical condition
  •  You need oxygen onboard your flight 
  • You are pregnant 
  • You have experienced a recent illness, injury, surgery or hospitalisation 
  • You are travelling to seek treatment overseas 
  • You have a contagious disease

Important:

We want you to be as comfortable as possible on your flight, and medical clearance ensures your doctor is satisfied you’re able to take your journey as planned. It’s covered by clause 14 of our Conditions of Carriage.

If any of the conditions above apply to you, or if you're not sure whether you need clearance or not, please get in touch with our Special Assistance team on 0344 412 4455. They will be happy to advise.

We may ask you to complete a medical information form. You can download this form below.

Dowload medical clearance form

PDF 559.0KB

The form is in PDF format. If you do not already have it, download the Adobe Acrobat Reader for free now.

If you cannot download the form, ask our Special Assistance team to send you a copy.

Certain medical conditions can be affected by flying, and may require medical clearance, which is written confirmation from your doctor that you are well enough to fly. These conditions include:

  • Heart or blood vessel problems such as a heart attack, heart failure, angina or stroke. 
  • Deep Vein Thrombosis 
  • Breathing difficulties such as chronic bronchitis or emphysema, pneumothorax (a collapsed lung), pulmonary embolism (a blood clot on the lung), or asthma, especially if you may need additional oxygen or use of a nebuliser during your flight 
  • Epilepsy 
  • A recent head injury 
  • Stomach or bowel problems 
  • Cancer 
  • A current infectious disease 
  • Ear or sinus pain 
  • Pregnancy Limb injuries, including fractures 
  • Psychiatric problems 
  • Any recent surgery

For passengers suffering from conditions like heart or lung disease, or blood disorders such as anaemia (including sickle cell anaemia), the lower oxygen levels in the cabincould lead to oxygen deprivation (hypoxia), making additional oxygen supplies necessary.

Additionally, the lower air pressure means that air within the cabin is expanded by about 30%. This could cause problems for passengers who have recently undergone surgery, have abdominal health problems, or blocked ears or sinuses.

If you are affected by any these conditions, you should check your doctor is happy for you to fly. You should also check with our Special Assistance team in case you require official medical clearance from your doctor before you can fly.

We’re naturally keen to prevent our passengers from falling ill, so have guidelines for travelling with certain conditions.

If you’ve been unwell in the weeks before your flight, call our Special Assistance team on 0344 412 4455 to check if you’ll be OK to fly.

As the following illnesses can be contagious, we’ve put together some guidance on when you can travel with them. If you are unsure, please contact our Special Assistance department so your individual case can be assisted and supported.

Illness When can you trvel?
Chickenpox 7 days after the last crop of spots providing the spots have crusted/scabbed over and the passenger feels well and has no fever
Cholera When your symptoms have settled, you feel well enough to travel and the public heath authority in your destination country agrees you are fit to travel
Hepatitis A When you feel well enough to travel
Measles 5 days after the rash first appeared
Mumps 8 days after the swelling began. You must feel well and have no fever
Rubella 5 days after the rash first appeared
Shingles If lesions are covered with a dressing. You must be well with no fever and any pain must be well controlled
Tuberculosis If medical evidence proves you are not infectious
Whooping cough Please contact Special Assistance for further advice
Yellow fever Please contact Special Assistance for further advice
Flu Once your symptoms have resolved

As long as you feel well enough to fly, it’s fine for you to travel with these conditions:

  • Hepatitis B or C 
  • Dengue fever 
  • Viral meningitis 
  • Malaria

As long as you haven’t experienced any complications during your pregnancy, you can fly until your 28th week without needing to tell us. Beyond the 28th week, you’ll need to take note of the guidelines below.

Single pregnancy

If you're expecting one baby and want to travel between your 28th and 36th weeks, we’ll need you to travel with a certificate from your doctor. The certificate should state that you have had no complications and your estimated delivery date. We don’t need to see this in advance, but it might be asked for at the airport or onboard. Travel may be delayed or denied if you do not have this if asked.

It's important to remember to include your return travel within these dates.

After your 36th week, you mustn't fly unless there are mitigating circumstances - which you can find listed below.

Multiple pregnancy

If you're expecting more than one baby and want to travel between your 28th and 32nd weeks, again you'll need to travel with a doctor's certificate stating you've had no complications and your estimated delivery date. Travel may be delayed or denied if you don't have your certificate available if asked.

You mustn't fly after the end of your 32nd week. Please do remember to include your return travel date in this time frame.

Travelling after the cut-off date

For travel after the 36th week for single pregnancies, or after the 32nd week for multiple pregnancies, we can only carry you for urgent medical or compassionate reasons, and only on approval from our medical advisors.

We may also ask that a suitable medical attendant accompany you. Please contact our Special Assistance team on 0344 412 4455 for more details.

Contact our Special Assistance team

You can call our Special Assistance team on 0344 412 4455 if you need to discuss this information in more detail, or if you need to let us know about:

  • A complicated pregnancy 
  • A recent Caesarean Section delivery 
  • A recent miscarriage.

We’re alert to the dangers of serious allergies.

If you have any kind of allergy, simply follow these guidelines for a safe and comfortable flight:

  • If you have an allergy that could result in an anaphylactic reaction you should carry your medication, such as antihistamines or an Epi-Pen, in your hand luggage. Check our information on bringing medication onboard. 
  • If you’ve had an allergic reaction in the last 30 days, call our Special Assistance team on 0344 481 4455. If you need a specific meal, take a look at our dietary requirements information and make sure you let us know at least 24 hours before your flight. 
  • Just in case we can’t meet your dietary requirements, we recommend you bring your own snacks onboard.

Our nut policy

Peanuts are never knowingly included in any of our meals. However our meals are not produced in a nut-free environment so may contain traces.

All other nuts may also be served on our flights to other passengers as part of the menu ingredients and/or the snack service, in any cabin. We also can’t stop other passengers from bringing (or eating) their own food onboard, which may include nuts.

In view of the above, we strongly encourage passengers to take all necessary precautions to prepare for the possibility of inadvertent exposure.

Please take note of the following situations. You cannot fly if:

  • You have been SCUBA diving within 48 hours prior to your flight 
  • You’ve had a general anaesthetic or dental treatment within 48 hours prior to your flight

Use our online contact form

Email: Special_Assistance@fly.virgin.com
Tel: 0344 481 4455
Fax: 0344 209 7373
Voice tel: 01293 747691

Opening hours:
Mon - Fri 09:00 - 18:00 (UK local) 
Bank holidays 09:00 to 17:00 
Sunday and Christmas Closed

Special Assistance
Virgin Atlantic Airways
The VHQ
Fleming Way
Crawley
West Sussex
RH10 9DF

Contact us

It's often quickest to use the website, but if you need to talk to someone we're here to help.

Call or text us

You'll find the answer to most questions here. But if you have a specific flight or booking related query, drop us a line.

Send us your comment or query

If you haven’t found what you were looking for, choose the subject and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Find us on social

If you like to keep it short and sweet (and all in 280 characters or less) you can also get in touch with us on Twitter