Travel during pregnancy is one of those things you should certainly discuss with your doctor prior to undertaking, especially if you are late in your pregnancy or experiencing any complications. Airline travel is an especially tricky thing. Most airlines require that any pregnant woman planning to travel by air obtain permission from their doctor. It is recommended by most airlines that you consult with your doctor and obtain a permission to travel letter to prove you have the necessary permission.
Anytime you are planning travel by air during your pregnancy be sure to consider your due date. The closer to your due date you are the less likely it is that the airline, or your doctor for that matter, will allow you to fly.
It is always a good idea to contact the airline you are planning to travel with to find out what their individual policy is. Here is a helpful list of information regarding the pregnancy travel policies for major US airlines (in alphabetical order).
Alaska Airlines: this airline has not specific restrictions for pregnant travelers.
American Airlines: a letter from your doctor and permission from a Special Assistance Coordinator is required if traveling during the two weeks surrounding your due date, or 30 days prior to your due date for international travel.
Continental: if traveling after your 7th month the airline recommends consulting your doctor. If you are traveling within 7 days of your due date a letter is required from your doctor. This applies to domestic and international travel.
Delta Airlines: no posted restrictions. Be sure to call the airline though.
Frontier Airlines: for both domestic and international travel a letter of permission is required from your doctor if traveling within 7 days of your due date.
Hawaiian Airlines: a letter of permission is required if you will be traveling within 7 days of your due date, and the letter must be signed within 72 hours of your travel date. This is required for both domestic and international travel.
JetBlue: for both domestic and international travel a letter of permission from your doctor signed within 72 hours of your travel date if you will be traveling within 7 days of your due date, also your travel must be completed before your due date.
Northwest Airlines: for domestic travel a letter of permission is required from your doctor if you will be traveling within 30 days of your due date. For international travel a letter from your doctor is required if traveling after your 36th week.
Southwest Airlines: there are no specific requirements, however, the airline strongly recommends consulting your doctor before any air travel during your pregnancy.
United Airlines: if traveling during the 9th month of pregnancy a letter from your doctor in triplicate is required. The letter must be signed within 72 hours of your travel date and indicate your due date. Questioning at the gate is a possibility. The requirement is the same for domestic and international travel.
US Airways: for both domestic and international travel a letter of permission is required from your doctor, it must be signed within 72 hours of your travel date.
As you can see most of the airlines have similar requirements, however, there is no uniform set of requirements and things are always changes so it is best to call the airline ahead of time to double check their requirements. If you will be traveling close to your due date it isn’t a bad idea to get travel insurance or purchase an refundable ticket just in case the baby decides to make an appearance before your scheduled flight.
Always check with your doctor before traveling, especially air travel to ensure it is safe to do so.