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Medical Information

Information for passengers with health conditions

Who to contact and requirements.

Flying is generally one of the safest forms of travel. To ensure your safety and the safety of other passengers and crew it is important that we at flypop and you the passenger are aware of your fitness to fly. If any of the following conditions applies to you then you should seek clearance from your GP or qualified medical professional so you can complete your journey in safety. In some cases flypop and/or the Airport Authorities will require that you complete a medical information form (MEDIF) authenticated by your GP or a qualified medical professional. If we are not satisfied, for any reason, that you are ‘fit to fly’ we reserve the right to refuse to carry you. This is covered in clause 14.1.15 of our Terms and Conditions.

Airport Security

Current security regulations state that liquid items are only allowed in your hand luggage if they are in containers of 100ml or less. There are a few exceptions including essential medicines for your trip, which may be allowed in larger quantities above the current 100ml limit. This will be subject to authentication, so always check before you go. Passengers are also permitted to carry essential medical equipment through airport security in hand luggage, though all medication and equipment must be supported by documentation from a relevantly qualified medical professional. If you have any doubt you should contact the relevant airport authority before your flight.

On Board

Our cabin crew are trained in first aid but are not qualified medically. As such they can not administer medication and will not be able to assist you with meals or moving around the cabin. If you are not confident that you can do this then you should travel with a companion to assist you. Our aircraft do not have storage facilities for medication.

Allergies

At the time of your booking please add your allergy details in the Special assistance menu. 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. If you’ve had an allergic reaction in the last 30 days, please add this to the Special Assistance page in Manage My Booking. If you have purchased one of our on-board meals and require it to accommodate your allergy/dietary requirement please make sure this is on your booking information at least 24 hours before your flight. In case we cannot meet your dietary requirements, we recommend you bring your own snacks onboard.

Anaemia

Although there are many types of anaemia, advice to the traveler is similar for all. In general, special consideration should be given to anyone with a haemoglobin below 8.5 g · dl-1 because at such low levels, passengers may experience lightheadedness or even lose consciousness during flight, particularly with physical exertion such as going to the lavatory. Although this is the recommended standard for air travel, there may be individual variability depending upon how well compensated the anaemia is. For example, a passenger with chronic renal failure may tolerate a lower haemoglobin level at cabin cruising altitude better than someone with a recent haemorrhage. If there is any question about suitability to fly, please consult your physician.

A particularly severe form of anaemia is sickle cell disease, which may be exacerbated by reduced oxygen pressures. Because such a crisis could be life-threatening, such patients should be advised not to travel by air without medical oxygen. Sickle cell trait, on the other hand, has not been associated with problems at normal cruising altitude.

Cardiovascular Disease and Hypoxia

The ‘cabin altitude’ in commercial aircraft should not exceed 8000 feet in normal operations, but in practice is typically between 5,000 and 7,500 feet. This results in a concomitant decrease in the partial pressure of alveolar oxygen (PAO2) - at the upper limit of cabin altitude of 8,000 feet, the cabin pressure is approximately 565 mm Hg and PAO2 is approximately 75mm Hg. However,  this only results in a fall of arterial oxygen saturation to around 90% and is well tolerated in healthy travellers. Passengers with medical conditions associated with hypoxia or reduced oxygen-carrying capacity in the blood, such as respiratory and cardiac conditions or severe anaemia, may not tolerate the reduction in barometric pressure without additional support. Some of the conditions that may require additional oxygen to be carried on board are:

  • Angina,
  • Cyanotic congenital heart disease
  • Primary pulmonary hypertension or Uncontrolled hypertension,
  • Cardiac arrhythmia,
  • Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting (CABG)
  • Decompensated congestive heart failure
Contagious and Communicable Diseases

I think it safe to say that all of us have become very much more aware of the importance of protecting ourselves and others from contagious diseases in this age of SARS Cov 2 and Covid19 infections. Please refer to our Covid19 page for the latest update on the situation. We strongly suggest that you check with the Health Authority of you own country and the country you are travelling to before you make firm plans.

In addition there are several diseases where restrictions apply (and in some cases vaccination is required):

  • Chickenpox
  • Cholera
  • Hepatitis A
  • Measles
  • Mumps
  • Rubella
  • Shingles
  • Tuberculosis
  • Whooping Cough
  • Yellow Fever
  • Flu

If you have any of these diseases you will need to consult with your doctor and you may be required to fill in a MEDIF Form

Diabetes

Air travel should not pose significant problems for patients with well-controlled diabetes.

Pre-planning is important and discussion of the itinerary with your GP or diabetic management team plays an important part in this preparation for travel. It is essential that you carry adequate equipment and medication in their cabin baggage. It is important that insulin is not packed in the hold baggage even if it is not being used during the flight as insulin in the hold may be exposed to temperatures that could degrade it and there is the potential risk of loss of baggage en-route. Insulin may be satisfactorily carried in a cool bag for even the longest sector. Individual regimes should be discussed with your GP or diabetic management team, but some general guidelines may be helpful.

Buy travel insurance that covers your healthcare fully. Check that your insurance provider covers pre-existing medical conditions like diabetes, because many do not.

When travelling east the day will be shortened and if more than two hours are lost, it may be necessary to take fewer units with intermediate or long-acting insulin.

When travelling west the travel day will be extended and if this is more than 2 hours it may be necessary to supplement this with additional injections of short-acting insulin or an increased dose of an intermediate-acting insulin.

Further information on diabetes and travel is available from Diabetes UK. (The link needs to be changed to this web site:

Patients who use insulin pumps should also be aware of the potential impact of changes in the cabin air pressure on insulin delivery. The reduction in ambient pressure on ascent may lead to a slight increase in delivery of insulin as a result of the formation / expansion of air bubbles, which may be sufficient to cause symptomatic hypoglycaemia. A more severe impact could be seen in the (rare) event of sudden decompression of the cabin at altitude. A slight reduction in insulin delivery is also possible during descent.

Fractures

Changes in cabin pressure can cause considerable discomfort if you have a limb in cast. Air can get be trapped beneath a cast, so it is advisable for casts applied within 24-48 hours to be bivalve or split full length to avoid harmful swelling, particularly on long flights. For below knee casts and arm cast a single seat only is required however for full length leg casts you will have to book 3 seats next to each other so that the leg can be put in a horizontal position. Pneumatic splints, because of gas expansion at altitude, are not accepted on flypop flights.

General Anaesthetic

You must not fly if you have had a general anaesthetic within 48 hours of your flight departure.

Jet lag

Jet lag or circadian dysrhythmia is a consequence of trans meridian travel (crossing time zones) and, as well as being an annoyance for travellers may be of medical significance for passengers who require regular medication. Consideration should be given to the timing of medication, e.g. in patients with diabetes who are treated with insulin or HIV positive patients on ART.

Post Operative

As long as you have made a good recovery from your operation you should be able to fly without discomfort. If you have had an intrusive operation or procedure within 2 weeks of your departure date please consult with your doctor You will need to have a fit-to-fly MEDIF form from your doctor.

Pregnancy

How did you get here? We do not consider pregnancy a medical condition rather a celebration. We have information on our Pregnancy page which will keep you and your baby safe.

Psychiatric Conditions

The key consideration in this area is identical to other medical conditions, i.e. will the condition interfere with the safe conduct of the flight or will the flight environment exacerbate the condition?

With the modern management of many psychiatric conditions, air travel should not be a problem for the majority of individuals. It is however essential that the condition is stable and if medication is required it is taken regularly.

The main areas for concern are people whose behaviour may be unpredictable, aggressive, dis-organised or disruptive. In these circumstances, air travel would be contra-indicated. Patients with well-managed psychotic conditions may require an escort to ensure regular medication and to assist in case of problems. The escort may be a reliable companion or in more difficult cases, a qualified health professional. Taking a careful history eliciting, especially, details of previous disturbed or disorientated behaviour is particularly important.

Close liaison with the treating physician and the airline concerned is important and clearance to travel can be done either by telephone or by using the formal MEDIF form

Scuba Divers

You must not fly if you have been SCUBA diving within 48 hours of your flight departure.

More information is available on the Aerospace Medical Association website