Before they go

What conditions can prevent people from flying?

Those with cardiac failure, recent myocardial infarction (heart attack) or stroke, angina (chest pain) at rest, heart rate or rhythm disorders, uncontrolled arterial hypertension, severe anemia, sickle-cell anemia, acute mental disorders, epilepsy and any serious or contagious diseases.

Long Term Conditions

When patients have chronic pain:

  • Buy their ticket early so they can choose the seat they want. Find those with extra legroom and close to the front of the plane. Buy the best seat they can afford
  • Take their time packing. Think through their day and what they will need
  • Keep all medications with them in a lightweight carry on bag. Check in anything heavier and be sure it is on wheels
  • A neck pillow can support the neck and back
  • Plan ahead for a wheelchair and assistance to the gate
  • Wear comfortable and supportive shoes
  • Move around during the flight to stretch and work their muscles


Passengers with lung disease should be advised to avoid smoking and alcohol before and during air travel. Like all passengers, they should carry out regular leg exercises but those passengers requiring oxygen should request a seat near the toilets to avoid long walks.,toilets%20to%20avoid%20long%20walks.


  • How planned activities could affect their diabetes and what to do about it
  • How to adjust their insulin doses if traveling to places in a different time zone
  • Provide prescriptions for their medicines in case they lose or run out of them
  • Administer vaccines
  • Advise them to write a letter stating that they have diabetes and why they need medical supplies


It is considered safe to fly with high blood pressure if it is well controlled, however, they may experience some discomfort during the flight such as an earache. Their blood pressure is also likely to rise but this is normal. If their blood pressure is unstable or very high, then you should optimise treatment and achieve a normal BP before flying.