If you have become unwell recently, you may be wondering if you’re still able to travel abroad to your dream holiday destination or finally go on the city break you have been planning for months.

Although it can be frustrating if a trip is ruined last minute due to illness, there are often safety precautions put in place for certain medical conditions which can stop you from flying on a plane.

According to The Mirror, the World Health Organization (WHO) states: "Airlines have the right to refuse to carry passengers with conditions that may worsen, or have serious consequences, during the flight.

"They may require medical clearance from their doctor if there is an indication that a passenger could be suffering from any disease or physical or mental condition that could be a hazard to the safety of the aircraft, reduce the welfare and comfort of the other passengers and crew members, require medical attention during the flight, or may be aggravated by the flight.

"If cabin crew suspect before departure that a passenger may be ill, the aircraft’s captain will be informed and a decision taken as to whether the passenger is fit to travel, needs medical attention or presents a danger to other passengers and crew or to the safety of the aircraft.

"Airline policies vary and requirements should always be checked at the time of, or before, booking the flight. A good place to find information is often the airline’s own website."

18 medical conditions that could stop you from flying on a plane

With this in mind, you may be wondering what certain health conditions have been listed which can prevent you from flying.

Fit For Travel, run by the NHS, has said air travel is usually not advised in the following cases:

  • Babies less than 48 hours old (longer after premature births)
  • Women after the 36th week of pregnancy (or 32nd week for multiple pregnancies)
  • Angina or chest pain at rest
  • An infectious disease (e.g. chickenpox, flu or coronavirus)
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Recent heart attack
  • Recent stroke
  • Recent operation or injury where trapped air or gas may be present in the body (e.g. stomach, bowel, eyes, face or brain)
  • Severe, long-term diseases that affect your breathing (e.g. COPD)
  • Pneumonia
  • Breathlessness at rest
  • Sickle cell anaemia
  • Unresolved pneumothorax (punctured lung)
  • Ear infection
  • Decompression sickness after diving
  • Increased pressure in the brain (due to bleeding, injury or infection)
  • Plaster casts applied within 24 hours for flights less than two hours, or 48 hours for longer flights
  • Unstable mental health or psychotic illness.

You can find more information about flying with certain medical conditions on the Fit For Travel and NHS websites.