Passenger Guide - Health & Wellbeing
Are you planning to travel by air? Take care of your health! Read the information to help you and your doctor assess whether you should travel.
Travelling with a health condition
If you have an ongoing or recent illness or health condition, and you have any concerns on whether it will be affected by flying you should discuss this with your GP or consultant before flying. You should also contact your airline in order that their medical adviser can have as much information as possible before making a decision on your fitness to fly. Before your trip, consider any potential health risks for the country you are going to.
If you are travelling abroad, you may need vaccinations when visiting certain countries.
You should make an appointment with your GP or Practice Nurse and advise them of your trip in order that an appropriate vaccination schedule may be carried out in a timely manner.
It is important that you give specific details of the areas that you are visiting, along with the time of year that you are planning to travel and the duration of your trip.
Tips for a Healthy Flight
Here you will find some useful information to help you enjoy your flight.
The air in the aircraft cabin is often quite dry (because it has low humidity) and this can lead to your lips, nose, eyes and skin feeling tight, dry or uncomfortable. Contact lens wearers may find that they need to remove their lenses. The dry atmosphere does not lead to dehydration and you do not need to drink extra water.
Being seated for a long time, such as on flights longer than about four hours, may increase the risk of developing blood clots in the veins in your legs (also known as deep vein thrombosis or DVT). Some airlines provide information in their in-flight magazine or entertainment system on exercises you can do in your seat to try and reduce the risk. You should try to walk up and down the aisles from time to time, when the seat belt signs are off and it is safe to do so as well as doing these exercises. Some people are at increased risk of DVT and may need to speak to their doctor before travel about additional precautions, such as compression stockings (‘flight socks’) or medication.
On most aircraft, some of the cabin air is re-circulated. The re-circulated air is filtered before re-entering the cabin and does not carry bacteria or viruses. Like any public place where people are in close contact with one another, germs can easily be spread on aircraft. If you have an infection you may spread this to passengers seated around you particularly if you have a cough. Be considerate – avoid travel if you are unwell and if you do develop a cough while travelling, make sure that you cover your mouth when coughing, dispose of any tissues safely and wash your hands.
Have a nice flight!