I have a heart condition; will I be able to travel by air?

Information about travelling whilst suffering from a heart condition.

ECG Chart and StethoscopeIn 2010 the British Cardiovascular Society published guidelines on air travel for patients who have a heart condition. The report concludes that the vast majority of people who have a stable heart condition can travel safely, although some will require some special assistance, for example in getting around the airport or in having additional oxygen supplied during the flight. However, some people who have more severe heart disease or whose condition is unstable, may have to delay travelling until their condition has improved.

If you are planning a flight, it is a good idea to check with your GP or hospital specialist before you book your flight. You should make sure that you have adequate travel medical insurance if you are going abroad, even if you are only going to Europe and already have an EHIC card (see our information on travel insurance).

If your doctor is not sure if you are fit to fly, contact the airline you intend to fly with for advice. Most airlines have a special assistance or medical clearance team and there will be information on how to contact them on their website. You must contact the airline before your flight if you will require help at the airport, wish to carry additional medical equipment or will need extra oxygen during the flight. Sometimes the airline will need additional medical information and will ask your doctor to fill in a medical information form (MEDIF) before they will confirm whether you are fit to fly.

Remember to carry your medication with you in your hand-baggage, in case you need to use it during the flight. It is also a good idea to take a copy of your repeat prescription, in case you need to get more medication when you are away from home.

Further guidance on common heart conditions.

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