Pregnancy is an expensive time what with buying baby clothes, maternity wear, nursery furniture, pram, car seats – and the rest – ahead of your new arrival. I then discovered about the cost of the fitness to fly certificate when pregnant.
Pregnancy isn’t just demanding on your wallet, it can also be pretty demanding on you physically and emotionally. Therefore it can be a time that you consider going on holiday for the last time as a couple if it’s your first, and if it’s your second, third or more, a time you might want a break ahead of the demands of having a newborn in the mix (I definitely recommend it by the way, especially the last holiday as a couple!).
The Fitness to Fly Certificate
During my first pregnancy we took said trip to go and visit my family in Italy. We were taking a short EasyJet flight to Nice (we fly to France and then cross the border) when I was 25 weeks pregnant and definitely in the honeymoon period of the second trimester. I mentioned the trip in passing to my midwife when she next visited and discovered that lurking on top of the cost of the holiday was an additional pregnancy-specific expense: the fitness to fly certificate. She advised me that I should get one from my GP. I was charged £20. The minimum charge I’ve heard of is £15 and the most is £30.
My letter consisted of a few short sentences, which I thought was pretty scandalous, especially as the doctor didn’t even see me; it was all on the midwife’s advice. She’d checked my blood pressure, urine etc and she relayed this info to the doctor along with my travel dates. I later learnt that the letter isn’t even normally required until after 27 weeks (and I was still just under 27 weeks on my return flight).
It’s all quite confusing. After looking into it further, after feeling like I’d been done, I found the rules vary quite a lot, according to carrier, as to when a letter/certificate is required and also at what point in the pregnancy you are not permitted to fly. There are also different rules for multiple pregnancies (which I discovered second time around). It is definitely worth checking out before booking those flights. Gurgle has a very nice round up of this: Airline policies whilst pregnant
I do question this charge as the doctor didn’t even ask to see me and it was a very standard letter (here’s the interesting article about it). £20 for this seems rather excessive. See me talking about this in more detail on the BBC.