Flying with medical conditions
We ask for a heads up so our teams are as prepared as possible in case your journey would be made more comfortable with any special seating or travel requirements. Some conditions simply require you to notify us, others need medical clearance to ensure it's safe for you to fly. Medical clearance is also required if you need to use medical equipment or supplementary oxygen on the plane.
If you are travelling on other airlines, including Air New Zealand's extensive network of partner airlines, you will need to check and comply with the other airlines' regulations. Your travel agent or the other airline will be able to assist you.
If you have a medical condition which raises concerns about completing the flight safely and comfortably, or which poses a risk to other passengers, medical clearance from our Aviation Medical team may be required. Our medical team uses internationally accepted criteria to assess your fitness to fly, based on information provided by you and your doctor. Most assessments are straightforward, but some passengers may be asked to travel with a medical escort or supplementary oxygen. Some conditions affecting behaviour may require medical clearance.
Examples of conditions that require medical clearance include:
- Recent illness, hospitalisation, surgery or injury including bone fractures
- Heart disease
- Lung disease
- Ear and sinus problems
- Psychiatric conditions
- Behavioural conditions
- Neurological conditions, including seizures and epilepsy
- Late stages of pregnancy
- Any illness that could be contagious at the time of travel (particularly chicken pox, tuberculosis, measles and mumps)
- If you are travelling for medical reasons or treatment
Medical equipment: Clearance is also required if you are travelling with special medical equipment, including:
- Medical oxygen (concentrator or bottles)
- Syringe pumps
Medical clearance form: Your travel agent can provide you with a medical clearance form known as a Medical Fitness for Air Travel form (MEDA). Alternatively you can download and print the form yourself. The Air New Zealand MEDA is based on the International Air Transport Association (IATA) approved form.
Where possible, MEDAs should be submitted 3-14 days prior to travel. We aim to approve MEDAs quickly, however if your request is submitted with three days of intended travel date we can't guarantee approval before your departure. This may be due to logistical and/or medical reasons.
The document consists of three sections:
Once both Part 1 and Part 2 have been completed, please return them to your travel agent or Air New Zealand Paxcare MEDA & Special Handling Desk by fax or e-mail. Contact details are on the bottom of the MEDA forms.
- MEDA Part 3: Medical guidelines for doctors contains information your doctor will need to consider regarding your safety to fly
Remember to pack medications you might need at the airport, on the plane or on arrival at your destination in your carry-on baggage. Civil aviation rules now require medicines to have a pharmacy printed label. For liquids in containers over 100mL, we recommend you also carry a letter from your doctor.
Time zones: If you are changing time zones, please ask your doctor how you should adjust your doses. This is particularly important for diabetes, epilepsy and other serious conditions.
Refrigeration: Our cabin crew are not able to take care of medication or store it in refrigerators. If your medication has to be kept chilled, you'll need to arrange a suitable container and coolant. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist. If using dry ice, contact the baggage team.
Syringes and sharps: If you are carrying syringes for medical use, we recommend you also carry a letter from your doctor saying you need them. All our aircraft have sharps containers for safe disposal of needles, syringes and vials. Please ask cabin crew if you need to dispose of these items.
Find out more about carry-on baggage prohibited and restricted items.
Conditions you should simply tell us about
To help us provide the best possible service, please let us know when you book if you are:
- Otherwise healthy, but have mobility difficulties and need a wheelchair
- A rehabilitated paraplegic or quadriplegic (you may need a safety assistant)
- Visually impaired or blind
- Hearing impaired or deaf
For more about our services for passengers with disabilities, please see accessible travel.