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In-Flight Health Care

aviation doctor

Although modern commercial aircrafts offer rapid, convenient, and safe transportation, some passengers with illnesses may be affected by the cabin environment. The cabin environment is limited by the aircraft design and is quite different from land transportation. These differences include low pressure at high altitudes (low oxygen level and cabin pressurization effect due to the low pressure in the cabin), cabin environment characteristics (poor air quality and low humidity in the cabin), jet lag, airsickness, and a long stay in a confined space. Please pay attention and take proper preventive measures.

  • While descending, if you feel discomfort in your ears or sinuses, try to swallow, chew, or open your mouth wide to promote better airflow.  If your child has these problems, try giving him or her a drink or a pacifier to promote better airflow and relieve discomfort.
  • Avoid flying within 24 hours of scuba diving.
  • If you are prone to airsickness, reserve seats near the aircraft wings.
  • Avoid heavy meals, alcohol, and caffeinated drinks while on board. Drink more water and juice.
  • Standing up suddenly after waking may cause dizziness. This can be the result of alcohol consumption, low oxygen, low activity, and sleepiness. We suggest that you stretch and do exercises in your seat before standing up.
  • Although cabin air quality is better than that of a home or office, an aircraft cabin is a public area where cross-contamination is possible. We suggest that you do not fly if you have a contagious disease.
  • Avoid wearing contact lenses during your flight.
  • We suggest that you use a skin moisturizer.

Advice for passengers who are ill or pregnant

AsthmaIf you have asthma, make sure that you bring your inhaler with you and avoid causes of occurrence while on board
Heart DiseaseHeart attacks occur twice as frequently in the air as on the ground. Do not fly if you have recently suffered a heart attack
DiabetesTake medication according to the time of the departure place. Order special meals while making reservation. Bring your medication in your hand-carry luggage. Always bring with you a written medical record of your health conditions
Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)Prolonged sitting in confined spaces may cause difficulty in lower-limb blood circulation and subsequently cause blood clots to form in the leg’s deep veins. Although it does not greatly affect passengers in normal health condition, passengers suffering from heart disease, phlebitis, blood coagulation problems, and those recovering from venous leg surgery are at great risk.

To avoid such signs and symptoms, we suggest you:

  • Drink water and juice frequently. Avoid smoking, alcohol, and caffeinated drinks during your trip. 
  • Wear loose clothing.
  • Do some exercises in your seat, especially leg exercises. 
  • If you think you are at high risk, get advice from your physician before traveling.

Peanut allergy

China Airlines is dedicated to providing safe and healthy in-flight services for passengers.  To meet passengers’ special meal requirements (including air crew members) due to their religious beliefs, health conditions, ages, or other special reasons, we generally divide meals into 25 types according to IATA regulations and passenger requirements. China Airlines recognizes that some passengers may have allergic reactions to peanuts/nuts which can be life threatening. However, we cannot guarantee an environment which is free of allergy causing elements, including peanut or nut products, peanut dust, and peanut residue.

Because peanut products such as peanut/nut-based ingredients and peanut oil are widely used in Asian food, we cannot guarantee the absence of peanut/nut products.  Other passengers taking the same flight as you may bring peanut products into the aircraft cabin or the VIP lounge. Therefore, public areas including the cabin and VIP lounge may have peanut residue.

Due to the actual situations, we cannot provide an environment free of elements that may aggravate peanut allergy. Therefore, we strongly advise passengers with peanut allergies to consider the risk of exposure to allergens and check with their own physicians or allergy specialists to see whether they are fit to fly. We suggest that you contact our local service staff 72 hours before departure and provide a Medical Certificate for Air Travel signed by a physician or allergy specialist for our reference. Due to aviation safety regulations, you should also provide a letter from your physician during check-in to certify that you will carry necessary medicine or medical equipment in your carry-on baggage for this medical reason.

Passengers with peanut allergies should reduce the chance of coming into contact with peanuts and take every possible preventive measure. These include preparing your own food, carrying necessary medicine, or using medical treatment that you can perform by yourself. The patients or their guardians or companions should be familiar with the treatment for allergic reactions if they occur.  If possible and with prior notice, China Airlines will try its best to make arrangements for you to reduce the risk and ensure your safety during the flight.

Pregnancy

For flight safety, health of passenger, pregnant passengers need to inform our reservation staff of the expected date of delivery, single or multiple pregnancy and a strong recommendation that all pregnant passengers carry their prenatal medical records with the required information while travelling. Pregnant passengers who violate the regulations or submit false information may potentially cause significant disruption and expense to the airline and other passengers. China Airlines reserves the right to prosecute the violating passenger to recover its costs (including, but not limited flight diversion, delay claims, etc.).
We will accept passengers with uncomplicated multiple pregnancies up to 31 weeks + 6 days.
We will accept passengers with uncomplicated single pregnancies up to 35 weeks + 6 days.

For Pregnancy 28 to 35 weeks + 6 days
Pregnant passenger whose gestation period is over 28 weeks, at least 48 hours prior to the commencement of travel, must :
(a) submit a “MEDICAL INFORMATION SHEET”;
(b) submit a “Release and Indemnity“ form (can be found on and downloaded from our website);
(c) submit prenatal medical records with the expected date of delivery, single or multiple pregnancy, signed by a qualified obstetrician and dated within 7 days of departure flight; and
(d) contact China Airlines Reservation Center to obtain clearance and confirm booking after reservation staff and company physician have authorized the pregnant passenger for travel. For flight safety and health of passenger, we restrict pregnant passengers from travelling beyond 36 weeks with uncomplicated single pregnancy or gestation period over 32 weeks with multiple pregnancies. Travel after pregnancy:Medical clearance is not required but because of risk of hemorrhage, CAL will not knowingly carry a new mother within 14 days after her delivery.

Advice from aviation doctor

Flying should be a safe and enjoyable experience. You can enjoy your trip if you understand the characteristics of the cabin environment, consult your doctor, and make necessary medical care arrangements before departing. Here is some advice for in-flight health care. Before departure:

  • Make sure that you do not have an immune system disease.
  • Do not ride an aircraft if you feel any discomfort.
  • Wear loose and comfortable clothing.
  • Consult physicians on any health issue and tell the airline about your problems while making a reservation.
  • Carry necessary medicine with you.
  • Avoid sitting still for a long period of time. Do exercises in your seat to move your leg muscles and joints.
  • While the aircraft is descending, stay awake and relieve discomfort in your ears and sinuses as early as possible.
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