Medical conditions and pregnancy

We are committed to carrying you safely and comfortably to your destination. However, travelling by air may be challenging sometimes.

Medical conditions

We are committed to carrying you safely and comfortably to your destination. However, traveling by air may be challenging sometimes.

In order to avoid your travel plan disruptions and severe health consequences, you should take some precautions and assess your fitness to fly before starting your journey.

Medical Cleareance

Medical clearance is required if the guest:

  • suffers from any disease which is believed to be actively contagious and communicable
  • is likely to be a hazard or cause discomfort to other passengers because of the physical or behavioural condition
  • is considered to be a potential hazard to the safety or punctuality of the flight including the possibility of diversion of the flight or an unscheduled landing
  • is incapable of caring for himself and requires special assistance
  • has a medical condition which may be adversely affected by the flight environment
  • has recently had a major medical incident
  • requires a stretcher
  • travels for medical reasons or treatment
  • travels with premature babies and babies to be carried in incubator
  • travels with arms and/or legs in casts or splints
  • requires in-flight oxygen or is using his/her own portable oxygen concentrator (POC) or ventilator
  • requires the use of battery-powered medical equipment in-flight or needs to undertake any medical procedure during the flight (e.g. requires injections to be administered).

Guests not falling into the above categories normally do not need medical clearance, however, if in doubt, medical advice should be obtained from Air Serbia Medical Center.

In order to avoid travel plan disruptions and severe health consequences, you should be very careful if you are considering flying after an operation or illness. Please speak to your doctor before making a booking to confirm that you are fit to fly.

The full Fitness to Fly Guidelines (pdf) will help you to understand the minimum time you must allow before you can travel and also whether you need to tell us about your condition.

Medical certificate and MEDIF form

The MEDIF form is used by airlines to manage guest requiring special assistance and medical clearance. It has two attachments: Attachment 1 (Information Sheet for Guests Requiring Special Assistance) and Attachment 2 (Information Sheet for Passengers requiring medical clearance).

Medical clearance is required and will be given from the Air Serbia Medical Center (ASMC). ASMC may ask for additional information before giving a final replay to the request. It is also vital for us to know exactly what nursing care is required during a flight.

MEDIF form must be submitted to the nearest Air Serbia Sales Office or e-mailed to special.assistance@airserbia.com at least 48 hours prior to departure of the flight, along with the latest medical report from the treating physician in English. The medical report should be issued not more than 10 days prior to the date of travel.

All fields in the MEDIF must be completed, signed and dated. Incomplete forms will not be accepted for assessment.

Once the ASMC issues the approval, you will be informed and your reservation will be updated. If you have booked your ticket through a travel agency, your travel agent should contact you

Air Serbia must be notified immediately of any change in your condition prior to travel. In the event of sudden change in your condition during the journey, we shall ask you to obtain another MEDIF form in order to confirm that you are fit to continue traveling by air.

Your fitness to fly assessment is based on internationally accepted criteria by the World Health Organisation

We will not require a medical certificate for any guest who is otherwise a qualified individual with a disability, as a condition for being provided transportation except in the following cases:

  • if the guest is traveling in a stretcher or incubator
  • if the guest needs medical oxygen during a flight
  • if the guest has a medical condition that creates reasonable doubt that she/he can complete the flight safely without requiring extraordinary medical assistance during the flight
  • if the guest has a communicable disease or infection that poses a direct threat to the health and safety of other guests

Due to safety and security reasons having a valid medical certificate can be helpful. Therefore, we recommend bringing a medical certificate or equivalent documentation in cases:

  • you are traveling with a pacemaker or implanted metal parts
  • you have a chronic disease that requires frequent medication
  • you are traveling to a country that requires vaccinations
  • you need to use a syringe for medical purposes during your trip

Download MEDIF form & Guidance for doctors

Specific medical conditions

Expectant mothers

If you are expecting and feeling well, traveling should pose no problem. Still, for the sake of your health and that of your baby, you will not be able to travel with us during advanced pregnancy.

Provided there are no complications in your pregnancy, you can travel with us until the end of the 36th week of pregnancy (if you are expecting one baby), or until the end of the 32nd week (if you are expecting twins, triplets, etc).

If you are between 28 and 36 weeks pregnant, please notify us of your condition at the time of booking your ticket.

When traveling between the 28th and 36th week of pregnancy, you will be required to present a valid medical certificate of your pregnancy status and estimated date of delivery. The certificate may not be issued before the 28th week of pregnancy. You will be asked to present this certificate at check-in and you should keep it with you for the event a crew member asks to see it on board.

Although it is not prohibited, we do not recommend you should travel during the first seven days after delivery. We also do not recommend traveling by air for healthy newborn babies during the first seven days after birth.

On your way between Belgrade and New York, our Sky Au Pair provides an extra pair of hands for families with children. Whether it's helping to keep children entertained with games and activities, or helping you get the children settled for bed.

Sky Au Pair →

Flying with medication

We advise you to pack your medication in your hand luggage, preferebly in its original packaging, together with a prescription or letter from your doctor confirming which medication (including the generic drug name) you are using, for which medical conditions and what is the prescribed dosage. This is to avoid issues with customs and to assure you the correct medical treatment especially if any other medical items are required (such as syringes). You are advised to familiarize yourself with which medication you can and cannot bring into the country you are travelling to.

If you have a pre-existing medical condition, we strongly recommend you to visit your doctor prior to your journey to ensure that your condition is well controlled. Make sure that your health insurance is adequate and that it covers international travel.

If your medication needs to be kept cool, please talk to your pharmacist about possible options as we are unable to store medication in aircraft refrigerators.

Food allergies

Special meals are on offer for flights between Belgrade and New York. You can order your special meal when booking on airserbia.com, via Air Serbia Contact Center or through Air Serbia Sales Office. To find the best choice for you, please have a look at the wide range of special meals and their ingredients. If you have a food allergy or need to follow a special diet due to medical reasons, we can provide a special meal containing no allergens, such as seafood, dairy and gluten. You can also check the label on the packaging or ask your cabin crew for more information about ingredients.

If you are taking on board with you any food items we would suggest to choose a non-perishable food. We are unable to heat or refrigerate any food items you might bring with you. Before packing any food please check local laws of your transit and/or final destination about food types permitted into the country.

Unfortunatelly we cannot guarantee to transport our guests in a totally peanut-free cabin environment. Note that some products servedl onboard may contain nuts or ingredients that are based on peanuts. Always bear in mind that other guests may bring onboard with them their own food items. We are doing our best to apply IATA recommendations in order to make your flight as comfortable as possible.

If you suffer from a serious allergy we strongly recommend discussing with your doctor before you book about potential risks and how you can minimise them during your trip.

Guests who are at risk of anaphylaxis must pack in their bagagge an auto-injector device (e.g. EpiPen) or syringe and ensure that they or an escort are ready to and capable of administering it and bring to the flight a medical certificate or doctor's letter which should not be older than 3 months from the date of travel confirming that they require the auto-injector device. The medical certificate or doctor's letter must be produced to the airline.

We recommend to advice your cabin crew as well as guests seated next to you about your allergy so they can assist you in case of an emergency. Your medication must be easily accessible to persons supposed to help you. We suggest to placing it in the seat pocket in front of you. If you are travelling with your family members, escorts or friends they are expected to help you first. When travelling alone, a medi-alert bracelet should help us to assist you in the best and quickest way possible.

Vaccinations

Please check if you need any travel vaccinations for your destination before you travel. For more information about the country you are travelling to and medical information please visit IATA Travel Centre

Diabetes

Guests suffering from diabetes do not require medical clearance when flying with Air Serbia. However, as a diabetic you may require a special meal during your flight. Please let us know about your requirements at least 48 hours before departure or at the time of your booking.

If you are carrying any medication or syringes in your hand luggage you should have a medical letter with you. In this way you will avoid any potential problem and incovenience at the security checks. In case you should contact a local doctor and/or undergo any kind of treatment in a foreign country, your medical documentation may be helpful to adjust your insulin dosage and presribe a therapy.

Guests using insulin during the flight are advised to pack it appropriately in their hand luggage. Insulin should be kept refrigerated, however it does not require refrigeration during flight but should never be exposed to temperatures which may cause the insulin to freeze and become denatured. Insulin should be carried in hand luggage in a cool bag or precooled vacuum container. We advise you to travel with twice the amount of medication and materials you need. This will allow you to administer your therapy correctly.

Travelling into different time zones may shorten or lengthen the regular 24 hour day which may require an adjustment to insulin treatments. When travelling west, days are longer. Your doctor should advice you about having an extra meal and dose of insulin. On the other hand, when travelling east, days are shorter and your dose of insulin should be adjusted accordingly. Medical cleareance (MEDIF) is required for unstable conditions or if you have recently been admitted to hospital. Guests suffering from diabetes, which is under reasonable control, can fly anywhere safely if they plan adequately in advance and discuss the proposed journey with their doctor.

If a guest prefers a seat near a toilet for privacy during insulin injection, we will do our best to accommodate such a request if notified in advance.

Traveller's Thrombosis

Prolonged periods of immobility on long flights can slow down blood flow in the leg veins. This can lead to increase the risk of blood clots to form inside the veins, known as Traveller's Thrombosis.

Traveller's Thrombosis manifests as pain and/or swelling in the legs during travel or even several days or weeks afterwards. It mostly affects the lower half of the body or rather the veins of the legs and is known as deep venous thrombosis (DVT). Sometimes it can be very serious and a life-threatening situation if a clot breaks off and travels to the lungs causing what is called a pulmonary embolism.

To prevent a thrombosis, keep yourself hydrated by drinking water while minimizing alcohol, sugary and caffeinated beverages. Move as often as possible, stretch and periodically exercise your feet and ankles while seated.

Consult your doctor if you have underlying illness such as recent surgery, cancer, blood clotting disorder, cardiac insufficiency or deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Wearing compression stockings or taking a preventive anticoagulant medication may be necessary.

Communicable disease

A communicable disease is an infectious disease transmissible by direct contact with an affected individual or the individual's discharges or by indirect means. A person with a disability, who has a communicable disease or infection, will be accepted for transportation unless the individual's condition poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others.

A direct threat means a significant risk to the health or safety of others that cannot be eliminated by a modification of policies, practices, or procedures, or by the provision of auxiliary aids or services.

However, a person with a contagious disease may be accepted for transportation if he/she presents a medical certificate stating that the disease or infection will not be transmitted during the normal course of the flight. The medical certificate must include any conditions or precautions that would have to be observed to prevent the disease or infection from being transmitted. If it is not possible to ensure that the guidelines outlined in the medical certificate can be met, the guest may not be accepted for transportation. If such action occurs, the guest may postpone his travel up to 90 days at the same fare or be given a refund for any unused flights.
We will always make an individual assessment, based on reasonable judgment that relies on current medical knowledge or on the best available objective evidence.

The full Fitness to Fly Guidelines (pdf) will help you to understand the minimum time you must allow before you can travel and also whether you need to tell us about your condition.

Asthma

Guests suffering from asthma do require medical clearance to fly. They are just advised to take their medication with them in the hand luggage.

If oxygen is required, medical clearance is required through MEDIF together with doctor's statement allowing the guest to fly.

Fractures

For safety reasons, guests with full-length casts above the knees are required to travel on a stretcher. Otherwise, we can ask you to purchase an extra seat or seats or alternatively to fly business class if you need extra legroom.

Since air might be trapped under the cast, it is advisable for casts applied within 24-48 hours to be bivalve to avoid harmful swelling, particularly on long flights. These guests are required to provide a medical certificate.

Stretcher

Guests not capable of adopting a sitting position during take-off and landing, can only travel on a stretcher. Stretcher passengers must be accompanied by at least one medical attendent who shall care for the guest's personal needs throughout the flight.

Non-medical escorts are allowed to accompany guests on a stretcher unless there is a need for a qualified nurse or doctor. This must be stated in your medical certificate.

Stretcher passengers are accepted on board only for travel in Economy Class for which nine seat positions are provided.

When travelling on a stretcher the MEDIF is required. This service must be requested at least 72 hours prior to departure.

Guests with pacemakers

Before you start your journey, you should contact your doctor about the security procedure and about any other possible risks. Guests having a pacemaker must present a medical certificate (in English) to this effect at at the security check.

Diving and flying

Diving, particularly deep diving with scuba devices, has become a very popular sport today. Thus, the relationship between flying and diving must be appreciated as it exposes the individual to higher pressures. The effects of altitude change and the consequent decompression are greater if one flies shortly after engaging in diving activities. Guests who have been diving should wait for at least 24 hours before flying.

In preparation for a diving vacation, it is recommended to leave the last day dive-free.

Advance notice requirement

Except as noted below, Air Serbia may not require a qualified individual with a disability to provide advance notice of his/her intention to travel or of his/her disability as a condition of receiving transportation.

Air Serbia may require up to 48 hours advance notice and advance check-in concerning a qualified individual with a disability who wishes to receive any of the following services:

  • Transportation of an electric wheelchair
  • Hazardous material packing for a battery for a wheelchair or other assistive device
  • Accommodation for a group of 10 or more qualified individuals with a disability, who make reservations and travel as a group
  • Use of personal POC (Portable Oxygen Concentrator)
  • Transportation on stretcher
  • Transportation of an emotional support or psychiatric service animal in the cabin
  • Accommodation of a guest who has both severe vision and hearing impairments

Even if a guest does not comply with the advance notice and advance check-in requirements, Air Serbia will make every resonable effort to accommodate the guest without delaying the flight.

If a qualified individual with a disability provides advance notice to Air Serbia and the individual is forced to change to the flight of another carrier because of the cancellation or delay of the original flight, Air Serbia personnel will provide rerouting assistance to the individual. This may include, but is not limited to, assistance with reservations and ticketing, the provision of ground transportation to the second carrier, and/or assistance in securing appropriate services from the other airline.

When travelling abroad, be aware of local health concerns at the destination. Detailed information about travel-related health topics can be found at World Health Organization, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control websites.

Contacts

Should you have questions related to any aspect of your travel, please contact your travel agent or Air Serbia directly. It will be our pleasure to answer your questions, discuss your special needs and inform you about the procedures you should follow.
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Travelling with other airlines

If your flight is operated by one of our interline and code-share partner airlines, they may have different procedures so please contact them directly before your travel.