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Traveling With A Sick Child and Flying With Chickenpox Rules

Having a child feel is ill is hard at home and even more so if they start to feel ill during the journey and you now have to contend traveling with a sick child. Below are some tips about what you can do if your child feels sick before travelling, whilst travelling and when abroad and airline policies on flying with chickenpox. I knew what to watch out when I was cabin crew, but I also spoke to some airline Ground Staff to see what some policies are.

If your child feels sick before flying or traveling

The information given to me, was your first point of call, is always to contact your airline directly for advice as it is them who have the final say over whether you can travel on your booked flight or whether new arrangements should be made.

When the issue is more severe, parents will need to complete a medical form for the airline medical centre to assess the risk to that child whilst travelling, and to ensure that proper care can be provided.

This can be anything from a condition from birth, to a temporary illness, injury or surgery, but should not usually result in a refusal to travel.

Airlines have a limited amount of medicine onboard, but most is suitable for adults, so it it best to always pack some children’s medicine when you are traveling with kids.

One of the common issues parents face when travelling, is a child falling ill with chickenpox. Flying with a baby, toddler or older child with chickenpox is not ideal situation for anyone.

Flying With Chicken Pox when the last spot has not scabbed is a big no no!

Flying With Chicken Pox

Can children fly with chicken pox?

Chickenpox is caused by the varicella-zoster virus and is a common childhood illness. The main symptoms of this virus are red, pus filled itchy spots that eventually dry out and crust over.

Any person, including children with chicken pox cannot fly if they are developing new spots or are still in the infectious stage. PLEASE DO NOT FLY AS YOU COULD INFECT VULNERABLE PEOPLE ALSO FLYING.

This is because they could make pregnant women or other passengers with lower immune systems very ill. Each airline policy for chicken pox slightly varies, but as a very general rule, you are usually able to fly seven days after the appearance of the first spot.

It’s a good idea to get doctors letter stating you or your child is fit to fly in case you are denied boarding. Travel insurance is a must!

Airline policies On Chicken Pox – Can my child travel on a plane with chickenpox?

Find out what your airline’s chickenpox policy is right here. Here are the all-important airline policies you’ll need to check if chickenpox strikes one of your party.

Aer Lingus

Guests can fly 7 days from day one of the spots appearing.

British Airways

BA’s chickenpox policy states that you can fly 6 days after the last crop of spots, providing the spots have crusted/scabbed over and the passenger feels well and has no fever. You will require a letter from your Doctor confirming you are no longer contagious.


Passengers can fly 7 days after the appearance of the last new spot.


If you are contagious, you are not allowed to travel.


Any active lesions for travel are ‘unacceptable’. Passengers can fly six days after last blister/spot appears with all remaining eruptions crusted and dried.


Passengers with chickenpox are asked to fill you must submit a medical form (MEDIF) at the least 72 hours before departure.Those with active spots are unlikely to be given permission to fly.


Jet2 require that at least 7 days must have elapsed since the first spots appeared, with no others forming, before we are able to consider carrying anyone with chicken pox. You will also need a Fit to Fly certificate from your doctor to confirm this.


You will need a doctor’s letter confirming you are no longer contagious.


To avoid spreading illness,  if you have a condition that may affect the health and safety of others you may not be permitted to board our flights.

Examples of such conditions include chickenpox, rubella, measles or similar. If symptoms of a disease are visible at the time of departure, you must provide a medical certificate which states that your condition is not infectious.

We retain the right to refuse boarding if you can’t produce the necessary documentation. On international flights we require this certificate to be in English.


If active lesions present you cannot travel with chickenpox on Qantas. All lesions must be dried and crusted.


Passengers will only be allowed to travel seven days after the appearance of the last new blister/spot.


If you’ve recently suffered from chickenpox, measles, mumps, rubella or meningitis, there will be a recovery period before you’ll be able to travel with TUI. For chickenpox this is 7 days after the last new spot appears.

Virgin Atlantic

Passengers are fit to fly if it has been seven days since the last new spots, the existing crop are crusted/scabbed and they don’t have a fever.


Anyone with chickenpox will need a letter from their doctor confirming they are no longer contagious. This must have been issued within six days of the flight date. Call 03309770444 for more.

Travelling with a Child Who Has Chickenpox

If you have done the flying part, arrived at your destination and then your child develops chickenpox, you may be wondering if you can leave your hotel room or continue travelling with a child who has chickenpox. Here are some tips and advice to help you!

If you’re currently abroad with your child and they have developed chickenpox along the way then you should:

  • Check your insurance policy and contact the hotel doctor or visit a local medical centre
  • Extend accommodation if you are unable to fly. If you are on a cruise ship, then the child will need to stay in the cabin.
  • Quarantine your child in the hotel or accommodation if required. Spots which have not scabbed over will make the child highly infectious.

Can you still travel if your child has chickenpox?

Chickenpox is highly contagious and spreads easily so if you have not had it, you are likely to catch it and spread it. Check with a medical professional if you are unsure. Be aware you could make a vulnerable person, including a pregnant woman, sick if you risk traveling with a child with chickenpox.

Is it safe for a child to travel with chickenpox?

Although most children will feel itchy and feverish for a couple of days and recover before their spots are scabbed over, for some it can make them nauseous and headachy amongst other symptoms. Due to its infectious nature it is not advisable to travel.

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Thank you for your support as always. 

Keryn Means

Sunday 15th of March 2020

So many great tips! Traveling with a child with autism can be so stressful, but the resources out there are getting better and better.

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