Information for Guests With Special Medical Needs
Virgin Australia is committed to providing a safe and comfortable travel experience for you, your family and friends, fellow passengers and our crew. Some medical conditions may be adversely affected by the atmospheric and oxygen pressures in an aircraft cabin and therefore you may not be able to travel, or you may require clearance from a medical practitioner before you can fly.
If medical clearance is required, and the medical clearance form has not been completed in advance, travel may be refused for passengers until medical clearance has been obtained.
- Please refer to our Medical Clearance Guidelines (PDF, 336KB) to determine if you need to complete a medical clearance form prior to travelling with us.
- If you have experienced any of the ‘medical conditions considered unacceptable for travel’ listed in the Medical Clearance Guidelines, you may be unable to travel.
- If travel is intended while affected by a condition listed in the ‘conditions requiring medical clearance to travel’ section of the Medical Clearance Guidelines, clearance from a medical practitioner (registered doctor) must be obtained and the medical clearance form must be completed and presented both at check-in and on board the aircraft.
- This is not an exhaustive list of conditions. If a person has had recent surgery or suffers from an ailment not specified in the Medical Clearance Guidelines that may affect their health inflight, they should consult a medical practitioner for travel advice and medical clearance.
- Passengers can make a direct request to the Virgin Australia to consider their medical condition on a case by case basis by contacting our Guest Contact Centre.
- If medical clearance is required, you MUST make your booking by calling our Guest Contact Centre. (Internet discount fare will be honoured).
View a printable copy of our Medical Clearance Guidelines (PDF, 336KB).
Important Information Regarding Medical Clearance
- The Medical Clearance Guidelines (PDF, 336KB) contain a letter for the guest, a letter for the doctor, medical conditions and requirements for travel, and the Medical Clearance Form.
- The Medical Clearance Form must be completed, in conjunction with the Medical Clearance Guidelines, by a medical practitioner (registered doctor).
- The Medical Clearance Form must be presented at check-in for review and to cabin crew when boarding the aircraft. Failure to carry a valid Medical Clearance Form, when required, may result in boarding being denied.
- A copy of the completed Medical Clearance Form is required for each flight, and will need to be provided to cabin crew upon boarding. Please make a photocopy prior to your arrival at the airport.
- The code and category details of your condition are to be reflected on the Medical Clearance Form.
- If you present physically ill (e.g. vomiting or requiring first aid oxygen) in the terminal area or while boarding the aircraft, you may be denied boarding and not permitted to travel until medical clearance has been obtained.
- Our aircraft are not equipped with medical equipment and our cabin crew are not medically trained. We cannot guarantee that you will receive appropriate medical attention in any situation.
- Cabin crew are not able to assist with eating or drinking, the administration of medication or with toileting needs under any circumstances. If you cannot administer your own medication or take care of your own toileting needs, you must travel with a carer who is able to provide this assistance.
Medical Sharps and Medication
Current aviation security measures allow you to take a sharp item, such as a syringe, into a security screened sterile area as long as it is for personal medical purposes.
There is no need to notify us in advance if you are travelling with medical sharps – unless you suffer from a life threatening allergy.
However, please make sure that the following criteria are met to ensure there are no delays to your travel plans:
- If you have a medical condition (e.g. diabetes), which requires the use of medical sharps, you must be able to administer your own medication. Those who are unable to self-administer medication must travel with a Carer.
- If you require any medication during flight or at the airport, please remember to pack it in your carry-on baggage.
- You cannot take empty syringes in your carry-on baggage unless you are also carrying medication for use on board.
- In the event that you require a sharp item to be taken onto our aircraft for medical purposes (e.g. a syringe for diabetes) you will need to provide at least one of the following for inspection at check-in, security screening and on board the aircraft:
- Corresponding medication – medication containers should be affixed with a pharmaceutical label clearly identifying the medication and your name. Note: If you have an empty syringe, you MUST also have the corresponding medication for that syringe. You cannot travel with empty syringes and without medication in the cabin; or
- Documentation – in the form of a letter from a qualified medical practitioner. Note: There are no minimum validity date requirements for this letter i.e. you do not need to obtain regular updates of the letter from your doctor as you can use the same letter regardless of the date of travel; or
- A National Diabetes Services Scheme card – issued by Diabetes Australia, which confirms that you have been diagnosed with diabetes. For international travellers – an internationally recognised diabetes identification card or wrist tag is acceptable; or
- Prescription – the prescription must contain the name of the patient, the name of the medication or supply, and contact information for the medical practitioner.
Note: Medical scissors are only permitted if they have blunt/round ends with a blade less than 6cm in length.
If your medication needs to be kept chilled, please seek advice from your pharmacist. You will need to provide a suitable container with the cooling agent (ice or dry ice) inside. Our staff cannot take care of medication or store it in aircraft cooled service carts. Our aircraft do not have refrigeration onboard.
Please refer to our Dangerous Goods Regulations for guidelines on the transportation of dry ice.
Passengers with Anaphylaxis
Virgin Australia is committed to ensuring our passengers with allergies have a safe and enjoyable journey.
A completed Medical Clearance Form, a letter from a medical practitioner, or a management plan signed by a medical practitioner is required if you suffer from an allergy and you do not have the appropriate medication.
Failure to carry either appropriate medication, a management plan signed by a medical practitioner, a letter from a medical practitioner, or a Medical Clearance Form may result in being denied boarding.
Food sold or served on board the aircraft may contain traces of nut products and other allergens. We are unable to prevent other passengers from carrying and consuming nut products and other allergens on board.
Virgin Australia cannot guarantee an allergy-free environment on board our aircraft. If you have a life-threatening allergy you must carry appropriate medication with you, within easy reach and be able to administer it if required. If you are unable to self-administer medication, you must travel with a Carer.
Your medication should be accompanied by a doctor’s certificate to eliminate any difficulties in passing through security.
Under no circumstances will Virgin Australia accept any responsibility for any adverse reactions you may suffer while flying.
Note: Passengers with severe allergy or anaphylaxis must make their booking through our Guest Contact Centre (Internet discount fare will be honoured).
Passengers Requiring Oxygen In-flight
If you require oxygen in-flight, you must supply your own oxygen bottles or concentrator from selected suppliers.
Prior to travel please be aware of the following:
- You must present a Medical Clearance Form, validated by a qualified medical practitioner, indicating your fitness for travel in accordance with our Medical Clearance Guidelines (PDF, 336KB) (Please be aware that there is no minimum validity date required for a Medical Clearance Form related to oxygen).
- Failure to carry a Medical Clearance Form may result in denied boarding.
- Except for medical emergencies, our cabin crew cannot provide in-flight medical treatment.
- You (or your Carer) must know how to operate the oxygen bottle or oxygen concentrator and ensure that there is sufficient oxygen or battery life for the duration of the flight.
Refer below to individual conditions of carriage for travel with supplementary oxygen bottle or portable oxygen concentrator.
Supplementary Oxygen Bottle
Australian Domestic and International Short Haul Fights
We are unable to safely secure oxygen cylinders in our Business and Premium Economy classes at this time due to the size of the seats in these sections of the aircraft. Guests requiring the use of oxygen cylinders during flight are therefore currently unable to purchase a Premium fare (guests travelling with oxygen concentrators are not affected).
Conditions of Carriage
To be accepted on board a Virgin Australia flight, the oxygen cylinder must:
- Be Type A, Type B, Type C or Type CD cylinder.
- Not exceeding a weight of 4.8kg, or maximum capacity of 490 litres.
- Be carried in an approved Air Liquide OxyCare travel pack, BOC OxyCare travel pack or BOC Carry Bag (MEDS for size B cylinder or MEDM for size A, C or CD cylinders) , which must contain a restraint strap to secure the bottle to the aircraft.
- Have proof of inspection testing; either a stamp or placard on the oxygen cylinder neck area, or with a test document accompanying the oxygen cylinder.
NOTE: VARA (Regional) services are only able to accept Type C or CD cylinders carried in a BOC or Air Liquide Oxycare airline travel pack.
Some companies do not allow hired oxygen cylinders to be taken out of the country. Some companies also do not allow their cylinders to be re-filled by another company, or in another country. In the latter case, guests may need to supply enough oxygen for the return flight. Extra oxygen tanks for the return flight must be carried as checked baggage.
International Long Haul Flights
Due to the extended flight time, oxygen cylinders are not permitted to be used as a means of supplementary oxygen on Virgin Australia international long haul flights, e.g. Los Angeles or Abu Dhabi. Guests may make a direct request to Virgin Australia for consideration of their medical needs on a case-by-case basis by contacting our Guest Contact Centre.
Portable Oxygen Concentrator
Conditions of Carriage
Only the following oxygen concentrators are accepted on Virgin Australia flights. These are:
- Inogen One series
- Airsep Lifestyle
- Airsep Freestyle
- Respironics EVERGO and SIMPLYGO
- Invacare Portable Oxygen Concentrator - XPO2 (XPO100)
- DeVilbiss Healthcare/Sunrise Medical - iGO (306DS)
- International Biophysics Corporation/iNOVA - LifeChoice and LifeChoice Activox
- Oxlife - Independence
- SeQual - Eclipse (1000), Eclipse 2 (1000A) and Eclipse 3
- You must provide your own oxygen concentrator.
- Your oxygen concentrator should not be used at over 80% for day-to-day use or the device will not be sufficient for air travel and you will need to travel with a supplementary oxygen bottle.
- The concentrator must adhere to cabin baggage size and weight restrictions.
- The device must be battery-operated. Virgin Australia aircraft are not fitted with power ports.
- Only two additional lithium batteries (plus the one already stored in the oxygen concentrator) may be taken on board.
Note: If you require supplementary oxygen or use a portable oxygen concentrator in-flight you must make your booking through our Guest Contact Centre as restrictions apply. Internet discount fares will be honoured.
Note: Guests requiring oxygen concentrators must comply with our Medical Clearance Guidelines (PDF, 336KB).
Please contact the Guest Contact Centre. for more information.
Travelling with Medical Equipment
Our aircraft are not equipped with medical equipment, and our cabin crew and ground crew are not medically trained. Therefore, we cannot guarantee that you will receive appropriate medical attention in any situation.
- You may use your own nebuliser on board the aircraft if it is battery powered.
- Strict safety regulations govern the operation of electronic devices on board any of our aircraft. Heart pacemakers and hearing aids are permitted.
- Due to safety requirements and aircraft configurations, we are unable to carry or transport humidicribs or stretchers.
- We are also unable to accommodate devices requiring external electrical power.
- Devices requiring an internal electrical power source must meet the applicable standards for carriage of dangerous goods.
- Medical equipment must be approved for carriage prior to travel via the Guest Contact Centre.
If you are travelling with medical equipment, please contact our Guest Contact Centre to make your booking. Internet discounts fares will be honoured.