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.
A medical clearance form is required if you:
- Need medical oxygen during a flight (please also refer to Guests requiring Oxygen in-flight)
- Have a medical condition such that there is reasonable doubt that you can complete the flight safely, without requiring extraordinary medical assistance during the flight (refer to Medical Clearance Guidelines and Form (PDF, 131KB) or
- Have a communicable disease or condition that could pose a direct threat to the health or safety of others on the flight.
To notify us in advance of your condition you can:
- Make a request online by submitting a Special Service Request form, or
- Call our Guest Contact Centre on 1300 139 303 (within Australia) or +61 7 3295 3941 (outside of Australia).
Important Information Regarding Medical Clearance
- The Medical Clearance Guidelines (PDF, 131KB) contain a letter for the guest, 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) and dated within 10days of the scheduled date of the initial departing flight
- To avoid unexpected delays or issues on your day of travel the medical clearance form is to be submitted to Virgin Australia at least 72 hours prior to departure
- The completed forms can be sent via email: VA.Medical@virginaustralia.com or Fax: +61 7 3295 3100
- For medical practitioners with urgent and/or complicated medical cases, please phone the Guest Contact Centre, directly on: 1300 139 303 (within Australia) +61 7 3295 3941 (outside of Australia)
- Following review of the form, a response will be forwarded back to the submitting person/s
- A copy of the completed Medical Clearance Form is required and will need to be sighted by cabin crew upon boarding.
- 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
If you require carrying a sharp item such as a syringe for diabetes, exemptions are in place to allow for such items to travel in the cabin on an aircraft, 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.
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.
- If 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 a cooling agent (ice or dry ice) inside.
- At the Airport - Our staff cannot take care of medication or store it in lounge, or terminal fridges.
- Onboard - 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.
Passengers requiring Oxygen In-Flight
If you require oxygen in-flight, you must supply your own oxygen bottles or portable oxygen concentrator from selected suppliers.
Prior to travel please aware of the following:
- The Medical Clearance Form must be completed, in conjunction with the Medical Clearance Guidelines (PDF, 131KB) by a medical practitioner (registered doctor)
- To prevent unexpected delays or issues on your day of travel, we recommend that you consider submitting the medical clearance form prior to your travel. Information about medical clearance can be found above in ‘Information Regarding Medical Clearance’.
- 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). Please refer to oxygen in-flight for further information.
Please refer to Dangerous Goods Regulations for the conditions of carriage for oxygen bottles.
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.
Portable Oxygen Concentrator
- You must provide your own oxygen concentrator which must comply to the requirements outlined in the below section Personal Medical Equipment
- 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.
Personal Medical Equipment
Virgin Australia recognises that guests may require the use or carriage of medical equipment for their travels.
Strict safety and dangerous goods regulations govern the operation and carriage of electronic devices on board an aircraft.
The Personal Medical Equipment List has been prepared to provide guidance on medical equipment which may be carried on board by guests.
If your device is not on the Personal Medical Equipment List, please complete the Request for Personal Medical Equipment form at least 48 hours prior to departure date and forward to:
Fax: +61 7 3295 3100
Or, directly contact the Guest Contact Centre on:
Within Australia 1300 139 303
Anywhere else in the world +61 7 3295 3941
Note: Virgin Australia is unable to transport humidicribs or stretchers due to safety requirements and aircraft configurations
Requirements for travelling with personal medical devices:
- All devices must be battery powered only as there is no aircraft power available to operate medical devices.
- All devices must travel with enough battery power for 150% of the flight time, to accommodate for diversions or delay.
- All Personal Medical Equipment (including approved equipment) must be presented at the check-in or baggage drop counters prior to boarding
- Medical conditions requiring the use of a portable oxygen concentrator (POC) require a Medical Clearance Form (PDF, 131KB) to be completed and submitted for approval at least 48 hours prior to departure date.
- You must have the physical and cognitive capability to operate your device. For guests who are unable to do so, they must travel with a Carer.
- Devices must be stowed securely during taxi, take-off and landing and at other times the Cabin Crew deem it necessary
- Medical devices are not permitted for use in an emergency exit row or bulkhead as the equipment may need to be secured under the seat in front.
Carriage and use of medical equipment on flights operated by Virgin Australia’s airline partners will be subject to that carrier’s policies and procedures. Please ensure you contact the partner airline operating your flight for further information.
Batteries for portable electronic equipment including medical devices must comply with the Battery Limitations.
All spare batteries must be transported in carry-on (not checked) baggage. You must ensure they are protected from short circuit (e.g. taping terminals, carried in original packaging or individual plastic bags/sleeves) and are packaged in a manner that protects them from physical damage.