Can You Get a Doctors Note Not to Fly?

Key Takeaways:

  • Understanding the Need: Reasons for requiring a doctor’s note to avoid flying can vary from medical conditions to severe anxiety.
  • Consulting a Healthcare Professional: The importance of discussing your health concerns with a doctor.
  • Documentation and Verification: What constitutes a valid doctor’s note and how airlines might verify it.
  • Airline Policies: How different airlines may respond to a doctor’s note.
  • Alternative Travel Arrangements: Exploring other modes of transportation and the importance of planning ahead.
  • Legal and Ethical Considerations: Balancing personal health needs with airline regulations and ethical considerations.

As someone who has personally navigated the challenges of air travel restrictions due to health concerns, I understand the complexities involved in obtaining a doctor’s note to avoid flying.

This guide is crafted from my experience and thorough research to help you understand the process and its nuances.

Why You Might Need a Doctor’s Note Not to Fly

There are several reasons why an individual might need a doctor’s note to avoid flying, ranging from physical health conditions like heart problems or deep vein thrombosis risks, to mental health concerns such as severe anxiety or phobias related to flying. 

In my case, it was a combination of anxiety and a medical condition that prompted me to seek a doctor’s note.

Step-by-Step Guide to Obtaining a Doctor’s Note

  1. Consult Your Doctor: The first step is to have an honest discussion with your healthcare provider about your health concerns related to flying. Be open and detailed about your symptoms and concerns.

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    Medical Evaluation: Your doctor will assess your condition to determine if avoiding air travel is medically necessary. This might involve a physical examination, mental health evaluation, or specific tests.

  3. Obtaining the Note: If your doctor agrees that you should avoid flying, they will write a note. This should include the doctor’s contact information, the medical reason for avoiding air travel, and the duration for which it is applicable.

  4. Verification Process: Be aware that airlines may require additional verification or specific forms. It’s crucial to check with the airline for their specific requirements.

  5. Communicating with the Airline: Contact the airline as soon as possible to inform them of your situation and provide the necessary documentation.

  6. Alternative Arrangements: Plan for alternative travel arrangements if necessary. This might involve trains, buses, or road trips.

Understanding Airline Policies

Different airlines have different policies regarding medical exemptions from flying. Some may be more accommodating than others. 

It’s essential to check with the airline and understand their specific requirements and the process for submitting a doctor’s note.

Legal and Ethical Considerations

It’s important to approach this process with honesty and integrity. Falsifying medical information not only has legal repercussions but also ethical implications. 

Airlines have these policies in place for the safety and well-being of all passengers.

My Personal Experience

In my case, the process was straightforward but required open communication with both my healthcare provider and the airline. The airline requested additional verification, which my doctor was able to provide. 

While it was a stressful experience, being prepared and understanding the process helped immensely.


Obtaining a doctor’s note to avoid flying is a valid option for those with legitimate health concerns. It requires clear communication with your healthcare provider and the airline, and an understanding of the legal and ethical considerations involved. Remember, your health and safety are paramount.

Have you had an experience obtaining a doctor’s note to avoid flying? Share your story in the comments below and let’s discuss different experiences and tips!

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