Flying with a plaster cast

Flying with a plaster cast

When flying with a plaster cast, it's best to check with your travel operator or airline. Some airlines require you to wait 24 hours after a plaster cast has been fitted for flights less than 2 hours, and 48 hours for longer flights. This is because there's a risk of swelling after a plaster cast is first fitted, which can affect your circulation. If you're planning to fly with a newly fitted plaster cast, you may need to have it split. This is done to prevent swelling and reduce the risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and compartment syndrome, a potentially serious condition caused by swelling. Make sure you tell the healthcare team treating you if you're going to be flying soon. You may need to have your cast replaced when you reach your destination and split again before you fly home. If both your legs are in plaster, it's unlikely that you'll be able to fly. Contact your travel operator or airline for advice.

Your seat on the plane

If you have an upper body cast or your leg is in a plaster cast below your knee and you can bend your knee, you'll be able to sit in a normal seat. If your plaster cast covers your knee, you won't be able to bend it, so you'll need to make special seating arrangements with your airline. Many airlines will require you to purchase additional seats in these circumstances. You won't be able to sit by one of the emergency exits, where the seats have more leg room, unless you're able to move easily in an emergency.

Flying with a plaster cast - Wheelchair help

If you have a cast on your leg and need a wheelchair to get around the airport and board the plane, tell your airline as soon as possible. They can arrange for a wheelchair to meet you at both ends of your journey. There's usually no additional charge for this service.

Using crutches. If you're using crutches to support your weight, you need to tell your airline. Most airlines will let you take your crutches on the plane, but they'll need to be stored in the hold during the flight.

Aer Lingus

Due to the risk of Deep Vein Thrombosis, all broken lower limbs need medical clearance. Please contact the special assistance department for medical clearance at least 48 hours in advance of your flight

No medical clearance is required for broken upper limbs; you may book online as normal.

British Airways

British Airways allows you to travel 24 hours after your plaster cast has been fitted for flights that are less than 2 hours. If your flight is longer, they require 48 hours.

Flying with a plaster cast with - Easy Jet

Passengers travelling with upper limbs in a cast(s) (ie waist and above), will only require one seat to travel.

Adult passengers travelling with lower limbs in a cast(s) (ie waist and/or full leg plaster), must purchase two or more seats in total, per Flight, to travel as required to accommodate their height comfortably. This will enable the limbs to be elevated during the Flight and reduce swelling.

Passengers travelling with a lower leg in plaster, may only require one seat. The number of seats required should be determined so as to accommodate the Passenger’s height comfortably.

Where additional seating must be purchased to accommodate Your needs, this will be required regardless of whether the aircraft is full or not. If the Flight is full, You will be required to transfer to the next available Flight on which You can purchase an additional seat. In these circumstances, easyJet will not be responsible for any resulting costs of an overnight stay.

The same requirements in relation to additional seating being booked shall apply to child passengers travelling with lower limbs in a cast(s) but the length of the cast will determine whether the child will require one, two or three seats to enable their leg to be elevated during the Flight. Passengers travelling with a plaster cast that has been fitted for less than 48 hours must ensure that the cast is split along the entire length of the cast to protect against swelling that may occur in-flight. If the plaster cast has been fitted for more than 48 hours, there is no requirement for the cast to be split. This is applicable for both plaster of paris and resin casts.


If you have a leg cast you will need a medical certificate. This airline allows you to travel 48 hours after your plaster cast has been fitted. Plasters should be split for fresh injuries (48 hours or less). With Emirates is not possible to have extra space for your leg in the economy class. However, you can book an aisle seat.


We strongly recommend that before travelling you contact your insurance company in the first instance.

If your plaster cast has been fitted for more than 48 hours at the time of travel and there are no complications, then there are no restrictions on travel. Your plaster cast should be loosely fitted to allow for expansion and swelling at high altitudes.

If the plaster cast has been fitted within 48 hours of your flight, you will need a Fit to Fly certificate, signed and dated by a medical professional. You may then travel with a split cast providing you can exit the aircraft unaided, or have a companion to assist you, or have been pre-approved by the Special Assistance Team.

If the break has needed surgery or there have been additional complications, you will need a Medical Information Form from the Special Assistance Team.

In all cases, you need to be able to bend your knee so you can sit in the aircraft seat.


You need to inform the airline of your situation at least 48 hours before your flight. You should inform KLM about your plaster cast.


If you have a broken limb in a cast you should advise Ryanair of both your condition and assistance requirements (if applicable) either at the time of booking online or via our Special Assistance line preferably on the day of booking.

If you are traveling with upper limbs in cast, waist and above, you will only require one seat.

If you are travelling with a full leg in cast you must purchase *3 seats* in total, per journey, to travel. This will enable the leg to be elevated during the flight and reduce swelling.

If you are travelling with lower leg in plaster, below the knee only, you will only require one seat.

If a plaster cast has been fitted on any limb for less than 48 hours then the cast needs to be split (the split needs to run along the entire length of the cast)

If the plaster cast been fitted for more than 48 hours there is no requirement for the cast to be split. This is applicable for both plaster of paris and resin casts.

*3 seats* - To book 2 extra seats for a full leg cast - go online and select 3 seats:

  • 1st seat should be booked in the actual passenger's name
  • 2nd seat should be entered as LEGSEAT ONE as the Last Name and EXTRA as the First Name.
  • 3rd seat should be entered as LEGSEAT TWO as the Last Name and EXTRA as the First Name

The name EXTRA LEGSEAT ONE and EXTRA LEGSEAT TWO will then be displayed on the online boarding passes.

Please note that all passengers purchasing extra seats can use online check-in. The passenger's travel document details must be entered for the extra seats when checking in online. Online check-in is available from 60 days prior up to 2 hours before the scheduled flight departure times. There is no cabin or checked baggage allowance associated with the purchase of extra seats. If you choose not to purchase an allocated seat online check-in will only be available from 7 days up to 2 hours prior to each scheduled flight departure. Free allocated seats will be available between 4 days and 2 hours before each booked flight as of 01st November 2016.

Customers who have booked an extra seat should contact the call centre to ensure that all the seats are located together.

Flying with a plaster cast with  - TUI

All passengers who would like to travel by air with broken limbs that are in casts have to comply with the following periods before air travel:

• No flights are allowed within 24 hours after a fracture.
• Only flights with a flight time of less than 2 hours are allowed between 24 hours and 48 hours after a fracture.

The cast must be plastered within the first 7 days after a fracture.
We recommend even for fractures that are older than 7 days that the cast is plastered.
Passengers who are traveling with casts on extremities from the hip and upward only need one seat.
Passengers with a leg cast (thigh down to or including the ankle) must purchase
2 seats because the leg must be elevated during the flight and for safety reasons should not be stretched out in the aisle.
For children with leg casts, the number of additional seats to be booked depends on the size of the child.

All passengers with broken limbs set in plaster casts must provide a physician's certificate confirming that the passenger is allowed to fly. In addition, some airlines require that an indemnity form for sick passengers be signed in order to confirm that the respective passenger has been informed  regarding the risks associated with transportation (swelling of limbs due to low air pressure, tissue damage, circulation problems, risk of thrombosis, etc.)

Flying with a plaster cast - Vueling/Iberia

Passengers with a leg in plaster may fly as long as they provide a medical certificate that proves that the plaster cast was applied more than 24 hours earlier and under the following conditions: If the Passenger is wearing a plaster cast below the knee, they must reserve two seats.

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