Yesterday, an expectant mother went into premature labour and gave birth onboard Jet Airways flight 9W569, traveling from Dammam, Saudi Arabia to Kochi, India. The mother was helped by Jet Airways crew members and a nurse traveling on the flight.

The latest addition to the frequent flier community was born somewhere over the Arabian Sea, when the crew declared a medical emergency and diverted the flight to Mumbai. The flight resumed its service to Kochi after a 90 minute delay in Mumbai.

An airline official, as per statement given to Hindustan Times, confirmed “Being the first baby to be born in-flight for the airline, Jet Airways is pleased to offer the newly-born a free lifetime pass for all his travel on Jet Airways,” 

The specifics or the fine print of the offer are unknown. My literal translation of the offer is that the baby born inflight can fly any routes served by Jet Airways only, not by its partners.

Do babies born inflight get free lifetime flights?

Between above mentioned Jet Airways flight and the Air Asia instance, it is clear that free lifetime flights for babies born inflight is not an urban legend.  It happens, but only in some instances. For extreme hustlers reading this, please note that the offer is a good will gesture by the airline and not a passenger right.

Word of Caution

Before you decide to get pregnant and hop on an airplane hoping for a generous birthday gift 😉 , please note that airlines have specific guidelines for a pregnant traveler and may deny boarding under some conditions. Here are the guidelines as posted on following airlines’ websites;

United:  

Any woman traveling before 36 weeks of pregnancy will be allowed to travel on a United flight without medical documentation.

A woman traveling at or after 36 weeks of pregnancy must have the original and two copies of an obstetrician’s certificate, which must be dated within three days (72 hours) prior to her flight departure. To best assure the pregnant traveler’s safety, it is preferable to have a certificate dated within one day of flight departure.

Delta: 

Delta does not impose restrictions on flying for pregnant women, so a medical certificate is not required to travel. Keep in mind, however, that ticket change fees and penalties cannot be waived for pregnancy. If you’re traveling after your eighth month, it’s a good idea to check with your doctor to be sure travel is not restricted.

American:

If your due date is within 4 weeks of your flight, you must provide a doctor’s certificate stating that you’ve been recently examined and you’re fit to fly.

Air Canada:

If you have a normal pregnancy and no previous history of premature labour, you may travel by air up to and including your 36th week on Air Canada, Air Canada Rouge and Air Canada Express.