Cross-country flight forced to land as passenger goes into labor
SALT LAKE CITY — Another flight, another woman goes into labor.
Delta Air Lines Flight 2566 from San Francisco to Minneapolis diverted to Salt Lake City on Wednesday when a pregnant passenger went into labor during the flight.
A pediatrician on board helped the passenger until the flight landed at about 9:45 a.m., according to KUTV. The passenger was taken by the local fire department to the University of Utah Hospital.
A Delta spokesman declined to comment on the woman’s condition, saying the airline doesn’t give out personal information about passengers.
It’s not the first time this month that a pregnant passenger has diverted a flight.
On December 9, a baby was born on Southwest Airlines Flight 623 shortly after its 6:24 a.m. takeoff. The aircraft departed from San Francisco bound for Phoenix, but diverted to Los Angeles International Airport at about 7:30 a.m. A nurse and doctor on board assisted with the delivery.
“It was amazing,” a flight attendant said in a video posted on the airline’s website. “All the passengers were awesome. Everybody was clapping.”
The plane was met by a Los Angeles Fire Department emergency response team upon landing, according to LAX spokeswoman Katherine Alvarado. After a two-and-a-half hour delay, the 111 other passengers aboard Flight 623 were able to continue their journey to Phoenix aboard a new aircraft.
Airline restrictions for pregnant passengers vary.
Delta doesn’t restrict the travel of pregnant passengers, but the airline does offer guidance about change fees on its website. “Ticket change fees and penalties cannot be waived for pregnancy.” For any passenger traveling after her eighth month, “it’s a good idea to check with your doctor to be sure travel is not restricted.”
Southwest advises that pregnant women consult with their doctors before traveling by air, and the airline recommends not traveling after the 38th week of pregnancy.
Barring medical complications, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists says that pregnant women can fly safely just like the general population. However, “air travel is not recommended at any time during pregnancy for women who have medical or obstetric conditions that may be exacerbated by flight or that could require emergency care.” Go to acog.org for more information on air travel during pregnancy.