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Giving Birth Aboard A Jetliner  
User currently offlineLax From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 2290 posts, RR: 3
Posted (14 years 10 months 5 hours ago) and read 2250 times:

Does anyone know how many babies have been born while in flight?

A question for the statisticians among you .... When a child is born on an airplane in flight, how is the "place of birth" decided upon?

Should it be: "Undetermined"; or perhaps "Aboard a Boeing".

Or .... Would the place of the infant's birth be the location over which the aircraft was flying at the time?

Interesting dilemma, don't you think?

I'm sure this has happened numerous times in the past. Was just curious as to how (and who) decides the exact place of birth [not that it's really very important at all actually].

I think it would be ultra-cool indeed to answer someone's question of "Where were you born?" with .... "Inside a Boeing 777-300, travelling at 585 MPH somewhere over the Pacific Ocean!"  Smile/happy/getting dizzy  Big thumbs up

19 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineAirsicknessbag From Germany, joined Aug 2000, 4723 posts, RR: 31
Reply 1, posted (14 years 10 months 4 hours ago) and read 2200 times:

Hmmmm, I somehow remember reading somewhere that 10 people die onboard LH flights each year on average. That same article stated that births were about half of that, so LH has a negative result bottom line Big grin. No, I´m not sure about these numbers (but they aren´t pure speculation either).

As to what place of birth is put into your birth certificate/passport - no idea! All I know is that kids who were born on a plane or ship which is registered in a country whose legal system adheres to the ius soli principle automatically obtain the citizemship of that country. E.g. if you´re born onboard an N-registered plane on a domestic Mexican flight - bingo, you won the jackpot Big grin.

Daniel Smile

User currently offlineUnited Airline From Hong Kong, joined Jan 2001, 9502 posts, RR: 13
Reply 2, posted (14 years 10 months 4 hours ago) and read 2189 times:

Some airlines allow you to fly life-time free if you are born on one of their aircraft, from what I have heard.

User currently offlineKRP From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (14 years 10 months 4 hours ago) and read 2179 times:

This is supposed to be true:
If you have a british mother, a danish father, born in a N-reg ac in french airspace you get 4 nationalities.

UK gives nationality based on mothers nationality
DK gives nationality based on fathers nationality
US + F give nationality all born on their terrotory

User currently offlineAirsicknessbag From Germany, joined Aug 2000, 4723 posts, RR: 31
Reply 4, posted (14 years 10 months 4 hours ago) and read 2177 times:

I doubt the French part; reason: according to international public law you´re NOT in France at that moment, only in the country whose flag the aircraft is bearing. Regardless of whether the plane is flying or not.

Daniel Smile

User currently offlineOH-LZA From Finland, joined Jun 2001, 1000 posts, RR: 4
Reply 5, posted (14 years 10 months 3 hours ago) and read 2166 times:

The "Place of Birth" field in the passport of a person born on a plane says "International Airspace"

Zulu Alpha

User currently offlineOO-AOG From Switzerland, joined Dec 2000, 1426 posts, RR: 4
Reply 6, posted (14 years 10 months 2 hours ago) and read 2151 times:

I know that a passenger, who dies in the air, is considered as dead only when the aircraft has landed and not before. This is to facilitate the paperwork issues and problems.

Falcon....like a limo but with wings
User currently offlineAI744LR From Thailand, joined May 2001, 106 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (14 years 10 months ago) and read 2119 times:

I thought airlines didn't allow women who are 7 months pregnant (or more) to travel. Is this not true? I know that this is difinitely the case on international travel.


User currently offlineJessman From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 1506 posts, RR: 7
Reply 8, posted (14 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 2097 times:

Delta has no travel restrictions for pregnant women on any of their flights/ domestic or international.

User currently offlineAirsicknessbag From Germany, joined Aug 2000, 4723 posts, RR: 31
Reply 9, posted (14 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 2098 times:

You´re both right and wrong. It differs from airline to airline - some have strict deadlines, some don´t - they rely on certificates given by the woman´s doctor, for example. And then, imagine a woman pregnant 9 months shows up at the airport for boarding - do you think the check in staff will address her about that? My guess is they´ll close an eye or two, hope nothing happens and let her board instead of all the hassle and discussions. And in 99 out of 100 cases probably they´re right. Hey, they might even not notice (or chosse not to notice  Big grin).
And, last not least, perfectly healthy babies can be born after 7 months.

Daniel Smile

User currently offlineGocaps16 From Japan, joined Jan 2000, 4410 posts, RR: 17
Reply 10, posted (14 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 2081 times:

If you fly over a country like Ireland or something, thats where you were born. Big grin As for the Pacific oOcean, well, tat's another story


User currently offlineWorldTraveller From Germany, joined Jun 1999, 624 posts, RR: 5
Reply 11, posted (14 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 2078 times:

OH-LZA is right. It says "International Airspace" in the passport. Pretty cool if you ask me...  Smokin cool

the WorldTraveller

User currently offlineAC_A340 From Canada, joined Sep 1999, 2251 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (14 years 9 months 4 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 2031 times:

I believe it is when the plane lands. Same reason as deaths. And in most cases to be officially dead, you need a paramedic/doctor etc. to pronounce you dead. But I could very well be wrong.

User currently offlineSleekjet From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 2054 posts, RR: 20
Reply 13, posted (14 years 9 months 4 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 2013 times:

Hey, we need a definitive answer on this citizenship issue. I teach a unit on citizenship to 7th graders and we have frequently pondered the trans-oceanic birth question. Any lawyers present?

II Cor. 4:17-18
User currently offline777gk From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 1641 posts, RR: 17
Reply 14, posted (14 years 9 months 4 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 2010 times:

Generally, a physician will not clear a woman to fly if she is in the final stages of pregnancy and could deliver at any time. However, if there is an event of fetal compromise while airborne, and the woman goes into labor, we try to land the aircraft as soon as is practical, so that the child can be delivered in formal medical facilities and, if a situation arises where the infant needs immediate medical attention, it can be received without delay and further damage.

User currently offlineAirlinelover From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 5580 posts, RR: 20
Reply 15, posted (14 years 9 months 4 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 1984 times:

Well, this is what I've heard..

If your parents are US citizens, and you are born OUTSIDE the US, you have US Citzenship..

AC_A340, what if there is a doctor on the plane?


Lets do some sexy math. We add you, subtract your clothes, divide your legs and multiply
User currently offlineAirsicknessbag From Germany, joined Aug 2000, 4723 posts, RR: 31
Reply 16, posted (14 years 9 months 4 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 1960 times:

If you are onboard an airliner or ship, international law says you´re in the country whose flag the craft is entitled to fly.
So, in the case of N-registered aircraft, you are on American soil the moment you step aboard. Giving that you have the ius soli in the US, being born in a US plane (i.e. on US soil) makes you an American citizen.

The airspace (both above and below the aircraft) however belongs to the country you´re flying over. But since you´re born in that little pressurised "enclave", you´re born in the plane´s country.

So, unless you are in Antarctica or swim through international waters on your own, you are always in one country or the other.

Hope that helps.

Daniel Smile

User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 30410 posts, RR: 57
Reply 17, posted (14 years 9 months 4 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 1957 times:

Ok here is a question.

If memory serves the assumed average per passenger is 175lbs per person.

Chances are that mom and baby where counted as one person before that flight for weight and balance purposes.

So do you now have to amend the W&B paperwork because after that baby is born both it and mom weight the assumed 175lbs?

User currently offlineB747-437B From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (14 years 9 months 4 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 1960 times:

I clarified this situation with my dad who has had 4 inflight births in international airspace over the last 37 years (that he can remember, there might have been more).

The baby initially assumes the nationality of the MOTHER for immediate arrival formalities. Remember, the baby has to be classified as a national of some country to complete the paperwork when the plane lands! The nationality of the father is irrelevant until a birth certificate naming him as father is prepared, which cannot be done inflight. In the event of the mother becoming deceased at delivery, the child is treated as a ward of the state whose flag operation is being conducted, and NOT that of the state whose registration is carried on the aircraft (if it is different). If the mother carries dual nationality, then the nationality of the documentation used to make the current flight is considered to be the primary citizenship. The airspace being flown over at the time of delivery is totally irrelevant. The aircraft and all enclosed within it is considered to be the soil of the country whose flag it is flying and the child *may* be entitled to that nationality depending upon individual country laws on the issue.

User currently offlineSkyhawk From United States of America, joined May 2001, 1066 posts, RR: 3
Reply 19, posted (14 years 9 months 3 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 1929 times:

According to what we were told in inflight training years ago, a woman on a Pan Am flight gave birth over international waters and the place of birth was given as the latitude and longitude at the time. Because the child was born on a U.S. flag carrier, it was given status as an American national.

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