Can anyone say if flying has triggered AF f... - AF Association

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Can anyone say if flying has triggered AF for them?


I can't get reasonably priced travel insurance untll all tests are over so am wary of flying in case have vigorous AF abroad- be grateful if you would share experience on this as tests have been delayed until new machine is installed!!

16 Replies

Hi rosyG, I haven't found an insurance company that will offer me travel insurance for any treatment pending. I am not sure what to do as if I have to cancel travel because I need to go into hospital for treatment of my condition I lose my payments made. Does anyone know of any insurance company that would cover this?

Hi I am relatively new to AF but love traveling. Repeated air flights along with sitting rather than moving a lot is what caused my AF. I was told by my cardio specialist that flying when you are on Warfarin is actually safer than flying not on it. You aren't going to form clots. Eating is one of the main problems I have found. I am on a low salt diet along with low vit K diet. I found fish or steak houses are the easiest to eat in. NOT Chicken it's marinated always beforehand. I found a travel insurance that gave it to me as long as the Dr said it was OK to travel at the time I booked. I will try to find it for you.

in reply to shadski

Thank you- I'd really appreciate it if you would let me know which company it is. I think it must be true that warfarin stops clots when flying but I am concerned about the actual flight caused AF when abroad- perhaps dehydration link- not sure!!

in reply to rosyG

Hi rosy It is most unlikely that you will find a company prepared to offer you cover when you are awaiting tests . I have always been told not to even consider travelling without cover for AF as treatment costs can be considerable. My husband won't consider flying with me as the adrenalin rush starts it all off !! Sandra

I have no problem at all flying. I take deep breathes if I feel my heart playing up. I pay no attention to food as the wafarin controls all that and the odd bit of air line rubbish isn't going to upset it. I have travelled through all my treatment, before ablations, after ablations and etc. On the excellent af site they have a list of people who will consider insurance.

I certainly did gamble going to Romania and relied on my EC health card which I don't advise but it was a calculated risk.

Hi Rosy,

I don't have a problem with flying either, I went out to Amsterdam last year for a fairly gruelling week charging round a conference and exhibition and never even had a twitch. Got back and a couple of weeks later had a bout, for no particular reason, go figure... It just goes to show we're all different! I'm not sure I would go somewhere too exotic where I might be stuck without the prospect of treatment, and if you're in the middle of tests it might make insurers wary. I found Staysure were happy to insure me and quite cheaply too, and I'm sure Liz's list will provide good alternatives. I hope the testing goes well!



G'day Rosy,

I don't have the problem on travel insurance while awaiting test results. Since I've had my diagnosis in Jan 2010 I have done long haul to Australia and return 4 times - no problems triggering AF. No problems getting reasonably priced travel insurance either.


Hi Rosy

My annual insurance was around £230 which includes winter sports, shopped around on line and obviously disclosed my AF . Can't remember the company at the mo as I am out but I can let you know later. When flying keep hydrated, don't drink any caffeine or alcohol, all of which will dehydrate you.

Hi Rosy,

I had a very important event last year and I actually left while winding into a terrible episode of rapid AF 140-190 bpm).

I got on the plane to Amsterdam with rapid AF and made myself promise that if my meds didn't work that I would turn around before continuing to the west coast of Canada. As I was waiting at the gate to be the last one on.... I felt that delightful "sink" that happens when the AF calms. So NO, I didn't have anything get worse, and I have always been told I only need to cardio convert before 48hours to reduce the risk of stroke. So if you are ok with your episodes, go! For me it doesn't matter where I am in AF, just that I pay attention to the length of time. Mind you I have insurance but I don't live in the UK! I agree with Woolfie - hydrate!!!! Hope you can go.

I have a house in France and flying back and over all the time and never caused AF. As for insurance, if going to eu country I always rely on my E111 card or whatever it's called now and treatment would be covered with this if it was necessary. Have a great holiday. Marie

I got on a plane whilst in an episode, which lasted the whole flight, thankfully it was only a very short flight - about 40 mins - had no adverse effects, actually by the time I had got to the airport exit I was completely ok. Not sure if I would do that on a longer haul flight ie:- more than 4 hours. As the others have said I think you may experience more difficulty in getting insurance though.

Just before I was diagnosed I had a very unpleasant incident on a plane when I almost passed out. This may have triggered AF -although I was having lots of palps earlier (I wasn't well to begin with so there may have been other factors too.) However, like lallym I have a house abroad in Spain and refuse to completely change my life. I go and fly whenever I want. Last year I went to Cuba with no problems really. I did have to shop around for insurance. Was a bit ashamed to be refused by Saga as I was only 52. That made me feel old. I did get cover elsewhere though. Had no worries about getting care in Cuba, very advanced health wise, in fact a family we stayed with had a little girl with AF and the mother explained all the treatment the child could have. I think fear can stop us leading a life and I think I might as well feel crap abroad and have an experience than sit at home feeling ill. I am in AF for weeks at a time so just got to get on with it! Take your E111 if it's Europe and you should be fine.

in reply to Alibi23

Can you enlighten me please _ I thought that E111 gave only very basic cover ! Sandra

thank you very much everybody- really helpful to hear of your experiences

It's pretty comprehensive- if you are an EU citizen it covers you for healthcare that any citizen of that country would get- eg in my case Spain which is very good. It won't cover a flight back home. Or emergency air lifts while ski-ing. (I don't do anything more dangerous than walk/drive ) I am a EU citizen so I am entitled to health care in the EU. Travel insurance wouldn't cover me most times as I am going to my own house and not on holiday. You might see programmes on tv where people have run up expensive health costs abroad- that's because they have been taken or have gone to private clinics. Here's the link:

Ive found all this advice very helpful and will consider relying on the European health card as am fed up with waiting to travel!!

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