Woman Gives Birth at 30,000 Feet On United Airlines Flight to Washington DC

A woman went into labor at 30,000 feet with just two hours left of an 11-hour flight from Accra, Ghana to Wahington DC aboard a United Airlines operated Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

Luckily, the woman couldn’t have been in better hands. Along with a US-based Ghanian doctor who was traveling as a passenger on United flight UA977, one of the flight attendants was a registered nurse. And, of course, all of the other flight attendants are trained in emergency childbirth and jumped into action.

The woman went into labor as the plane flew high above the Atlantic ocean enroute from Africa. The United flight took off from Ghana at 11:45 pm on Saturday night and landed at around 5:30 am on Sunday morning with one extra passenger onboard.

“The delivery was uneventful… Other than being at 30,000 feet,” commented a United Airlines spokesperson who confirmed that both mother and baby were doing well.

United’s ground team were waiting to meet the flight with balloons and a card to celebrate the new arrival.

Earlier this month, Canadian doctor Dr Aisha Khatib described how she leapt into action to help a new mother give birth on a Qatar Airways flight from Doha to Entebbe, Uganda, late last year.

Dr Khatib initially worried about having the right equipment available to help her patient, but her worries were quickly alleviated when the cabin crew told her that international airlines keep emergency delivery packs onboard for just this kind of eventuality.

But what nationality does a child born on an international flight acquire? Well, that depends on a lot of factors. The United States is one of 33 countries that offer unrestricted birthright citizenship to any child born within its borders

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Mateusz Maszczynskic

Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt’s industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.

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