Sky-High Delivery: Quick Thinking Pilot Delivers Baby When Woman Goes Into Labor In The Lavatory

A baby was born on a VietJet flight from Taipei to Bangkok. The boy was delivered by one of the pilots, after learning that a passenger had gone into labor in the lavatory. Medical personnel met the aircraft on arrival.

The pilot noted, “He will be able to tell everyone for the rest of his life that he was born in the air,” he said of the newborn baby boy.” The crew gave the baby the nickname “Sky.”

At the end of Up In The Air, George Clooney may tell Sam Elliott, as the chief pilot of American Airlines, that he’s “from here” when he hits 10 million miles inflight. This baby’s birth certificate will reflect the boy’s actual place of birth.

Citizenship laws vary somewhat by country in situations like this. Here’s how it works under U.S. law (which is not the case here):

  • If a baby is born in the sky above the United States, it is entitled to U.S. citizenship even if the baby has foreign parents and the aircraft is registered in a foreign country. So German parents, on a Lufthansa plane, where the mother gives birth above Massachusetts would see their child entitled to U.S. citizenship, in addition to German citizenship.

  • If a baby is born while the aircraft is over water, and the citizenship of its parents can’t be determined or – as occasionally happens – the parents are stateless, then it is generally entitled to the nationality of the aircraft. So a baby born on an American Airlines flight over international water to a stateless mother would be a U.S. citizen, because American Airlines aircraft are registered in the United States.

Nearly one hundred babies have been born on planes since the dawn of commercial aviation. Several years ago a woman gave birth on a Saudia flight to New York. They declared an emergency just as they were about to head out over the Atlantic Ocean, dumped fuel, and turned around heading for London Heathrow. The baby and her family were given a free trip.

A woman also gave birth on Jetstar Asia. She named the baby after the airline, and they gave her $1000 in baby supplies. Meanwhile a baby born on a Cebu Pacific flight was given 1 million frequent flyer miles. And a baby born was born on a Jazeera Airways flight — and was given 18 years of free flights.

(HT: Paul H)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Finally !
    A feel good story without any politics and name calling (yet) ! Surprising that the new mother was allowed to fly that close to term, but sometimes babies just pick their own schedule. Congratulations all around.

  2. I have read versions of this story and a lot of them say that the pilot left the co-pilot in the cockpit and assisted in the birth of the baby. No indication of who first held/caught the baby or who cut the umbilical cord. My guess is the female flight attendants were much more aware of what was needed during a birth and maybe one of them would have been the one who delivered the baby.

  3. If born over the U.S. Trump would call the baby, “Another criminal drug addicted escape from an insane asylum illegal border crossing!!”

    There you go, Denis.

  4. Oh Denis Bekaert, you just wait. Any minute now, someone will start spewing their views about birthright citizenship in the US and how it should be ended and/or preserved…

    Interestingly, there is “jus soli” (right of the soil) and “jus sangunis” (right of blood), but I suppose the law that applies in this case could be called “jus caeli?” (right of the sky, according to Google translate 🙂

  5. I wonder, does Stuart make an effort to be obnoxious, or is it a gift? Denis was sure right.

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