Frequently asked questions (and our answers)

Below are frequently asked questions we receive about travelling, vaccination and medical testing. Do you have any other questions? Please contact us. We would love to help!

Frequently asked questions about travelling and vaccinations

Making an appointment

No. KLM Health Services’ Travel Clinics are for everyone, irrespective of your means of travel or the airline you might be flying with.

Yes, to prevent unnecessary waiting please make an appointment online at one of our Travel Clinics.

It is possible to make appointments for several people at the same time. You can do so via our website or send an email to travelclinic@klm.com.

To change or cancel your appointment, use the information in your confirmation mail or send an email to travelclinic@klm.com.

It can happen that you miss an appointment. However, if you fail to cancel an appointment or do so too late, we have to charge you for the time that we reserved for your appointment. You can then make a new appointment online.

Yes, you can. Our Travel Clinics have extended opening hours. See the available timeslots when you book an appointment.

No, our travel nurses can help you in the English language as well.

COVID-19

Yes, you can. You do not have to take this into consideration.

No, providing COVID-19 vaccinations falls under the responsibility of the Dutch GGD.

No, making an appointment for a COVID-19 PCR-test is different from an appointment concerning travel advice and/or vaccinations at the Travel Clinic. Please read information about the COVID-19 PCR-test and making an appointment here.

Vaccinations

If you have lost your yellow booklet (vaccination booklet) and are therefore unsure which vaccinations you have already received from us, and when, we can fill out a new vaccination booklet for you at one of our locations. Due to privacy regulations, we do not give out this information over the phone or via email. Please make an appointment online at one of our Travel Clinics. It is important to bring a valid ID with you to this appointment. Did you receive vaccinations at other organizations, then you can also have those vaccinations added to your yellow booklet by those organizations.

This depends on your medical history, destination and the duration of your stay. During the consultation we will give you bespoke advice. It’s possible that for some activities, work or visa applications, for example, certain vaccinations may be recommended or even mandatory.

You are welcome to come to one of our Travel Clinics for (repeat) vaccinations, even if you originally got vaccinated elsewhere. If you have a vaccination booklet, please bring it with you to your appointment at one of our locations. We do, however, take the time to check and document your information and vaccinations (and will charge you for this time).

Sometimes it is prudent to leave an interval between various vaccinations, especially in the case of long journeys or certain destinations. We recommend you to inquire 4 to 6 weeks prior to departure about the order and schedule of vaccinations you should follow.

In principle, this shouldn’t be a problem: alcohol and vaccinations generally tolerate each other well. However, any complaints and side effects that may occur after vaccination may be magnified by alcohol.

No, this is not yet possible. Most vaccines are injections that cannot be replaced by pills. Read more about vaccinations.

In the Netherlands, infants are vaccinated against various diseases at an infant welfare centre. Travelling abroad may sometimes require additional measures. Children travelling abroad often receive the same vaccinations as adults. However, dosing and vaccination schedules may differ. For some vaccines, a minimum age applies. Vaccination against hepatitis A can be given from the age of 1 year, yellow fever from the age of 9 months and typhoid fever from the age of 2 years. Our flu jab is suitable for children from the age of 6 months (2022/2023).

Children who have not yet reached the age of 16 years old, will only receive vaccinations if escorted by a parent or guardian.

An obligatory vaccination has been assigned obligatory by a country. The country sets this requirement, which is intended to protect citizens against the import of communicable diseases. You are not allowed to enter a country without this obligatory vaccination. In some countries, for example, yellow fever vaccination is obligatory. A recommended vaccination is a vaccination for a certain destination as recommended by the National Coordination Centre for Travel Advice (LCR). The LCR is an independent foundation that establishes guidelines in the Netherlands on which vaccinations you need for a healthy stay at your destination. Its advice is therefore more than just an advice.

Vaccination is always useful. Most vaccines take effect quickly. Every day one of our Travel Clinics is open. You can easily make an appointment. You can also visit us without appointment. We will be happy to help you, should we have the time available. Please take into account some extra waiting time. Should we not have time available, we will be happy to book you an appointment on the spot.

Some vaccinations only effectively protect if you receive them at a certain time before your journey. The time depends on the type of vaccination, your age, which vaccinations you already received, what journey you are making and how long you will be away for. We recommend that you get the required vaccinations approximately four to six weeks before departure. Are you travelling for more than 3 months, or are you emigrating? Contact us as soon as possible. More information. Even when you are travelling last minute, vaccination is still useful!

This depends on the vaccinations you receive; some provide protection for a period of 3 years, others for 30 years or your entire life. In general the following vaccination periods apply:

  • Yellow fever: since July 2016 the WHO considers a lifelong protection after a single vaccination, this also applies for vaccinations given before 2016 (and which are valid for 10 years in the booklet). In some cases however, the LCR recommends to repeat vaccination every 10 years. For example with certain medical conditions or high risk destinations.
  • Typhus: three years.
  • DTP: ten years.
  • Hepatitis A: at least 30 years. The immunisation consists of two vaccinations. After the first shot you are protected for one year, after the second you are protected for thirty years or more. You should get the second vaccination at least six months after the first.

Always contact the Travel Clinic for sound travel advice.

Anyone who’d rather not fall victim to the flu is welcome to come to a KLM Health Services Travel Clinic for a flu jab. If you belong to a risk group your family doctor will give you more information about the flu jab. Furthermore, it’s even more important to get yourself vaccinated against the flu if you do shift work.

Costs

Please see the up-to-date overview for the vaccination rates.

During your consultation, in addition to being given the necessary vaccinations you will also always receive personal travel advice. This service is an automatic part of a consultation at one of our Travel Clinics because we want to make sure that you are well prepared for your journey. You will always be vaccinated and advised by a specialist travel nurse who is fully up-to-date on the latest LCR (National Coordination Centre for Travel Advice) guidelines. This ensures that you are always fully aware of what you must prepare for and the best way to do so. Moreover, you will also have the opportunity to ask questions during your consultation. Administrative costs are also included in the consultation charge.

Depending on your policy, some or all of the costs could be reimbursed. This varies per policy and per insurer. An overview of vaccination costs reimbursed by health-insurance companies with which KLM Health Services’ Travel Clinics collaborates can be viewed here. You can also check the conditions of your policy or contact your insurer.

Side effects and use of medicine

If you are healthy, you will generally not experience any discomfort or side effects from the vaccinations. However, some people react more strongly to vaccinations than others. You may experience:

  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • A slight temperature
  • Painful sensation in the arm

If you do experience side effects, they will generally be mild and often pass within two days.

No, contraceptives and vaccination go together without any problems.

For most positions, a vaccination does not affect the performance of your work. Do you doubt whether this also applies to your situation? Please consult with your employer. Playing sports generally should not be a problem.

Yes, some medicines interfere with vaccinations. If you take medication, please make sure that you inform our travel nurse before or during your consultation. We will give advice on which vaccinations are needed in your situation and if it is necessary to visit us for a special consult during which we expand on the possible consequences of vaccinations in combination with your medication.

In most cases you will experience little discomfort after vaccination. Side effects may include: a stiff, painful muscle, a slight fever, or redness around the injection site. Side effects are generally mild and will usually disappear within two days.

Malaria

During your consultation one of our travel nurses can issue a prescription for malaria tablets for you. If you live in the Netherlands the prescribed tablets can be sent to your home address. Malaria tablets can also be dispensed directly by our own pharmacy in our Schiphol Centrum location (Departures 2), irrespective of already having passed customs. You can also take the prescription and buy the tablets at any other pharmacy.

Do not underestimate the effects of malaria. The need to take malaria pills depends on the destination and the duration of your stay. This will be discussed during your visit to our Travel Clinic.

Malaria tablets can also be prescribed for children. To ensure that the correct dosage is prescribed, our travel nurse will weigh your child during the consultation.

This depends on the tablets and it will be discussed with you during your consultation. Moreover, instructions are given on the prescription and these will be printed on the label when you receive the tablets from the pharmacy. When planning an appointment, bear in mind that you’ll need to start taking some courses of malaria tablets up to three weeks before departure.

Pregnancy

You should always seek the advice of your obstetrician or gynaecologist before making the trip. Depending on your destination, you might be advised to get yourself vaccinated against certain infectious diseases. It’s usually not necessary to get yourself vaccinated if you are travelling to countries in Western Europe, North America, Japan and Australia/New Zealand. In these regions and countries there are no infectious diseases that you’ll need to be vaccinated against and, generally speaking, the level of healthcare in these countries is the same as you’re accustomed to receiving in the Netherlands. You’d be wise, however, to bear in mind that on a long flight you run a higher risk of complications, such as thrombosis or an embolism. For journeys to other destinations, we’ll be pleased to advise you in a consultation. During this consultation you’ll be given professional advice and you might even be discouraged from making the journey. It’s also important to find out which conditions your airline imposes with respect to flying during pregnancy. The stage of the pregnancy, whether it’s a multiple pregnancy and whether it’s a pregnancy without complications all play important roles.

Are you pregnant and do you need vaccinations? Consult with a doctor or nurse to decide what is best. This also applies to malaria medication. Whether you can get vaccinated when you are pregnant depends on the type of vaccination. Travelling to a tropical or sub-tropical country always involves an increased medical risk. Consider whether this journey is necessary or whether you would like to postpone your trip. Read more about pregnancy.

Are you pregnant or do you intend to become pregnant in the near future, and are you planning a trip? Travelling during pregnancy does not have to be a problem. Prepare well for your journey and adjust your travel plans where necessary. Do you need vaccinations? Consult with a doctor or nurse to decide what is best. This also applies to malaria medication. Read more about pregnancy.

Our Travel Clinic nurses can tell you all you’ll need to know about pregnancy and travel to a malaria region and, afterwards, you can decide whether you still want to make the journey. Not all malaria tablets can be taken during pregnancy. If malaria tablets are recommended for your journey, the travel nurse will consult one of our doctors before issuing a prescription.

Frequently asked questions about aeromedical examinations

Trainee pilots only require full aeromedical certification when they make their first solo flight. This means they do not require a pilot’s licence to undergo an aeromedical examination.

Job A Category I CPL + ATPL Commercial Pilot Licence + Airline Transport Pilot Licence
Job B Category II PPL Private Pilot Licence
Job C Category III ATC Airline Traffic Controller
Job D   LAPL Light Airline Pilot Licence
Job E   CC Cabin Crew

The purpose of the examination is to assess whether the examinee has any medical condition or disease that might endanger flight safety. It is a safety examination based on medical requirements that have been legally defined by the European Union. The examination must be completed periodically to assess whether any changes have occurred in the pilot’s health. The frequency of examinations is determined by the age of the pilot and the type of pilot’s licence they require.

 

All civilian pilots who have a medical file at KLM Health Services will be sent a reminder to schedule an examination. It remains your personal responsibility to monitor the expiry date on your aeromedical certificate.

You can make an appointment via the reservations page on this website. Alternatively, you can phone +31(0)20-6493400. We will ask you what examination category you require and on what day(s) you would prefer to be examined. To ensure that the details for your examination are correct, we advise you to keep your aeromedical certificate close at hand.

The different jobs and categories are as follows:

Job A Category I CPL + ATPL Commercial Pilot Licence + Airline Transport Pilot Licence
Job B Category II PPL Private Pilot Licence
Job C Category III ATC Airline Traffic Controller
Job D   LAPL Light Airline Pilot Licence
Job E   CC Cabin Crew

You can object to the outcome within six weeks by way of a written request to the Netherlands’ Human Environment & Transport Inspectorate (ILT). The medical assessor of the ILT will issue a decision within eight weeks. This decision is open to objection. An appeal may be filed against the subsequent decision. There are costs attached to this appeal procedure in accordance with Article 7 of the “Regeling Tarieven Luchtvaart 2008” (regulation on fees and charges), in which said costs are stipulated. The objection must be signed and should at least contain the following details:

  • The name and address of the objecting party;
  • The date of the letter of objection;
  • A description of the evaluation you are objecting to;
  • The grounds upon which your objection is based.

You may send your objection to the address below:

Human Environment & Transport Inspectorate (ILT)

Attn. Aeromedical Team

PO Box 16191

2500 BD The Hague

The Netherlands

Please mark the envelope as Medical/Confidential. For further information, please visit the ILT website.

If you have normal respiratory status either with or without medication and do not have serious asthma attacks, you may pass your medical examination. In the case of hay fever, it is important that you refrain from using medication that may endanger flight safety.

Most people who have suffered an epileptic seizure are no longer fit to fly. Only under very strict conditions can a person who has suffered a seizure regain full certification.

The regulations state that you are not fit to fly if you do not feel fit. A commercial pilot with a Category I licence must contact their employer and call in sick. Also contact your GP or the company doctor for further advice. See also the back of the medical certificate.

If there is no active inflammation or discharge from the ear, you are allowed to fly with grommets. This also applies to an otherwise arising non-inflamed, dry perforation.

A hearing test (audiogram) is taken at the first examination for Categories I and II for instrument rating (IR). Current requirements: No more than 35 dB hearing loss at 500, 1,000 and 2,000 Hz and no more than 50 dB at 3,000 Hz. These requirements also apply to re-examinations. If you do not meet these requirements, the ILT requires proof of good speech intelligibility based on a so-called hearing statement. This must be issued by an instructor. For a Category II licence without IR there must only be good speech intelligibility at two metres (with the back turned to the examiner). An audiogram is not required for Category II without IR.

If you come for a first examination for Job A, you are by definition not fit. If you already have a medical certificate, you will not be fit to fly for at least six months after a heart attack or surgery on your coronary arteries. After the six-month period, it is mandatory that you undergo an extensive cardiological examination, which will be assessed by a consultant cardiologist. In such a case, it would be wise to contact KLM Health Services to be properly informed about the necessary procedure. What are the consequences of arrhythmia for flying? The consequences depend on the type of arrhythmia. If it’s only a matter of a harmless arrhythmia that doesn’t occur frequently, you can simply be regarded as fit to fly. In the case of more serious arrhythmias including frequent irregularities or atrial fibrillation, a more extensive cardiological examination must be carried out before you can be considered fit again, to be assessed by the consultant cardiologist. In such cases, it would be best to contact KLM Health Services.

What consequences does cardiac arrhythmia have for flying? 

The consequences depend on the type of arrhythmia. If it concerns a harmless, sporadic extrasystoles, also known as premature ventricular contractions (PVCs), that gives the sensation of skipping a heartbeat, you may be considered fit to fly. If you experience more serious arrhythmia, such as frequent extrasystoles (PVCs) or atrial fibrillation, you will require a more extensive cardiological examination, assessed by a consultant cardiologist, before you may be deemed fit to fly. Contact KLM Health Services in such cases. 

Can I fly with a pacemaker or an ICD?

This is possible under certain conditions, depending on the reasons for which the pacemaker is required and the type. It is not permitted to fly with an ICD.

It is always very important that you state on your application form any medication you are using, what the medical complaint is, the dosage and the duration. This includes non-prescription medicines, whether or not they were issued abroad. GPs are not always aware of the affects certain medicines can have on air safety. Additionally, the use of some medications may be subject to specific conditions. The medical condition for which you were prescribed the medication may also be a reason to certify you temporarily unfit to fly. The examining doctor will be able to provide you with more detailed information.

.Any medication that affects your ability to drive is forbidden (look for the yellow sticker on the packaging). Not all medications for arrhythmia of the heart are authorised either. The prohibition is not limited to allopathic medicines; homeopathic medications and natural products are also often prohibited. This is why it is important that you always contact KLM Health Services if you have even the slightest doubt about anything you may be taking

Am I allowed to fulfil my duties as a pilot if I wear glasses or contact lenses?

The wearing of glasses and contact lenses is permitted for all jobs listed in “General”.

What lens strength am I permitted to have to do my job?

Job A: Between +5.00 dpt and -6 dpt (greater than -6 dpt is allowed under certain circumstances) Job B: There is no limit to either + or – Job C: Between + 5.00 dpt and -6 dpt Job D: No limits Job E: No limits

What is the minimum eyesight requirement (Visus) for my job?

Job A: V 0.7 for each eye and V 1.0 for both eyes Job B: V 0.5 for each eye and V 0.7 for both eyes Job C: V 0.7 for each eye and V 1.0 for both eyes Job D: V 0.5 for each eye and V 0.7 for both eyes Job E: V 0.7 for both eyes

Am I allowed to fly after an eye operation?

This is allowed under certain conditions for all jobs. But bifocal or multifocal implantable lenses following a cataract operation are not permitted.

Am I allowed to fly if I am colour blind?

Job A: Ishihara test, no errors in the first 15 images of the 24-image test book. If you fail this, a further examination is required (Holmes Wright Lantaarntest). This must be faultless. Job B: Ishihara test, no errors in the first 15 images of the 24-image test book. If you fail this, a further examination is required (Holmes Wright Lantaarntest). This must be faultless. If not, you will pass with a restriction: “fly by daylight only” (VCL) Job C: Ishihara test, no errors in the first 15 images of the 24-image test book. If you fail, you will undergo more colour perception testing (Anomaloscope) Job D: Ishihara test, max. 6 errors in the first 15 images of the 24-image test book Job E: Ishihara test, max. 6 errors in the first 15 images of the 24-image test book or other proof that you are colour safe.

People with diabetes are in principle only assessed fit to fly if their diabetes is well-controlled through diet or medication that cannot cause hypoglycaemia and as long as there are no complications. Insulin is always forbidden. The KLM Health Services doctor will be able to give you more detailed information.

As soon as you know you are pregnant you must stop flying. This, in principle, applies throughout your pregnancy. However, if you can show with an ultrasound scan that the pregnancy is intact, the ILT could decide to give you permission to fly until the end of the 26th week of gestation with an operational multi-crew limitation (OML). Flying may be resumed after full recovery following the end of the pregnancy. A declaration of fitness is always required from the doctor or obstetrician/midwife.