The Moment a Woman Gave Birth on a Flight to Los Angeles

A woman gave birth prematurely last week on a China Airlines flight from Taipei to Los Angeles.

The crew queried the passengers for medical help, and a doctor traveling on the flight delivered the baby eight weeks early. The flight was already planning to divert to Anchorage, but the birth couldn’t wait.

In May a woman who didn’t know she was pregnant gave birth on an Air Canada flight to Tokyo. That was reportedly the third inflight birth of 2015.

Just this month a woman gave birth to a baby onboard a Jazeera Airways flight. That child will receive free flights on the airline until age 18.

Perhaps most striking to me about this incident on board China Airlines though is that the emergency and diversion only delayed the flight’s arrival in Los Angeles by three hours.

Here’s the moment that the woman actually gave birth on the flight. The passengers cheer with the first cry. Clearly the crew did a phenomenal job.

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. Always amazed at how seemingly common it is for births to happen in-flight, despite the best efforts of airlines to keep late-term pregnancies off their planes. Of course, given the sheer number of passengers, it’s bound to happen a handful of times a year.

    Curiously, the Daily Mail article suggests the baby’s nationality is unclear. Regardless of registration of the aircraft, since it seems the child was born while flying in US territorial airspace, the child is American under jus solis. The Anchorage hospital will issue a more-or-less normal Alaskan birth certificate. Of course, the child is also likely a citizen of the ROC thanks to the citizenship of her parents.

  2. I’m a doctor (not an OBGYN) and one of my life goals is to deliver a baby in a public setting (airplane, etc). Should have been on this flight.

  3. That family should get automatic us citizenship and a 50k stipend for life.

    We Will come up with a reason later.

  4. From the source of a Taiwanese passenger on board, the baby was at 36 weeks…certainly not a preterm baby! The mother was intentionally flying to the U.S. to have an anchor baby, as she had done that twice already. Covering up the abdomen and the actual gestational age to the airline is not good at all.

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