Mile-High Babies — What Citizenship Are They?

In the event that a baby is born at 30,000 feet, what’s his or her citizenship? Interesting question.

If you read my earlier post on debunking the myth of free flying for life if a baby is born in-flight, I talked about an Egyptian woman flying from London to Boston who gave birth to a baby on board a British Airways flight which was rerouted to Nova Scotia. So we’ve got Egypt, United Kingdom, United States, and Canada all involved. What citizenship is awarded? It depends on the country, and in the United States, laws vary from state to state and even county to county.

“The state of Texas offers excellent details on how to document an in-air birth on a plane bound for Texas, even if the birth takes place over, say, Australia,” says “Using a Texas birth certificate, you fill in the county and city of birth with the county and city where the child was first removed from the plane, and you should include a citation of where the birth shows up in the aircraft’s flight log. For the location of the structure where the birth occurred (which is typically the city and county of a hospital), the county should be ‘In flight,’ and the city should be the name and flight number of the aircraft and the latitude and longitude coordinates of the point over which the child entered the world.”

Weird. Even more strange is the alarming number of births that happen on planes each year. I couldn’t find any data for all airlines across the world, but British Airways says they usually have at least one kid born every year in-flight!