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When Is It Safe To Fly After Diving?

We are asked this question often. When is it safe to fly? If I book a liveaboard that ends on Friday, can I fly on Saturday? If I make a dive on Monday morning can I fly Monday evening? Now, please remember that the question is covered in any beginners Open Water diving course. Only thing is, that the recommendations do change, and there are different numbers thrown about – 12 hours? 24 hours? 8 hours? And if you have forgotten this, it might be a good idea to do a refresher course! Here’s the current flying after diving recommendations from PADI and DAN.

  • Single dives – A minimum pre-flight surface interval of 12 hours

  • Repetitive dives or multiple days diving – A minimum pre-flight surface interval of 18 hours

The “single dives” recommendation does not affect us here really. All dive trips that we offer (day trips) include 2 or 3 dives, and liveaboards are all multiple day trips with 2 – 4 dives per day. So the figure you want to remember is 18 Hours. If are booking a typical 4 day liveaboard to the Similan Islands for example, the final dive of the final day is normally before lunch, after which the boat is cruising back to the mainland. So you are safe to fly by next morning. Some people prefer to wait 24 hours, it’s up to you – if your schedule allows, why not have a full relaxing day off before flying out? Be sure to check the itinerary of any trip you book so you know when the last dive will be, and you can plan flights accordingly.

Note: Following these recommendations reduces DCS risk but does not 100% guarantee that a diver will avoid DCS. There are of course other factors involved. A major factor in a hot country like Thailand is dehydration – make sure you stay well hydrated when you are on a dive trip. Read more here: Health and Fitness for Diving.

What About Diving After Flying?

There is no problem with diving after flying. There is no increased risk of DCS if you arrive on a flight and head straight to the ocean – DCS is caused by high concentration of Nitrogen in the blood after diving which can become supersaturated and form bubbles at lower pressures. Before you dive, you have a normal amount of Nitrogen in the blood. However, if you’ve taken a long haul flight, you may be dehydrated which is a factor is DCS. Make sure you drink plenty of non alcoholic fluids on a long flight to prevent dehydration. There is also a tendency for people to arrive in a hot country and head straight to the bar for a cold one. Please remember that alcohol contributes to dehydration, so take it easy on the beers!

Travel And Diving Insurance

We recommend that all divers have their own travel and medical insurance, as well as cancellation insurance. Be sure that your travel insurance policy covers scuba diving! However, prevention is better than cure, so dive safely, follow the rules, use tables and computers and stay healthy! For dive insurance look at DAN or Dive Assure. Or you can pay 250 Baht per diving day when making a booking.



  • A Real Dive Center With A Real Shop

  • DevilsDivers is not just a website. We are right here to help you with a SSI Training Center dive shop, helpful and experienced staff, quality rental equipment and plenty of local knowledge. We hope to meet you in person!

  • 21 Years of Thailand Diving Experience

  • DevilsDivers has been operating in Phuket, Thailand since 2004 logging thousands of dives all over the region. We know the area, we know the dive sites, we know the boats. Let us help you find the right trip!

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  • We advertise all trips at the official rates agreed with the boat operators. If you are offered the same trip on the same liveaboard at a lower price, tell us! We promise to get you the best trip at the best possible price!

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  • With our many years of experience, booking with DevilsDivers is quick and easy. Got a question? We'll answer! Need to talk? Call us! Online credit card payment with no fees is possible for most trips. We know the boats and the area better than anyone. See you here!



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