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Cheap flights from the UK, plus Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) explained.

Air France
- Cheap flights and discount airline tickets from Air France. They often run promotions on flights, and currently are offering some great prices on long and short haul flights,
eg Manchester – New York From £350 return,
London Heathrow to Paris from £120 return,
London Heathrow to Rio de Janeiro from £615 return and Manchester to Miami From £381 return.

Also London City routes to European capitals including Amsterdam, Dundee, Dublin, Edinburgh, Eindhoven, Geneva, Nice, Paris and Strasbourg from £89.

Cheap Longhaul Flights and Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)

We've all heard about cheap longhaul flights being related to DVT - often known as "Economy Class Syndrome", but what are the facts and what can we do to protect ourselves? Read this quick guide to find out everything you need to know about flying and DVT.

What is Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)?

A deep vein thrombosis is a clot of blood that develops in a deep vein, most usually in the leg. It causes a localised pain in the leg and can be life threatening if the clot breaks off and travels to the lungs, causing a pulmonary embolism. However, it is rare for a blood clot to break off and cause a pulmonary embolism, especially in a blood clot situated below the knee, although it can damage the veins in the legs, causing pain and swelling as the blood "backs up" behind the clot.

Who is at risk of DVT?

Everyone is theoretically at risk of getting a DVT at some time in their lives - some of the risk factors include:

  • Inherited risk factors. Has someone else in your family had a DVT?
  • More likely if you are over 40.
  • Obesity.
  • Surgery, especially if it involves bone, because the body itself naturally produces clotting factors after an operation (this is why the nurses get you up to walk round after an operation).
  • Being immobile for a long period of time, such as on a flight.
  • Pregnancy and childbirth
  • Taking oral contraceptives containing oestrogen, or HRT
  • Preexisting heart conditions

What are the symptoms of DVT?

Symptoms can include swelling, discolouration and pain in the leg. However, these may also be symptoms of other conditions and you should always see a doctor to obtain an accurate diagnosis. The symptoms of a pulmonary embolism include chest pain and shortness of breath. This is a life threatening condition and you must see a doctor immediately if you suspect that you have a pulmonary embolism.

What precautions should I take when travelling?

There are some precautions you can take whilst travelling to make DVT less likely. These apply equally to long haul flights or long car, coach or train journeys. It is not yet known conclusively whether long haul flights are more risky than other long distance travel, although it is suspected that they are.

Precautions that you can safely take include:

  • Moving your legs around. On a plane, walk up and down the aisle when the fasten seatbelt sign is switched off. If remaining seated, rotate your ankles, point and relax your toes and perform other similar exercises to encourage your circulation. If you are driving, take regular breaks.
  • Wear comfortable, loose fitting clothes that do not restrict blood flow.
  • Don't cross your legs.
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Consider wearing support stockings

If you are particularly at risk from DVT, see your doctor before flying and get his advice.

Virgin Atlantic
- Fly to the US, Caribbean, Far East, India and Africa,