The unexpected has just happened for an expectant mother on a flight from Dubai…

A baby girl was born aboard a Cebu Pacific Air flight from Dubai to the Philippines on Sunday, turning an eight hour flight into an 18 hour trip.

Missy Berberade Umandal sat next to the expectant mum on the plane and posted about the ordeal on Facebook, saying that the passenger starting having contractions about five hours into the flight.

“She was set to give birth in October, so this came as a surprise,” explained Umandal.

Cebu Air went on to announce that because the baby was born aboard one of their flights she will receive free one million free GetGo points – a currency which works similarly to air miles.

Most airlines don’t allow women who are over eight-months-pregnant to fly on their planes.

The baby will receive Filipino citizenship, and her birthplace will be marked as India.

Why Filipino citizenship? Well according to The UN Convention on International Civil Aviation ababy born in an aircraft will take the “citizenship” of the airline and Cebu Air is a Fillipino carrier.


“For once in my life I saw flight attendants who are meant to always maintain their poise and composure, panic ever so slightly,” Umandal said, describing the feeling in the plane after the woman began to give birth.

“Flight attendants started calling for medical assistance, and luckily there were two nurses among the passengers.

“She was already crowning, so she was brought to a more spacious area in the front of the plane.” The curtain was then closed so that the woman could have more privacy during the labour.

After giving birth the woman got up to go back to her seat, baby in arms – a feat that Umandal described as “mighty strong”.

Luckily for the new mother, the parents of two other babies in the cabin had a suitcase full of baby clothes and necessities.

A shelf was filled with mineral water to become a makeshift wash-basket, and an emergency landing was made in India to ensure the premature baby’s health (as the flight was still around five hours away from the Philippines). 

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Umandal spoke of the decision to land in India, saying, “The flight was delayed once again (what was supposed to be a 9-hour flight became roughly 18 hours), but no complaints… everyone in that plane was blessed.

“To the woman [who gave birth], in the hopes she gets to read this – we understand you are resting and giving time to take care of your baby, but we are all hoping for your quick recovery and a lifetime of happiness to your beautiful child!”

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Images: Facebook/Missy Berberabe Umandal