If this happens on your last flight before you return home, your decision is probably an easy and sensible one—get on the flight and get checked out by a doctor when you land.
If you are away from home, or if it happens right before you fly, getting examined by a physician is still a good idea, but if doing so forces a change in travel plans, other considerations may cause you to think about doing something riskier, like going ahead with your trip and hoping for the best:
- If you are on a bargain air fare with a cancellation penalty, you may decide the the loss of money (including the cost of any new ticket) is worth the risk to your health.
- If changing the schedule means you may miss out on an important event like a wedding or a trip on a luxury cruise.
- If taking time to deal with your potential health issue significantly affects the travel plans of others.
- You convince yourself that the medical advice you get (either from the web or from an actual medical expert) doesn't apply to you.
- Choose an airline fare that allows you to make changes or even cancel the ticket with little or no penalty.
- Buy trip insurance that will reimburse you if you make a change that leads to fees or penalties.
- Make sure that you can get adequate medical attention at your destination, or at any location where you may be changing planes en route
- Purchase emergency medical evacuation insurance if you are traveling overseas, especially to places where sophisticated medical care is unavailable.
- Purchase supplemental medical insurance if you medical plan doesn't cover expenses at your destination (most US medical plans have limited or no coverage for medical treatment overseas).