The risk of venous thromboembolism associated with long-haul flights is the subject of controversy. In a prospective, controlled study, we examined 160 passengers before and after return from a long-haul flight and 160 age-matched and sex-matched, non-travelling volunteers using venous compression ultrasound. Deep vein thrombosis was not observed in either group. Isolated calf muscle vein thrombosis (ICMVT) was present in 4/160 (2.5%) flight passengers and in 1/160 (0.6%) controls. All subjects with ICMVT were clinically asymptomatic, and ICMVT was located in the soleal muscle veins in all four subjects. Three of the four passengers with ICMVT had other risk factors for thrombosis.