Flying with Tourette's Syndrome
Can I fly with my Tourettes Condition?
Yes, absolutely you can. For many people, flying can be quite an anxious experience. People that are afraid of flying or have flight conditions such as claustrophobia were they can't stand tightly packed seats and spaces, all tend to make other people feel uncomfortable.
Having Aviophobia or Aerophobia can cause an added amount of stress and worries. Therefore, it's very important that you prepare for your flight, stay organised and also ensure that your flight is as stress-free and comfortable as possible.
What is Tourettes Syndrome?
Tourette's syndrome is a condition that makes an individual to make uncontrollable sounds and movements that are called tics. There's no discovered cure for Tourette's syndrome, but treatment can help manage the symptoms.
Top Tips for Flying with Tourettes
Select your Seating
You may find that it's more preferable to sit at the front where there's extra room and ease of access to toilets and flight attendants, should you need any assistance. Or you can request a window seat to keep you entertained or a seat at the end of an aisle. You can also often request to have extra seats on flights that are not full. Book your seat by following our guide on 'how to book seats'.
Ask for Assistance
Most airports these days have special services teams to help all sorts of passengers, as well as disabled passengers boarding their plane. You can ask for this when you book, or alternatively, you can call the airport or airline in advance to your arrival. The special assistance teams can assist you to get through the airport security, get to your gate, and board your plane quicker than passengers without a disability. While these teams will assist you with your disability they're best set up for helping people with mobility or sensory impairments. You'll also find they've introduced fast track lanyards for different types of disabilities such as autism for example.
Explain to the airline
If you feel that it's necessary for the airline you're flying with to know about your condition, then you should inform them in advance of your flight. Once you know that the airport security staff know of your condition, you'll more likely feel much calmer and the tendency to speak inappropriately may be reduced. It would be good to speak to them 48 hours before you fly, even if you've spoken to them previously, just give them a reminder. Before you board the plane if you wish you can notify the flight team of your condition and this could be gently announced by the captain or a flight attendant.
You may already know this but in order to reduce your tics can keep yourself entertained on the flight by reading a book, a magazine, play games or solve a puzzle and even reduce the over-stimulating environments by wearing ear defenders that help block out certain types of noise which may increase stress and therefore increase the tics.
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Flying with Tourettes FAQs
Do I need to take my Tourettes ID card when flying?
Ensure to carry your Tourettes Action identification card with you. You can display this card at any time in order to support yourself in informing people about your condition.
Can I suppress my Tourettes?
Yes, you can. Stay entertained by reading a magazine, a book, play games or draw a picture. Whatever keeps you focused and busy will help to suppress your tics.
What if passengers or staff become annoyed?
Airlines have a legal commitment to offering you with equal service as long as your tics don't create a serious issue for other passengers. Other passengers feeling annoyed or frustrated is not classed as an excuse to discriminate against you. If your tics led to physical contact with another passenger, this may mean that you'll be told you cannot fly unless you could be seated separately or with people you know.