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Flying with Aviophobia/Aerophobia

How to fly with Aerophobia/Aviophobia

Read on to find out more on the condition, top tips, as well as FAQ's.

Man holding his head while waiting in an airport lounge

Can I fly with Aerophobia/Aviophobia?

Yes, absolutely you can. For many people, flying can be quite an anxious experience and it's a relatively common phobia. 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 a fear of flying can cause an added amount of stress; worries about tics, people's responses and not knowing how may behave on a flight can at times feel overwhelming. Therefore, it's important that for your flight you prepare, be organised and also ensure that your flight is as stress-free and comfortable as possible. There are various ways you can reduce the negative feelings that may help you conquer this fear, please see below. Also, if you're concerned about your blood pressure on your flight, please see our page on high blood pressure and low blood pressure

Airport runway

What is Aviophobia/Aerophobia?

Aerophobia, or the fear of flying, may be linked with many other phobias like Acrophobia (fear of heights and claustrophobia (fear of confined spaces) and Thanatophobia (fear of death), but at times it appears on its own. Research shows that fear of flying approximately affects one in three people. This phobia can cause dizziness, nausea, screaming, sweating and more.

In 2015 the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) carried out research showing that there were only 92 commercial airline accidents out of 33 million estimated flights worldwide. More importantly, there were only six fatal accidents, resulting in 474 deaths. 3.5 billion air passengers travelled in 2015, that's a rate of only one death per 7.5 million passengers. Flying is the most safest ways of travel compared to any other forms of travel.

What is pteromerhanophobia?

Pteromerhanophobia is another term for a fear of flying, along with aviophobia and aerophobia.

Top Tips for Flying with Aerophobia/Aviophobia

Speak to your doctor

It is always a good practice to speak to your doctor before your flight is you have experienced pteromerhanophobia before. They can advise you on how to reduce your chances of having fear on the flight and may offer you anti-anxiety medication in order to help you stay calm on your flight.

Explain to the airline

If you think that it is important for the airline that you are flying with to know about your phobia, then you should speak to them in before your flight. Once are aware that the airport security staff know of your fear of flying, you will more likely feel much calmer and the fear may be reduced. It would be good if you could inform them 48 hours before you fly, even if you've spoken to them previously, just give them a reminder. Also, you could notify the flight team of your phobia and if you wish this could be gently announced by the captain or a flight attendant.

Travel at less busy times

Whether or not your fear of flying has transformed into pteromerhanophobia, it can have negative effects on the quality of your life. This is why you should avoid travelling at times when there are travel delays which are common when flying at peak times and thus can make the fear of flying even worse. Travelling at less busy times such as in the evening or night are recommended.

Ask for Assistance

You don't need to try to tackle the phobia yourself but ask for assistance. Many experts have helped people learn to control their worry and achieve their travels, and there are programs out there that specifically target the fear of flying. Remember to speak to the airline and flight attendants to help you if you suffer from flying anxiety.

Take Medication

Ensure that you remember to take with you plenty of medication as prescribed to last you through your journey. Remember to always pack your medication in your hand luggage so that they are easily available for inspection by the airport security officers.

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Flying with Aerophobia/Aviophobia FAQs

What medication can I take for fear of flying?

Taking anti-anxiety medication such as Diazepam, Xanax or Ambien prescriptions may help to reduce the fear of flying. 

Is flying safer than driving?

Research shows that driving is more dangerous than flying.

What if passengers or staff become annoyed?

Airlines have a law-abiding commitment to offering you the same service as long as you don't create a serious issue for other passengers. Other passengers that are feeling annoyed or frustrated are not an excuse to discriminate against you. If your fear leads to physical contact with another passenger, you may be told that you cannot fly unless you can be seated separately or with people you know.