How to Get Over Your Fear of Flying: Treatment for Aerophobia

Fear of flying is a relatively common but potentially serious phobia. How do you get over the fear of flying? 

There are a number of practical ways to reduce negative feelings and eventually conquer the fear of flying or aerophobia.

Treatment for Aerophobia
How to Get Over Your Fear of Flying

Aerophobia: Symptoms, Causes and Treatment Options

Aerophobia: The Fear of Flying

Aerophobia or fear of flying is an abnormal and persistent fear of being on an airplane, or other flying vehicles, such as a helicopter, while in flight.

Fear of flying is also referred to as flight phobia, flying anxiety and aviophobia.

Aerophobia or aviophobia also means an irrational fear of fresh air or drafts of air and fear of heights. It is a relatively common but potentially serious phobia.

People with aviophobia or aerophobia have severe anxiety even though they usually realize that flying does not pose a threat commensurate with their fear.

Flight phobia is a common psychological condition among many people, and the intensity of the feeling may vary from person to person.

Symptoms of Aerophobia

People with aerophobia may experience the following physical symptoms before and during a flight:

  • Choking sensations
  • Clouded thinking
  • Heart palpitations
  • Shortness of breath
  • Disorientation
  • Flushed skin
  • Gastrointestinal upset
  • Sweating
  • Nausea
  • Shaking
  • Irritability
  • Dizziness
  • Chills

In some cases, people may even experience a full-blown panic attack. Some people with a fear of flying have difficulties that begin as soon as they reach the airport and some are reasonably comfortable at the airport but begin to experience symptoms just before boarding the plane. 

Read here: 

1. Everything You Need to Know about Phobias

2. Social Phobia: Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, and Treatment 

3. What are the Most Common Types of Anxiety Disorders?

What Causes Fear of Flying?

Air travel is considered one of the best means of transportation and the most saving of time and effort, but it is also considered one of the most popular means of causing panic and fear.

Fear of flying may occur as a result of a situation that occurred with a person or with his relatives, or as a result of their exposure to bumps, and other situations and events that could accompany the flight.

We find some cases in which the individual remains under the influence of thinking about a disaster that happened and witnessed it, and continues to live in a state of anxiety and panic just thinking about the matter, even if everything is fine. This may disrupt many interests, especially for businessmen and people whose work relies on constant travel.

Some people are afraid to board or travel on a plane because it is suspended in the air. They believe that the pilot may lose control of driving, which could lead to the crash of the plane and the death of all its passengers.

Some are unable to travel on the plane to another country and prefer to ride by car or bus despite the long-distance because they believe that it is safer than the plane, but this thought is completely wrong.

Studies have shown that the probability of death by taking a plane is approximately one case for every 11 million people, while the rate is very high for a car traveler, i.e. an average of one death per five thousand, and this means that plane travel is the most appropriate option to save a life.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is considered to be more effective in the long term than taking medications.

In this article, we will present a set of tips and instructions for those who suffer from flying phobia with the intention of overcoming fear and underestimating the matter so that he does not develop other mental disorders that may harm him.

Read Also: 

1. Panic Disorder: Symptoms, Causes, Complications and Treatment 

2. Anxiety Disorder: Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment

3. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): Types, Symptoms and Causes

4. Diagnosis and Treatment of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder

5. Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)–Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

Treatment for Aerophobia

Fortunately, aerophobia is a treatable condition, even without knowing the underlying cause of fear.

The treatment for flying phobia depends on reducing the fear that some people experience when they board a plane so that the matter does not spread and turn into a psychological state for them.

A psychologist or psychiatrist can help assess the magnitude of fear and suggest psychotherapy, medication, or other advice related to it.

Some common treatment options include:

Exposure Therapy:

Exposure therapy is commonly used to treat fear of flying and aerophobia. 

Exposure therapy focuses on changing your response to the object or situation that you fear. 

Gradual exposure to the source of your specific phobia may help you learn to manage your phobias.

Exposure therapy allows people with aerophobia to become gradually more adjusted to the ideas and sensations of flying.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT):

Cognitive-behavioral therapy is the most effective treatment for fear of flying (FOF). CBT is an approach that focuses on changing negative thoughts that contribute to anxiety and fearful behaviors.

The patient must be told that he shares this fear with millions around the world and that he is not the only one suffering from this disorder; This can help solve this problem either completely or partially.

The patient can also be treated gradually through some devices that can be used in this case. It creates an atmosphere similar to what the patient fears and exposes some of the things that he may encounter on the plane, and thus this may alleviate the severity of his phobias.


A doctor can prescribe medications to help the patient relax and relieve some of the symptoms associated with fear of flying, such as nausea or anxiety.

And in some cases, the doctor may prescribe medicine constantly, depending on the severity of the disorders or the frequency of travel. It is imperative to visit the doctor and consult him regarding the matter and take the appropriate medications.

Although medications can be helpful in treating aerophobia, they are usually a short-term solution and can be used in combination with psychotherapy.

Read Also: 

1. Schizophrenia: Types, Symptoms, Causes, and Complications
2. Schizophrenia: Diagnosis and Treatment

3. Difference between Schizophrenia and Schizoaffective Disorder

How can I Overcome My Fear of Flying?

Fear of Flying
Tips for Overcoming Your Fear of Flying (Aerophobia)

There are a number of practical ways to reduce the fear associated with flying. There are also things that you can do on your own to get over the fear of flying; these include:


Educate yourself about the flying process: The lack of awareness of how the plane works increases the level of fear of it. 

People who suffer from flying phobia should be educated about some of the principles of flying, how airplanes work, and some of the procedures and precautions that are taken in the event of any malfunction, especially when people are afraid of failure of engines in airplanes, thinking that if the engine fails, the plane will crash directly.

Therefore, they must be informed that the engine is only responsible for increasing the thrust and speed of the plane, and in the event of an engine failure, the pilot has the ability to land the plane without the need for it and the plane can land easily and without problems.

It is also necessary to know the ways and means of safety in both the plane and the airport. These and other things will provide a safe flight for people with phobias. You have to accept the reality and the fact that you may need help to overcome this problem.

A person's awareness of his illness is a comforting thing, especially when it is emphasized that they are only psychological symptoms that do not cause death. Knowing all this creates calm and comfort in the souls of those who are afraid of flying.

Learn to recognize triggers: Find out what scares you and examine how your anxiety reaction is triggered. Your goal is to determine whether you are afraid of flying in general or if there is something specific that scares you about it and identify your particular triggers, so you can cope with your fear when anxiety levels are low. Pay attention to thoughts or situations that preceded your fear.

Identify irrational thoughts: Negative thoughts and catastrophic thinking can increase anxiety and contribute to your flight phobia. Thinking traps (patterns of thought - usually with a negative swing) may lead to anxiety and phobias. Learn to recognize your negative thinking traps when they occur, and try to replace them with more realistic, helpful thoughts.

Get help to combat flight anxiety: Talk to people who do not have this problem or have overcome it. It is advisable to speak with the cabin crew if this is possible and inquire about questions that you have about flying and the plane, as talking about these matters constitutes strong support.

Practice mindfulness and relaxation techniques: Do some relaxation exercises before boarding the plane, as it is one of the successful ways to overcome all forms of tension and anxiety, and this can be with some stretching exercises, deep and slow breathing, listening to the Quran, or favorite music, or playing with children, which relieve the feelings of constriction and relax the body.

⇒ Get plenty of sleep before the flight, because enough sleep helps calm the body, and insomnia (lack of sleep) increases stress during the flight.

 Try to occupy yourself a lot before the flight is due. If there is a lot of free time, try to practice your activities and occupy your time as much as possible.

 Take appropriate medication with you in case you have had panic attacks in previous experiences.

 Be at the airport on time and don't be late, as this can cause anxiety and confusion.

 Talk to the person next to you about topics without fear of flying. Speak spontaneously and cheerfully, and smile with passengers and flight attendants to forget the atmosphere of tension and potential turmoil.

 Stay away from the seat next to the window and replace it with the middle seat, and avoid looking down from the window or looking at the movement of aircraft wings.

 Read magazines and newspapers that contain comfortable news and pictures and stay away from those that discuss political problems and wars.

 When you experience turbulence, look around and you will find that everyone is indifferent and that it is normal.

Read Here: Expert Tips To Conquer Fear Of Flying


Fear of flying or aerophobia is something that can be conquered with the right tools and techniques. Learn to manage and even overcome this common phobia.

Don’t stop yourself from going on a memorable foreign vacation.  Enjoy spending time with your family abroad and make the most of international business opportunities. You can do it!

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