What are the Symptoms of Fear of Flying?

Anticipatory anxiety of being out of control and overwhelmed can prevent a person from planning to travel by air. The thought of an upcoming flight can cause great distress, particularly when compelled to travel by air. The most extreme manifestations can include panic attacks or vomiting at the mere sight or mention of an aircraft or air travel.

What Causes Fear of Flying?

The fear of flying may be created by various other phobias and fears:

  • Fear of crashing, which most likely results in death, is the most common reason for the fear of flying.
  • Fear of being closed in spaces (claustrophobia), such as that of an aircraft cabin.
  • Fear of heights (acrophobia).
  • The overall feeling of not being in control.
  • Fear of vomiting, where a person will be afraid that they’ll have motion sickness on board, or encounter someone having motion sickness and have no control over it (such as escaping it).
  • Fear of having panic attacks in certain places, where escape would be difficult and/or embarrassing (agoraphobia).
  • Fear of hijacking or terrorism.