My wife is scared of flying....HELP!


DIS Veteran
Jan 13, 2001
We are planning a trip to Orlando from Seattle in December and my wife is afraid to fly. We took a short flight from Portland to Reno last week and she did alright on the way down but got scared on the return flight and now she is very reluctant to fly. Does anyone have any experience with dealing with someone with these fears and having any suggestions on how to calm her down on the flight.....if i can get her on it. We have the option of driving to Disneyland instead but after going to Orlando I don't find this a good option. I don't think her fear is from the 9/11 tragedy I think she is just scared of flying. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thank you!!
As someone who is afraid to fly, I totally understand. We took the train to Orlando last year and we're driving next year. My fear is something I developed late in life because about ten years ago I flew all the time without a problem...but now I suffer from anxiety attacks. Some people here have posted how their doctors have prescribed medication to help out with the situation and flew without fear, and another has suggested hypnosis. Good luck, just remember, no matter how irrational her fear may seem to you, it is real.
im also very scared to fly. i got myself sick when i would think about it. but thinking about 22 hours in the car with my 2 kids even made me sicker so i bit the bullet and i flew on jan 28. it was great we were there in 2 1/2 hrs i read 3 magazines and tried not to think about it. tell her to conquer her fears she will feel good about herself after she does it. good luck
my mom, who didn't fly for 20 yrs will now fly taking I think it's paxil. she starts a day or 2 prior to flying and the morning of. then a day or 2 before the return she starts again.

she's now flown several times in the last 2 years, and twice since 9/11
I have always been afraid to fly. A quite turbulent flight a few years ago made it worse.

I simply CANNOT fly without taking Xanax, an anti-anxiety drug. It doesn't take all of the fear away, by any means, but certainly helps to make the flight more tolerable.

If this is an ongoing problem, I suggest she talk to her doctor about it. It's certainly nothing to be ashamed of.
I'm in the same situation - my DH is afraid of putting us on a plane and flying. He feels anxiety just thinking about boarding. He feels he'll definitely have an anxiety attack and what he takes now does not always kick in. He's almost certain he'd be a wreck and doens't want to scare the kids. Because this fear is very real to him, I have to respect that and we chose to drive to WDW from NH in April. To me, I'll make the long trek by car that he's really looking forward to since he loves to drive all over. He also has a chronic illness that can be made worse by stress, so I don't want to risk that on our vacation - it's just not worth putting him thru something that will affect him.

I'm sorry I don't have any advice really, but if it will make her relax and enjoy herself and it's possible, I would make the drive and make the best out of that. I'm actually looking forward to seeing the other states now myself.

Best wishes whatever you decide and have a safe trip.


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