To fly or not to fly

I am currently very stable on my medication after a very upsetting and worrying time ending up in resus twice within three weeks this was back in July and August ladt year. I don't think it could ever get that bad and I am grateful that flecainide bisoprolol warfarin amlodipine and rosuvastatin seem to be doing the trick. However I haven't been on holiday well abroad for over a year. I am worried about flying as I felt if I had been on a plane or a boat I don't think I would have been here as my heart was racing at 256 pm and for the first time loosing consciousness. I know I can take another flecainide tab if i get the flutters but I haven't thank goodness had to test this. The point is......who flys and how has that been. I am a nervous flyer and no luxury of a glass of wine to ease the nerves. Am I being too worried honest answers please.

29 Replies

  • I have flown many times and once in AF at 140+bpm. Shouldn't make any difference really apart from any anxiety you may bring onto yourself. Try to stay calm and you will be fine I'm sure. Don't let AF run your life for you. Life in spite of it!


  • Thank you

  • I have flown with AF many times as well with bpm of 170.

    Let people with you know your symptoms and how to react if you do have an issue.

    Good luck

  • Hi , totally know where your coming from as I was diagnosed last March and had booked flights to Sydney to visit my daughter and grandchildren ( new granddaughter whom I have not.met and Grandson of 2 yrs whom I only met as young baby ) so you can imagine how much I wanted to go !!! But my anxiety caused me to cancel immediately and I lived to regret it as when time came (last September ) I was feeling much more in charge ! And although I cant advise you to go medically I would say speak to your doctors and if they say is fine then go for it , all the best x

  • Thank you

  • I agree! I flew often(with the flecainide - and was in AF UPON leaving once! Too tired- got to bed at 3:30 am. Get your last minute things completed the day before so you get a good nights sleep! Stay hydrated on the plane!

    Do not let AF make you a prisoner in your home!

    bon voyage!

  • I agree with all of the above. I had a fab holiday at Christmas and although a tad nervous prior to the flight I was well prepared ( as in packed/check passport/ready to leave) had a good nights sleep and subsequently a great holiday. Go for it and enjoy :)

  • Thank you

  • I flew all the time I was symptomatic even before ops and settled treatment regimes flew June after surgery to remove tumours and concurrent surgery to try and sort AF . Flew again sept post pacemaker implant. If your docs are happy for you to fly then go and enjoy your well deserved holiday. I too take bisoprolol and Flecainide plus pradaxa .

  • Thank you

  • Done lots of travelling with and in AF with no problems. Ensure you are well hydrated during the flight and wear the stockings if more than a short flight.

    If you have concerns I recently have been registering for extra help (no extra charge, just do it when you book your tickets) and found that even when I can walk to the plane, they take you through the working part of the airport so you don't have to walk miles, it has helped tremendously as you are boarded and deboarded first. This is far less stressful. (I have a neuromuscular disease which means I never know how I am going to be). In other words ask for help, people are very kind and staff in airports do this everyday.

    Enjoy your holiday.

  • Thank you

  • Wine is the worst thing you can do, warfarin helps to stop clots and extra medication will ease your mind. Cover yourself so you can go to hospital if required, dont stop travelling because you may as well give up life if you allow this to stop you enjoying yourself.

    I travelled from Australia, to USA to UK to Paris back to UK onto Dubai then home after a month, then had my ablation.

    I refuse to allow it to control my life, I know what to so and when to do it and take all precautions.

    Better to have a bit of fun then to drop dead doing nothing.

  • Thank you

  • H there's a girl after my own heart...C..

  • Hi,

    Just glanced through my EP' s information booklet(downloaded to Kindle) He recommends before going on a long haul journey to contact anticoagulant clinic as may need times changes for Medication...


  • Thanks Carol very useful. Don't envisage a long haul not my bag just a hop initially to holland x

  • Consider using train to London, Eurostar to Brussels then the ICE to Amsterdam. I do this regularly even post ablation as it's a much more enjoyable trip than the cattle truck 737s

  • I am just back from Cyprus no problems with th flight got the flu while i was there and was quite poorly, but no problem flying,,,brenda

  • I travel a lot and am writing this from Singapore. First, I always ask my EP if he is happy for me to fly. Then I get insurance. All Clear this time who are pretty reasonable even with a pending procedure. I then make sure that my Coagucheck has spare batteries and I do not alter my diet for the warfarin, so So some alcohol is fine. I then check where the local hospitals are just in case and relax! Yes of course I have worries but I try to not let my conditions rule my life. To be honest the biggest problem for me is the diuretics. Boy do they mess up the day!

  • I work for an airline and fly for my job. I agree with everything that has been said here. The best thing I ever did was to come off warfarin and go on a NOAC , my life isn't ruled anymore by that drug, I am now in control, but I always stick to GMT times for my medication so I know where I am body/ drug wise. Stick to your usual routine and remember , stress is your enemy.


  • I think there may be two issues here. The first one being a fear of flying, and the second one being nervous of anything happening health wise while you are away from what you perceive as a 'safe place'. When you put the two together it causes double the anxiety. There is no doubt that, when you read all the above personal accounts, that AF should not stop you doing what you want to do. If I was you, I would tackle the fear of flying first, then you may find that it will all fall into place. Give it a go!

  • Thank you. I dont hate flying I find it stressful as it is a bit of a cattle herding excercise a necessary evil to get from a to b. I have reserverations about ending up in a foreign country with health issues but it is more about how eqipped are airlines to cope with me if I went into af in the air. Short haul a few more options but long haul over seas a bit problematic. Anyway I am going for a hop to amsterdam in may and if all carries on as it is I am sure I will regain my confidence. I do agree that I need to view flying in a different light and I will practicemy mindfulness a bit more

  • I hope your trip to Amsterdam is a success, after that it will all become a piece of cake - long gone are the days when flying was glamorous! Have a wonderful time.

  • I had an ablation December 2014 and so far so good. A few palpitations but no full blown AF. I am planning to go to New Zealand in a years time to see my brother and am a bit anxious about being so far from home. I know I will get there and the health service there is excellent. I will not let AF rule me and will continue as normal.

  • Thank you good luck have a great trip

  • Hi there, this is an easy answer for me.......I gave up flying. The thought of being in a foreign hospital is too much for me. The knowledge that I could lose tens of thousands (seel my home to pay) of pounds to pay the bill is too much. At my age insurance is too high if the ins co knows my condtitions. If they dont the insurance is invalid. Answer is stay in the UK. Enjoy our lovely country, it really is much less stressful. You must be having a very hard time reading this post from you. Well done for the survivial, Christine. D

  • Thank you. I dont hate flying that much but find the experience stressful but have continued to fly for years. My af was good for a year then I had three admissions to a and e. The last episode was so frightening losing consciousness and although I had taken my meds it was very aggressive. I just have lost my confidence in my body. I wouldnt get on a plane boat or train if I had symptoms but just scared if it started whilst up in the air. I dont want this to rule my life but it is just trying to get ones conconfidence back and trust that the medication will keep symptoms at bay. Its been a steep learning curve.

  • Just come back from Dartmouth, Devon and had a pleasant break. No need for a plane, or boat. Mind you, the drive down the M5 isn't exactly stress-free but at least I was in control. We avoid flying unless we "have" to, like a planned visit to Iceland this year. Haven't had AF set off by it though that I can remember.


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