I know there have been a few threads on flying with asthma but I was hoping someone could give me some advice/experiences more specific to me.

I'm TERRIFIED of flying (you could say I have issues!!) - I went once a few years ago just to Scotland when my asthma was well controlled with just a daily preventer inhaler and very occasional Ventolin use - the issues were more with me scaring the other passengers firstly when I got on the plane and was convinced the wings weren't straight (and let everyone know as I freaked out!) and then when we landed and I was convinced the pilot had forgotten to put the brakes on... You get the picture :D

In August I need to go to Ireland as part of my course. And the possibility has also come up of me taking the trip I have wanted to take for the last 12 years to Australia later this year. The trouble is, that as well as being terrified of flying, my asthma is also now severe/brittle and I'm on a fair amount of meds including daily Pred and not well controlled at present. So my questions are this:

Is it OK to fly with unstable/unpredictable asthma?

Does the airline need to be told and will they let me fly alone?

What issues do I need to consider/discuss with doc/cons about flying with asthma?

What issues does the cabin pressure/environment present (I'm thinking especially with going to Australia here)?

How is my fear of flying going to interact with the asthma (anxiety/stress is a trigger)?

Is a sedative a good idea? Or would this be bad for the asthma?

Anything I haven't considered? (I'll look at insurance separately - this is a big issue too as I've been in hospital quite recently)

Sorry for all the questions - I really really want to go and be able to conquer my fear but I also want to be sensible with regards the asthma.

6 Replies

  • hi

    this will also be good for me to read and glad of any info xxx

    ps-flying realy scares me and Im physicaly sick when look up and see one fly over.

    we always go by coach.dont know if ever get over it.

    I went to an airport and we went on to balcony to see plains take off and land but

    was to bad and shakey.

    Hope one day be brave and get over a realy scary fear of plaines xxx

  • Hi

    I have always been terrified of flying but 3 years ago it was a choice of flying or a shortened honeymoon to Italy. My hubby to be booked me on a fear of flying course and I was convinced there was no way I would complete the course and fly that day. How wrong could I have been at the end of the day I happily got on the plane and we went on a trip along the south coast and since then I have flown to Italy, Futureventura and the Dominician Republic. We are planning a holiday to Egypt with extra flights to Ciaro and Petra this year and this is from a 49 year old who was convinced she would never fly. The courses aren't cheap but are worth it if you really want/need to fly and need peace of mind, google and see what is available as these courses are well worth the money. Dealing with your asthma issues is altogether different and I'm sure someone will come along and help you with these.

    I hope you manage to acheive your goals.


  • I can't give advice on the fear bit- but flying with asthma I can. I would first discuss it with your consultant- i.e. do they think it is safe for you to fly? and is it safe for you to go abroad (for me the answer is no, due to having atypical difficult asthma and an ever growing list of food allergies (anaphylaxis) and cross-reactivity issues).

    The airline might require a fit to fly certificate -particularly if you are nebbing on board. Your will also need a Drs letter for the liquid medicines and epi-pens. Also on a flight to Australia consider the lack of plug sockets! In addition to your list of meds and personal action plan you will need to find out what the drugs are marketed as in the country you are going to! Also their experience in managing severe asthma- i.e if your asthma requires the management of a tertiary referral centre here- can you risk turning up at some hospital abroad?

    Insurance might also be really expensive! particularly if you have been in ITU - I think the question is often have you ever been in ITU! so it never leaves your record.

  • Im terrified of flying but went to Lanzarote with my family last year (5 hour flight)My Son needs a weeks warm Sunshine in Autumn to survive winter, he had been very ill with swine flu and knew he wouldnt survive winter without it, and such a cold one! (did this 7 years ago and had fab winter). I had nightmares every night before going. I kept all my meds on hand for the flight (including neb)The worse bit is taking off and landing, middle bit I can handle just!I had a severe attack on taking off and another on landing and shook from all the ventolin needed. But what a fantastic holiday, just so fab and relaxing, so so worth the hell to get there, went through the same ordeal coming back. My severely asthmatic Son was fine because he took inhaler just before we flew, just to make sure (his idea,are you smarter than a 10 year old? well next time I will be). Take care and hope you manage to fly, we are deciding where to go this year, can't wait as I know I'll have to fly but it's worth it, my Son has only been on 1 lot of steroids since November, quite a miracle if you knew him.

  • Thanks for these replies, they're really helpful and I have lots to consider. I'm going to talk to my doc and consultant first to see if they'll let me go, then look at whether I can get insurance (had to laugh at an insurance company supposedly for medical conditions that says it covers asthma so long as you only have 2 different meds ... erm, I have a few more than that!!).

  • yeah forgot about insurance, we had to cough up as we have 3 asthmatics (2 on more than 2 inhalers) and a hubby with crohns,one company quoted is £583, ha ha, got it a lot lot cheaper, just shop around, took me 7hours yawn yawn but worth it.

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