Fear of Flying over Water

Fear of Flying over Water

Fear of flying over water? What can be the possible cure or how to tackle the phobia? To all queries, let’s find the solution in a detailed insight handy guide to overcome your fear!

Long-haul journeys or flying in a transatlantic flight brings exciting experiences and a new journey to explore, but it also brings some issues to tackle. Like having a fear of flying over water bodies? Or simply Thalassophobia? No worries! Let’s handle it together! Aviophobia or Thalassophobia is among the most common ones that many of you might experience during a flight over water. 

Multiple reasons can reside behind your fear of flying, and based on incidents, facts, turbulence, anxiety, or other phobias can provoke the fear anytime over flight time. You can’t miss a flight, but overcoming the fear and tackling the situation can be discussed. So what do you think will you be able to handle your anxiety? 

To help you, we have shared a detailed guide with real-life facts, queries, solutions, and tips for reducing phobia up to a limit. 

Fear of Flying over Water? Easy Fix

On average, almost 40% of the flyers must deal with common Aviophobia, and 16% confessed the fear. Most of them might fear flying, specifically when a flight is over large water bodies like lakes and oceans. The fear can be normal anxiety or, by nature, phobia provoking the flyer with panic behavior. So what to do at that time? Remain calm and divert your mind, imagine your dream spots and all your plans, always ensure the window seat and keep a safe sedative to combat uncontrolled anxiety helping in a sudden emergency. To know more, follow the guide, say goodbye to your fear, and enjoy a safe journey!

Flying Phobia- Explained!!!

Phobia is” moderate to severe irrational fear over objects and situation leading to a stressful state.” In terms of Flying Phobia, you might observe multiple phobias the user experience, like in the case of Thalassophobia, fear of water bodies, Acrophobia, fear of height, Aviophobia, and fear of flight, or a combo of each. 

According to the American Psychiatric Association, 2000, Aviophobia refers to “Flying Phobia,” where the flyers may experience sudden anxiety, high heart rate, or may experience gastrointestinal upset based on the severity of the phobia, leading to severe fear. 

Our brain senses fearful conditions and stimuli with the help of a prime center called “Amygdala,” which lies in the brain’s Medial Temporal Lobe. When the person experiences phobia, it stimulates the Amygdala, leading to the activation of fear and stress behaviors. Upon MRI with phobia-stimuli, Amygdala showed hyperactivation in that condition. 

According to recent research, phobias can be clinical or sub-clinical based on their nature and frequently occur in the presence of a stimulus. Past trauma, stress, behavior towards a particular stimulus, and even genetics play a role in desiring phobias. 

Symptoms of Flying Phobias

Fear of flying over oceans and seas seems to be a combo of Aviophobia and Thalassophobia that can trigger symptoms you need to tackle. The most common signs and symptoms that most flyers having these phobias experience include:

  • Tachycardia (Increased Heart Rate)
  • Dyspnea (Shortness Of Breath)
  • Excessive sweating and fear
  • Shaking or chills
  • Nausea or vomiting 
  • Dizziness
  • Irritable behaviors 
  • Dyspepsia (Gastro Intestinal Upset)
  • Anxiety or panic attacks

Practical Tips, solutions, and therapies- Combatting Flying Phobia over Water.

It is not easy to tackle flight fear over water, but you can reduce it to a minimum with therapies, tips, and solutions. 


  • First, close the shade of your window and don’t look down over the window. 
  • Always indulge your mind in some practical activities; forget about the overwater or Ocean; your job is to enjoy the music or entertainment. 
  • Go for a book reading or something interesting you wish you like and don’t bother about your surroundings.  
  • When you feel turbulence, fasten your belt and continuously divert your mind to evacuate the fear out of your mind. 
  • You control your body, so try to keep relaxed and calm and communicate well with the neighbor passenger. 
  • Trust the pilot, and no plane will fall directly into the Ocean!

So much fear? Or are other methods just a waste of time? 

  • In that case, you have a Fearless Flight Harmonizer, an audio tool for distracting the user’s mind to help him to get rid of the flight fear over and help you complete a fear-free journey.

One Day Course 

Nowadays, you can take a fear-relieving course before having your journey that can be helpful. A single-day period is provided to the flyers making them learn fear combatting skills and self-calmness over anxiolytic conditions. 

CBT Therapy

Changing human behavior and tackling their phobias of flight over water can be best handled with cognitive behavioral therapy CBT, which changes the user’s perspective towards fearful events or things. This therapy has a long-term positive consequence on the user’s behavior and helps them tackle it calmly. Having a phobia can quickly try out CBT courses to help you eliminate your overwater flight phobia or any other phobias you desire to limit.

How to Tackle Turbulence Fear While Flying over Water? 

If you are more fearful of turbulence while flying over large water bodies, we have some cure that would help out from the fear state. Naturally, a 37000 feet high flight with severe turbulence can make you a bit nervous, but with easy fixes, you can tackle the issue.

Hold Firm 

While flying over the Ocean of the sea, suddenly, if you feel turbulence, you first need to hold something very tightly and then accordingly find out the cause. Mostly it is expected because of the change in airflow or the under plane air pressure that generates turbulence. 

Fasten Seat Belts

During turbulence, overcome the fear by securing yourself. That is only possible either by holding something substantial or quickly getting your seatbelt to fasten, reducing any damage or injury in case of high turbulence. 

Recall the Facts 

Thinking the plane is about to crash? No, it’s not the case. So don’t worry; this turbulence is only because of certain natural factors like airflow change. Over the past 50 years, no such case reports noted that plane crash was because by turbulence. Beyond the time, a single incident happened, but that was a collective cause along with many other factors. 

Trust the Pilot 

Remember that your pilot is a well-trained higher expert professional, so all you need is to calm down and let the pilot handle it perfectly.

Breath Exercises 

If you are too curious about turbulence, you can take high breaths that keep your parasympathetic nervous system active and all the body functions efficiently. In case none of these is helpful, you can try to divert your mind but keep in mind that securing yourself is the prime and essential factor in case of turbulence.  

Front Seat Flyers 

People sitting in the front seats feel less turbulent because of far from the center of gravity, so always ensure that position can get rid of side effects of turbulence. All the tips will help you tackle turbulence and fear of flying over the water bodies. 

How is a Pilot Trained For Conquering Fear of Flying over Water

After all, the pilot is the one who would take the flight control, and a brave pilot can better handle it for that purpose; during the training, various designed simulations ensure the pilot can handle the situation. An old experienced pilot will find none of the issues, and gaining so much experience makes their bodies well adapted to tackling such cases. 

Can a Plane Land on a water body In Case Of an Emergency

In case of emergency conditions, pilots, without fearing the water body, can land the plane. Still, usually, it doesn’t seem rare, and plane ditching is somewhat risky when the Ocean or sea waves are abruptly changing. In such conditions, it is indispensable that the flyers be able to handle the panic and stress because the pilot tries its best to land it safely to save maximum lives.

Many successful cases of ditching get reported, but Ethiopian Airlines for the Boeing 767 remained unlucky because of forced plane ditching along with particular flyers’ death reports during an emergency landing on the sea. Being hijacked, and when fuel ended up, the aircraft landed at sea with only 50 alive out of 163. 

Which Ocean Is More Thalassophobic during the flight? 

Flight through the Atlantic and the Indian Ocean seem less fearful compared to the Pacific Ocean because of its high turbulent waves, storms, and long distance to cover. As you know, pilots are well trained, but still, if the alternate route is available, skipping the pacific Ocean seems a better option. Pacific is full of troubles and may cause the flight to suffer, and most of the flyers feel fear the most in such a situation. 

What’s The Best Sedative for Flight phobias?

Various methods and tips are discussed by which individual stress state gets normalized. Still, in case none of them affect the current condition or your phobia gets severe, we suggest keeping a safe sleeping pill as per physician advice before opting for the journey. A detailed discussion with an expert in sleep medicine concluded using some prime medications for overnight trips. If the journey is a few hours, do not use it but get some mind-diverting stuff to help you out.

You can try out;

  • Ambien (Zolpidem) – Sedative Hypnotic
  • Tylenol PM (Diphenhydramine) – Antihistamine Inducing Sleep 
  • Melatonin (Hormone) – Induce Sleep

Before using them, you need to know that each of them accompanies some side effects which need to get tackled, like Ambien may cause retrograde amnesia and sleepwalking. The Tylenol common side effect includes dry mouth so take enough water to avoid the symptom. 

For additional symptoms like nausea, vomiting, or dizziness, you can take Dimenhydrinate to ease the condition. 


Fear of flying over water phobia? 

Fear of flying over water bodies is sometimes a combination of phobias, mainly Thalassophobia, where the individual fears water bodies, and Aviophobia, fear of flight. Mostly Thalassophobia dominates when the plane has to fly over oceans and seas, leading to a fearful situation. 

What is the most dangerous Ocean to fly over?

The most dangerous Ocean where pilots mostly avoid flying is the Pacific Ocean because of its high tides, airflow change, and high turbulence causing fear and anxiety in the flyers. The Pacific Ocean is vast and unsafe and, in bad conditions, even more dangerous. 

Why do planes fly over water instead of land?

Planes usually favor curved paths or curved land routes compared to Straight path oceans, but if the land isn’t curved or well suited for the journey, the plane must divert the flight over water. But remember, the turbulence can interfere with the flight higher with water than land. 

Is it safer to fly over water or land?

Both are equally safe for the flight but in case of emergency, landing over water gets trickier than that land as they are non-compatible to land on water bodies. Because of ETOPS, the flight is well secured, keeping the plane not that far from the nearby landing port.  

Is it safe to fly over the Ocean? 

Yes, it is safe to fly over the Ocean, and thousands of flights take off daily over oceans and seas. Today’s Modern plane’s sophisticated design makes them better for a flight over water, and well-trained pilots better handle it. 


Fear of flying over water is considered Thalassophobia, and almost 10% of the flyers face it. While nearly 16% are confirmed cases of Aviophobia, reaching up to 40%. With this helpful guide, we have tried to summarize all the solutions for your queries to help you find the best solution with tips to handle the fear. Always fasten your seat belt and let your mind divert by indulging in some of your favorite stuff. Keep calm and reduce the phobia to enjoy nature’s worldwide large water bodies from an aero view.

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