The following information contains tips to promote wellness during air travel, in an effort to make your travel plans as safe and as comfortable as possible.
Is a sudden loss of consciousness caused by a decrease in blood pressure that can be exacerbated by a combination of events during air travel. Sitting for long periods, anxiety during air travel, alcohol consumption, and warm crowded environments can all trigger fainting. Some people feel nauseated or sweaty before fainting.
How to prevent fainting during your flight:
Try not to stand up too fast from the sitting position
Try deep breathing relaxation exercises if you are feeling anxious or try closing your eyes and listening to soft music or sounds
Stay hydrated and avoid or limit consumption of alcoholic and caffeinated beverages
Dress in light layers so you can remove a layer if you are feeling warm
If you have a history of fainting, please consult with your physician before air travel to discuss ways to decrease your chances of fainting
Changes in our body’s sense of equilibrium result in motion sickness. During air travel, our eyes recognize motion is occurring however, our bodies may remain stagnant thus causing our brain to lose our sense of equilibrium. Events such as turbulence can also move the inner ear fluid, this can cause or worsen symptoms of dizziness, nausea, fatigue associated with motion sickness.
To help prevent or cope with these symptoms consider the following:
Looking at the window/horizon to regain your sense of balance
Close your eyes
Consult with your physician to determine if any medications would be appropriate for your flight
The cabin environment has reduced humidity, this can result in our throats, eyes, and nose to feel dry or irritated. Drinking plenty of water and opting to wear eyeglasses instead of contact lenses can help with the dryness of the cabin environment.
To prevent sitting for an extended period, move your legs every hour for 3-5 minutes. This can include getting up to walk down the aisles when it is safe to do so, wiggling toes, rotating ankles, bringing your knees to your chest one leg at a time. Additionally, consider wearing loose clothing and comfortable shoes. Some individuals may benefit from the use of compression stockings.
The cabin environment has decreased oxygen at altitude, therefore less oxygen that can be absorbed by blood, those travelers with compromised health conditions involving their circulatory or respiratory systems cannot tolerate this decreased level of oxygen. These individuals must consult with their physician well in advance planned air travel to understand if there is a need for supplementary oxygen on board and how to obtain a personal oxygen concentrator.
To learn more information about oxygen needs, click here.
If your condition causes sensitivity to noise, and stimulation, and/or is worsened by dealing with the unknown, you may want to consider taking a small trip to the airport prior to your flight departure to familiarize yourself with the environment and where you need to go. Familiarize yourself with quiet rest places that may help you if you become stressed or anxious in the new and busy environment and need some time between flights to get away from the stimulation. However, you will not be allowed past the security screening area and, due to security concerns, pre-boarding of the aircraft is not permitted outside the date/time of departure.
Use noise-cancelling headphones or soothing music on your flight. You should be aware that if you are boarding the aircraft at a ground loading airport where you are required to walk on the tarmac/ramp, that headphones are not permitted and absolutely no exceptions can or will be granted to allow headphones to be worn on the ramp.
Pack your favorite snacks and have them accessible to you in the cabin to act as a distraction if you are prone to being agitated or anxious. Food items, like all items, must meet restrictions for security screening. You can find more information on the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority website at: https://www.catsa.gc.ca/liquids-food-personal-items. Please keep in mind that in rare cases, if you are bringing a snack with peanuts or nuts of another sort, you may be asked to refrain from consuming them if there is a guest with a peanut/nut allergy nearby.
If you have boarded the flight but it has not yet departed and you feel extremely unwell and that travel is not going to be an option, please advise a cabin crew member. We strongly suggest that if this is a concern that you consider purchasing trip cancellation/travel insurance or check whether the credit card you will use to purchase your flight offers this as a benefit. If you have or plan to purchase insurance, please review the terms and conditions of the coverage carefully to ensure that you will have the required protection for this event. Be sure to familiarize yourself with the cancellation fees for your flight.
Ensure the medications that you are taking with you are legal in the country you are travelling to including countries where you will have a layover in. If a medication that you are prescribed is illegal in a country you are travelling to, consult with your physician to see if there is an alternative. Carry a list of your medications and/or always carry your medications in their bottles professionally labelled by the pharmacy. There is even more detailed information regarding travelling with medication or medical equipment on our website.
If you have a medical condition which may cause problems for you in flight or can be worsened by air travel, we recommend you review your plans and this information with your physician to ensure you are safe to fly before confirming your travel. Additionally, it may be necessary to consult with our health professionals at the Medical Desk to ensure that you have a safe and comfortable flight.
Information on Immunization, medication and public health messages from the Canadian Government can be found at: Travel.gc.ca - Home