Super Safi’s Monday Morning Musings 114 – Aerophobia

Morning Musically-Minded, Medically-Minded, Masticators!

(Today’s post is sponsored by the letter “M”)


Over the past 600+ episodes, The Simpsons has taken us on an amazing journey involving music, science, and food to name a few concepts.

And what better way to start your week, than by discussing some of these concepts Monday morning?

So let’s get started this week by talking about a common fear.


In the one hundredth and fourteenth episode of The Simpsons, Fear of Flying (Season 06, Episode 11), when Homer is kicked out of Moe’s Tavern, he goes on a long search to find a new bar. Eventually he ends up at a pilot bar and is mistaken for a pilot.

When Homer causes an accident, to avoid bad press, the company offers the Simpsons fear flight to anywhere in the United States, except the freak states – Alaska and Hawaii.

But when they get on the plane, Marge admits she has a fear of flying and begins exhibiting multiple signs and symptoms.

Eventually they are taken off the plane and miss out on the vacation. Finding her symptoms persisting, the family takes Marge to a psychiatrist.

They discuss a few potential childhood repressed memories that may be contributing to Marge’s fear of flying.

But have you ever wondered what the fear of flying is?




According to the Cleaveland Clinic, Aerophobia is a fear of flying. It’s very common, affecting more than 25 million adults in USA.

People with aerophobia may be scared about different aspects of flying, such as take-off, landing or getting locked in the plane. You might know that your fear is irrational — statistics show that air travel has the lowest death rates among other forms of transportation — but you can’t reason your way out of the anxiety. Another name for this condition is aviophobia.

Aerophobia is most common in people between the ages of 17 and 34. This is a time in life when significant changes occur, such as graduation, marriage or childbirth. People may be scared that flying jeopardizes their life at such an important time. It’s possible for someone to fly without anxiety for years, and then develop aerophobia.

It’s also possible for people with aerophobia to have panic attacks before or during a flight. Symptoms may include:

Dizziness and lightheadedness.
Excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis).
Heart palpitations.
Shortness of breath (dyspnea).
Trembling or shaking.
Upset stomach or indigestion (dyspepsia).

Many people can work on overcoming their fear of flying with psychotherapy. Your healthcare provider may recommend:

1) Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): CBT focuses on helping you change the way you think about flying. It might include learning about how planes work, or reviewing safety statistics for air travel versus other forms of travel. Your therapist can also teach you techniques to manage certain triggers. For example, deep breathing or meditation during take-off, landing or turbulence can reduce your symptoms of anxiety. You can also learn to “talk back” to negative thoughts about flying when they arise.

2) Exposure therapy: This type of therapy gradually exposes you to places, thoughts or situations that relate to air travel. You may visit an airport and watch planes arrive and depart. Virtual reality tools, such as computer simulations of flights, can also help you overcome your fear of flying.
Psychotherapy may be one-on-one with a therapist or in a group setting. Some cities in the U.S. have group therapy programs at airports that include a “graduation flight” at the end of the treatment program.

Medication isn’t very effective for the long-term management of aerophobia or other specific phobic disorders. But if you have to fly and worry about having a panic attack, your healthcare provider may recommend anti-anxiety drugs on an as-needed basis.



Now that we’ve learned more about aerophobia courtesy Cleveland Clinic, be sure to come back next week when we continue our Monday morning musings with the next episode of The Simpsons.

Did you remember this episode? Have you ever been on a plane? Do you have a fear of flying or know somebody who does? Do you have any other phobias? What’s your favourite Simpsons phobia reference? What about your favourite Simpsons Marge-centric episode? Sound off in the comments below. You know we love hearing from you.

5 responses to “Super Safi’s Monday Morning Musings 114 – Aerophobia

  1. Still waiting to see Marge,s dad enter the game

  2. 🌈🌠Asked my iPhone, “surely I don’t need an umbrella today?”…Siri replied “yes, and don’t call me Shirley”.
    …Turned out I had left Airplane mode on.👌🏽

  3. I’m not in the least bit afraid of flying, even though my all-time favourite album is “Captain Lockheed and the Starfighters”, by Robert Calvert (with most of Hawkwind at the time as the backing band!)

    My favourite line –

    (In a fake German Officers accent)

    “Anybody want to buy a Starfighter? Then buy an acre of ground, and wait!”

  4. I don’t fly at all, but not because of aerophobia. My problem is Acrophobia. No infact I have an odd obsession with planes, plane history, I’ve gone to the Evergreen Museum in McMinnville Oregon at least 3 times (highly recommend if you get the chance) and I’ve been to 3 air shows.2 of which I got to see the planes close up…One of those shows I got to see that B24 Bomber ‘Nine-O-Nine’ that tragic for many families a few months later crashed and burned up in Connecticut.

    My Acrophobia stems from a nasty.accident when I was 9 or 10, I fell head first from the high end (6+ feet) from a teeter totter. I was lucky in that my family, and a couple Paramedics were nearby and saw me go down…I only remember seeing blue and then green, then a whole lot of fuzzy blue, then waking up in a different place in A LOT of pain…Paramedics told my family that the way I landed (apparently head/neck first with full body weight on top) I was very.lucky to be alive, or without a broken neck.

    Ever since that day I’ve had massive Acrophobia…can barely do step ladders… And I’ve been to PDX twice to drop people off, and when I see the planes on the tarmac I get severely nauseous. I’ve had people tell me ‘it doesn’t even feel like you’re 36,000 feet up there..’ My response: “ok? But mentally I KNOW I am 36,000 feet up, and that’s a hard no…”

    So yeah… No. Lots of places of love to visit…but no planes…

  5. I’m not afraid of flying…..I’m afraid of crashing!

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