Flying - will it make me worse?

I am suffering from really bad vertigo and sickness at the minute. Am taking Stemetil & Betahistine and have improved slightly over the last week - the weekend was terrible and I spent most of it either throwing up or lying down. I am due to go on holiday on 7 June and wonder if anyone knows if the aeroplane will make me feel worse. I will use decongestant sprays and have asked my GP today - he said it might and that I should ask the airline for wheelchair assistance. I feel bad about this - does anyone have any experience of what the flight might do or not do? I am flying from East Midlands airport to Lamzarote and feel I can’t cancel as my husband has not had a holiday for so long and does so much to help me…I was only recently told that I probably have MS due to vision problems. Since I was told everything seems to be going wrong. Any advice would be very welcome



Flying for me has always been an issue-nausea and extra sensitive to any changes in altitude. I take Domperidone with desired effect.

A few years ago I went up in a small plane (as part of my birthday) and the result was mad! Both hands/arms curled up and I lost power completely-legs started to go and I had to be dragged along the wing before getting me back onto the ground.

HOWEVER…a ‘big’ normal plane has altitude issues sorted and have never experience anything like that in a normal plane.

Perhaps a sickness tablet that does make u sleep would be beneficial?

I wouldnt let it put me off going on holiday-go and have a brill time depsite any challenges you have to overcome to do so.

Ellie x

Thanks Ellie I am only worried as I haven’t had this vertigo thing until recently and I was so ill over the weekend I didn;t know where to turn. I do feel a little better today but am still wobbling all over the place instead of walking in a straight line! When I spoke to my Gp on the phone today about some tests I had recently he suggested telling the airline to provide wheelchair assistance- I have already booked and paid for our seats with Jet2 on row 7 of the plane - same seats going and also coming back. I am a bit worried about it though in case it makes me worse. Thanks for your reply and I will post here after the flight as it might help someone else with the same worry. MARY


I have SPMS, mobility, balance issues and double vision. Flown lots and lots of times and personally I have not had any ill effects.

Tell airline you are disabled, go onto internet site and tick box showing your level of disabiliity or try phoning them up. At departures remind the check-in desk that you are disabled. Tell them if you need a wheel chair at this end or the other end. If in doubt say ‘Yes’ You will hang around in disabled rea and then whizzed straight thrrough to the airplane. Its a doddle.

Being disabled is not a problem, airport staff are used to it. If in doubt use it. I found it invaluable when I flew from Gatwick., Luton, East Midlands and Heathrow. Europe is good but never been to Lanzarote

Hi sorry you are not good at the moment.

One of the main symptoms I have due to the MS and a second conditon called BPPV is an ongoing balance problem. Most of my relapses have always effected me with virtigo etc and as you know it is a horrible time when it hits you. (I use a walking stick on a daily basis).

I have never flown very close to recovering from a relapse, but when I’ve felt up to it I have flown on numerous occassions in the past. Infact I hope to go to Madeira in August and fingers crossed my head will be ok before hand as I had a really bad year last year, but have improved since changing medication.

Each time I have been away I feel ok during the actual flight, so long as I remain seated and it has never brought on a relapse or serious problems. However, If I have to go to the loo, I really have to concentrate as it does feel as tho the floor is moving a little, but its not too bad. The time when I feel it the most is once the plane has landed and I walk off the plane onto the ramp. Its at this point that I have to stand still holding on to my hubby for a good 5mins or more just to get my head back to ‘normal’. But again once you get your land legs back the symptoms pass. It doesn’t put me off going.

Hope this helps???

All the best to you - Equus

Travelling by aircraft seems a daunting experience for anyone Disabled in wheelchair or not, but in reality it isn’t it can be a seamless experience as you are helped every step of the way, (that’s not meant as a pun).

I worked for British Airways for 26 years, as such travelled to many parts of the World. In fact in 1988 I travelled twice around the World, some 48,000 miles in 5 days on aircraft, sponsored for Charity. Not something I would recommend but shows you it is possible.

Stick to these guidelines and you will really enjoy the experience. First on booking your flight tell them you would like assistance from check-in to the gate. This could be a wheelchair with someone pushing or a lift on a Golf type buggy. The gate could be over one mile away so don’t think your doing any favour’s by not asking for help. The aircraft has a certain slot for take off, if you are late because of walking difficulties, THE AIRCRAFT HAS TO GO without you, otherwise it costs mega bucks.

If you have problems walking down the isle when you get aircraft side, no problem, quite a few aircraft now have small wheelchairs especially to take people up and down the isle. If you can’t walk whatsoever, no problem, tell them and facilities will be put in place from check-in to take you to the aircraft by ambulance, high lift you to the aircraft and trained medical staff to lift you in the seat. The golden rule here is ‘tell them.’

With some airlines you can pre-book your seat. If so get one that has more leg room and near the toilets, probably a bulkhead seat. The Civil Aviation Authority has made a ruling that no Disabled person can have a seat by an Emergency Exit for obvious reasons.

If for some reason you get to your destination and your wheelchair is missing or worse still damaged it is the airlines, or should I say good airlines signed up to something called the Haig Protocol to restore or repair your chair, see the airlines staff.

I remember I went to San Diego from Gatwick once and they left my chair behind. I was in a rush had to go down to Tijuana and the only one they had to loan me had a large sign above my head saying ‘AVIS Rent a Car.’ The times I was stopped in my Hotel by people saying “hey fella, where can I get a car.”### ### Have a good time, don’t worry as far as flying is concerned your husband will be looked after.

Equipment used for his disability eg wheelchairs; crutches travel free. I have no idea if this extends to a travel kit but I would think they were being rather pedantic if they charged; mind you I would be very careful with so called ‘budget airlines.’ Give you airline a ring to clarify.

Don’t forget your EHIC card

With your vertigo problems I suggest you ring the airline and ask for advice on this matter; it can be very serious. Not for the aircraft; I couldn’t care less if it had to land somewhere other than your desination because you were ill. You do not want to start your holiday feeling bad; ask at 001 800 778 4838 TELEPHONE NUMBER in the USA### George