How flying seriously messes with your mind

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How flying seriously messes with your mind
With the tiny screen bouncing around in front of us, tinny sound quality and frequent interruptions, watching a movie during a flight is hardly an immersive experience. Yet, frequent fliers may have found themselves - or at least witnessed others - welling up at the most innocuous of films while on a long airline journey.


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Flying Changes our Mind and Body

Flying Changes our Mind and Body

Taking a flight creates physical and emotional changes in us, something that is now being more extensively researched. Air travel can change our mood, make us emotionally weak (more cryi...


Flight Effects on Passengers

While we are on a flight, there are plenty of changes that we can experience:

  • Change in brain chemistry and memory due to the deficiency in oxygen.
  • Cognitive deficits i...


The Anxious Flight Passenger

Mood swings, along with general anxiety or nervousness are common among flight passengers.

  • Less oxygen can increase the effects of alcohol and the overall anxiety. These factors contribu...


Changes in The Immune System

Lower air pressure causes changes in the immune system of the passengers, which can lead to an increase in inflammations, which is linked to depression. This also makes them vulnerable to infection...



Social Distancing In Planes

Social Distancing In Planes

As social distancing measures need to be implemented due to the 2020 pandemic and its causes, airlines are examining how this will be impacting flying, once the travel restrictions are eased.

Eliminating The Middle Seat

Current guidelines make a good case of eliminating the not-so-favorite middle seat. It was always the least favorite, with no real benefits, unless you’re one of those people who strikes up conversations with their seatmates.

This elimination may be required in the short-term. Airlines are checking on how feasible it is, and whether they can be profitable by flying with a lesser load of passengers, who are slightly farther from each other, but not as much as the distance recommended by WHO, which is two meters (or 6 feet).

Other Measures

  • Having fewer passengers is feasible with the current load factor, but is not a complete solution.
  • Airlines can try out other measures to make travel safer in these unprecedented times, like improved cabin air circulation, better pre-flight screening, cabin sanitizing, masks, and smart seat assignments. One can also look at how the passengers are boarded in the aircraft.
  • Some steps planned are reduced interaction with the flight attendants, with alterations in the way food and beverages are served.

Planes On The Ground

Planes On The Ground

March 2020 was supposed to see around 180000 total fights taking off per day from across the world, but due to the lockdown, airports are eerily quiet.

Apart from the job losses in th...

Always In The Air

Due to space constraints, most airplanes, especially the large ones, were kept in the air almost all the time, only to land for getting the passengers (and cargo) in or out, refueling and cleaning.

Planes are supposed to operate efficiently and with greater reliability if they are used frequently, and not when they are parked.

Parking The Planes

  • Dedicated Parking Spots: Some companies use special aircraft storage premises called ‘desert boneyards’. Some companies are using airport hubs, which have ample spaces for parking.
  • Runway Parking: EasyJet has grounded almost all of their fleet and as it already has a dispersed hub structure, is parking the planes across 30 airports. Lufthansa and others have parked their planes in the now unused runways.

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Near-death experiences (NDEs)

Near-death experiences (NDEs)

NDEs are triggered during a life-threatening situation when the body is injured by blunt trauma, e.g., a heart attack or shock.

Many survivors tell of leaving their damaged...

Negative NDEs experiences

Not all NDEs are positive - some can be frightening, with intense terror, anguish, loneliness, and despair. Distressing NDEs are underreported because of shame, social stigma, and pressure to conform to the positive NDEs.

A close encounter with death reminds us of the fragility of life and can reveal the layers of psychological suppression that prevents us from these uncomfortable thoughts.

The NDE phenomenon

A 2017 study found that NDEs were recalled with greater clarity and detail than either real or imagined situations were. In other words, NDEs were remembered as being more real than life itself.

NDEs are no more likely to occur in devout believers than in secular or nonpracticing subjects.

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