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Man on a plane before getting motion sickness.

There are many different symptoms of plane sickness, and they can vary by age, gender, or if you are under the effect of a certain drug or substance. Plane Sickness refers to feeling dizzy and unwell during your flight. It can onset suddenly or gradually. Symptoms can last a few minutes, hours and rarely days.

Here we discuss the symptoms that occur when you suffer from Plane Sickness. You can also read about Why Do I Get Plane Sickness? to better understand the cause of the symptoms.

Why is Knowing the Symptoms of Plane Sickness Important?

You may be curious to know why they are feeling ill when travelling by plane. Understanding what the symptoms are can help you express what you are going through and find appropriate ways of preventing these episodes, or managing them once they appear.

Common Symptoms of Plane Sickness

Most people initially complain of stomach discomfort, also called stomach awareness. However some people can become sick and vomit without any warning! The symptoms of plane sickness vary from person to person but what they all have in common is that they are triggered by similar events. The list of symptoms does not mean you need to have all of them to consider you have plane sickness. Some symptoms may be more common for you than they are for someone else.

These are the most common symptoms of plane sickness [1] [2]:

  • Stomach Awareness or discomfort: you stomach feels unwell, it can become noisy or bloated. You are aware there is something wrong.
  • Nausea.
  • Vomiting.
  • Salivation.
  • Cold Sweats.
  • Pallor.
  • Drowsiness.
  • Headache.
  • Flushing / Hot Flushes.
  • Dizziness.
  • Blurry vision.
  • Desire to open your bowels, loss of appetite, burping.
  • Other: General discomfort, boredom, depression, faintness, or awareness of breathing.


  1. Grybiels Original Pensicola Diagnostic Criteria for Motion Sickness
  2. Kenedy’s Expanded Criteria (Motion Sickness / Simulator Sickness Questionaire)

Photo by Daniel McCullough on Unsplash

Next Review date: June 2024