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Hi,

It's been a while since I've posted. I've generally been relatively stable for a couple years now. I'm planning to fly to Europe this summer for work and play, and have some concerns about the transatlantic flight. I've flown up to 4.5 hours without too many problems-- some issues during take off and landing, mild tachycardia at altitude, and just feeling a little drunk. But nothing that was serious or that didn't resolve relatively quickly. I'm a little concerned about the longer time in the air, as I know some of you are okay for short flights, and less as the flight lengthens.

Here are my choices. I could try to break the flight up, by stopping over in Iceland. That would give me five hours in the air for the first stretch, and about three for the second. The downside is that even if I upgrade to business class, the seats on Iceland air do not really recline.

Another possiblity is to just go for the Chicago to London flight- eight hours? I can probably find a way to upgrade to business and recline.

So here's the question, am I better off with a shorter flight not reclining, or a longer flight, where I can recline? I just really don't want any mid-flight pots crises.

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Rama-

Before all of your symptoms did you ever dive/scuba dive? I didn't know I had POTS, went diving and it really Exacerbated my symptoms. As for flying, they haven't cleared me to fly yet.

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What gets me is the takeoff and the landing. I always prefer nonstop direct flights whenever I can get them, b/c I haven't found the longer flights to be any worse than the shorter ones. I've done several 6/7 hr flights and one R/T 12 hr flight to Hawaii. Any backlash for me usually happens only once I land (I may feel tired or dizzy for a day or two), so I like to just get the flight over with and get to a place where I can rest, load up on fluids, meds, etc. I guess it depends upon whether you get sick in flight or after. I'm sure you'll do great either way. Enjoy!

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I don't have a problem with flying so I would try the long haul option. I have been concerned in the past since clearly there is no option to get off(!) and have gradually increased the flight times over the years to see how I got on. It has not been a problem for me and I tested it to the limit a couple of years ago when I flew to NZ with only a brief break at Singapore. I don't enjoy sitting bolt upright, but it is doable and I find I recover quickly once I am off the plane and walking around. Like Yogini, I don't get any worse on a long haul flight than short haul; it is just more of the same.

If you don't feel comfortable with it, I think I would break at Boston and then it's only 6.5 hours to Heathrow and you can fly with the major airlines.

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I think some of the people on here had said that international flights are pressurized better. (Someone on here can look up and write in the exact specifications just because I'm too tired right now). I really can't fly without risking my life. I need oxygen most of the time in the air and I can only get it in an emergency on a flight. If I collapsed without being able to get oxygen because the flight didn't have it available, the next trip I'd be taking after the flight would be six feet under ... I think many doctors addressing this issue would point out that then I'd never have to fly again and the pressure underground would be better -- but I think it takes very specialized medical training to understand that.

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