Every time I am about to board a jet plane (your standard Boeing 737 for example) I am hit with instant debilitating nausea while inside the boarding ramp. (That enclosure that connects the aircraft with the terminal.) I believe it has something to do with the air inside the plane since it only hits once I can smell that distinct odor that the inside of jet aircraft have.

This extreme unpleasantness lasts for about 20 minutes upon boarding and gradually decreases. For the rest of the flight I am fine although occasionally I will get small hints of it.

I have flown single engine prop aircraft (Cessna 172) and this never happens around them.

If anyone knows what this is and how I can stop it I would be eternally grateful. It has made traveling by plane extremely unpleasant.

  • 3
    umu.diva-portal.org/smash/… Apr 4, 2016 at 20:48
  • @CountIblis haha I'm not the only one. :D
    – codedude
    Apr 4, 2016 at 23:26
  • Jet fuel is very similar to kerosene. Do you get the same nausea around a burning kerosene lamp? Apr 5, 2016 at 17:42
  • I feel as though this is bordering the line between educational and professional medical advice. That being said I'd try what Jack said. Kerosene, and other fuels, can cause nausea for people when it's too concentrated in the air. As long as you aren't also experiencing chest pains and/or stomach pains you should be fine. The smell may also be from the smell of the cleaner they use to clean the aircraft. Though don't quote me on that.
    – FrankyG
    Apr 6, 2016 at 3:33
  • @JackSwayzeSr I'm not sure where I could go to be around a kerosene lamp but I've certainly never had the same feeling around anything over than jet aircraft.
    – codedude
    Apr 7, 2016 at 20:33

1 Answer 1


It sounds as though you're developing a conditioned response or allergy to some smell of the aircraft insides. Insecticides are used in some international flights but this is prior to disembarkation, and should have cleared by the time you embark. If it's linked to a particular airline, it may be the air freshener they use, and as your flight proceeds, the internal air recirculation systems scrub the air of it. So, you could ask the airlines if they all use a particular product.

Perhaps you could try some nasal filters with activated charcoal to scrub the air for you to see if it helps in that first 20 minutes.

  • It's with all airlines. The effect is no different. I'll do some research on the air fresheners they use. Thanks.
    – codedude
    Apr 11, 2016 at 3:08

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