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How to Avoid Being a Member of the “Mile Cry Club”

How to Avoid Being a Member of the “Mile Cry Club”
Jackie Reddy

The “Mile Cry Club” is a phenomenon that wreaks havoc with passengers’ emotional states. As clinical psychologist Jodi De Luca, Ph.D., explains, it has roots in the physical responses of passengers to the cabin environment. During these emotional events, puzzles, games and food can be used as distractions.

It’s well-known that the cabin can wreak havoc on the body, but as The Washington Post reports via The South China Morning Post, air travel can also do a number on a passenger’s emotions.

The outlet reports that some scientific research has been undertaken into this phenomenon, often referred to as the “Mile Cry Club.” According to clinical psychologist Jodi De Luca, Ph.D., a perceived lack of control might cause travelers to feel anxious, which in turn signals the brain to produce a stress hormone.

This then results in physiological symptoms such as increased heart rate and faster breathing.

Further explaining, De Luca adds, “It’s not just psychological or emotional, it’s also a physical and physiological event. It’s never any one variable. And that’s important,” she says.

We are cognitively, psychologically, emotionally [compromised], and now we’re physiologically compromised. The set-up is perfect for an emotional vulnerability,” she added.

The emotional turmoil that many travelers find themselves experiencing is enhanced by physical factors like fatigue, dehydration and high altitude. De Luca says that “Part of that is because we are limited with regard to the regulation of our emotions in an already compromised environment.”

But for those looking for some relief, De Luca offers an array of coping mechanisms. She says that puzzles, video games and even food can be a bulwark against instability.

Do things to make that environment, as much as you possibly can, comfortable, “ she adds.

[Featured Image: Shutterstock]

View Comments (2)


  1. Asknorm

    July 3, 2019 at 11:11 am

    Interesting, now I understand why I only cry on planes. As ridiculous as that sounds it seems to be the only place where it happens. Based on the reasons why it now makes sense. I thought it was just a reflection of life at the time or some silly scene from a movie that connected. Nope, it was the altitude and just being tired.

  2. kkua

    August 3, 2019 at 9:45 am

    Now I understand why I am easily tear jerked watching emotional dramas inflight.

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