Is Travelling Business Class More Quiet & Safer for Someone with Hyperacusis?

Discussion in 'Support' started by luckyme, Jun 17, 2021.

    1. luckyme

      luckyme Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      unsure
      Hi all, I have tinnitus & hyperacusis, I posted in here a while ago about going to my home country. I had planned that my life would have just ended there, I have cancer and I had hoped that without the treatments I would just peacefully die. How ironic that I can not even fulfill my death wish. However, the time has come and I must go back since I am fine physically and should really move forward with my life (can't wait for cancer to kill me all the time). This involves going back to the United States and taking a dreaded 16-hour flight.

      I did take the flight back in February and was mostly OK! But my hyperacusis is more severe now than it was before and I am worried I will have another permanent setback. Recovering from them is impossible as I only get worse after a setback and it is likely permanent. I would have wanted not to take the flight but I really have no option. I have to go back for my checkups and disability claims, which would all be denied if I stay here any longer.

      I wanted to know if Business Class is more quiet? Money is not an issue, I just worry about my health, more importantly my hyperacusis. I know Business Class will not have screaming babies and in general less people which is a plus. But I know they would have cutlery, which is an issue since I developed hyperacusis.

      Anyone here with any insight?

      I would be traveling by Qatar Airways.
       
      • Hug Hug x 4
    2. Deamon22

      Deamon22 Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Ambassador

      Location:
      Italy
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Head Trauma
      Hey @luckyme, first I am really sorry for your suffering and I really really hope you get better. It broke my heart reading your story. I hope that you will improve with more time.

      Now, I took a few flights since getting tinnitus, and the best combination for me was deeply inserted foam earplugs and noise cancelling Bose headphones (I have the old ones with cable). NC headphones are great for cancelling out the low drone of aircrafts.
      For me that was overkill since I don't have hyperacusis. But if you want to cut out as much noise as possible I would use that combination and travel Business Class to avoid other people or as you said children. Cutlery I think should only be plastic on flights if I remember correctly?

      But please keep in mind that I have no problem traveling, so of course for a severe hyperacusis sufferer that may be still not enough. But if you need to take the flight I think this is the best combination. You could also try out earmuffs and see if they work better than NC headphones.
       
    3. Loui

      Loui Member

      Location:
      Sweden
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      If money isn't a problem I would travel first-class. It's really quiet due to longer distance to the engines. I have traveled first class with Qatar once and it was very quiet and the service was great. You also get noise-canceling headphones that can be useful if you feel like it's not quiet enough. I have no experience flying in business class.
       
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    4. Julien87
      Not amused

      Julien87 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      France
      Tinnitus Since:
      2006
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure (concert)
      Hi luckyme, sorry to read about your cancer and severe hyperacusis.

      I don't know if travelling in Business Class would really be better. When I book a flight I always try to pick a seat that is not at the back (near the... engines ?) because I heard it's the loudest area of the cabin, but I am not sure there is really a difference noise wise between the Business Class and the first Economy seats.

      If money is not an issue, maybe you could consider buying two Economy seats so that no one seats right next to you. And if money is reaaally not an issue at all, you could book all the seats, haha :D Joking aside, good luck to you. I wish that this flight won't cause any issue, and more importantly, that you will recover.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    5. Lukee

      Lukee Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Ambassador

      Location:
      Toronto, Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Wim Hof Breathing Exercises
      Hey @luckyme, good to hear from you. I’m glad you are getting on with your life, you have already endured so much and are truly a fighter. I was once on a flight from Dubai to Toronto and it is a primary connection for families traveling from India. It was the worst flight of my life. It was made up of mostly young families with very young children. 14 hours of screaming, crying and kids running all over and even on top of me. Unfortunately, flight was completely booked and no Business Class was available. There was only a seat available on First Class and they wanted $34,000 so I opted for economy. Of course, this was before COVID-19 and before I got tinnitus so this would likely be different for me today.

      If you decide to travel Business Class you will get your own pod and the trip will be very quiet. If money is not an issue I would strongly suggest it. It is actually an enjoyable experience flying when you are doing it in business.

      Good luck.
       
    6. Juan

      Juan Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Several causes
      It would be more quiet to sit the closer to the cabin as possible. For that you do not need to book Business Class, just to be near the front of the plane. The rear part is the noisiest on a plane and the ride is more bumpy too.

      If you need hearing protection during the flight use earmuffs. Peltor makes good earmuffs. DO NOT use earplugs during the flight and specially during the descent.

      Good luck!
       
    7. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      luckyme

      luckyme Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      unsure
      Cutlery are not plastic for Business Class, as it is more high end. So I guess that is one downside of traveling Business Class, but yes it would be better than to be stuck next to screaming kids!
       
    8. Kriszti

      Kriszti Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2016/2017/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      There are earplugs specially for flights. I have not had experience with flying since tinnitus, but are they useless or even dangerous?
       
    9. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      luckyme

      luckyme Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      unsure
      Yes, but Business Class also means actual cutlery. So, I also dread plates clanking, although I don't think there are much people in the Business Class to produce that much clanking. I know other than that it would be nice and quiet!
       
    10. Mary97

      Mary97 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Accoustic trauma but diagnosed with otosclerosis
      Luckyme! So good to hear from you. Definitely splurge for Business Class if you can. But please, do everything in your power to sit as far away from the galley as possible! I am a flight attendant with tinnitus and hyperacusis and I am here to tell you that flight attendants can be the loudest people in the universe with their loud chit chat and slamming oven doors and cart doors! Just god awful loud...

      And definitely wear noise-cancelling headphones and earplugs. You'll be happy you did. Even the announcements at the airport always come over very loud.

      Keep us updated, I've been thinking of you and hoping for the best for you...
       
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    11. Julien87
      Not amused

      Julien87 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      France
      Tinnitus Since:
      2006
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure (concert)
      Why? I never had any problem with earplugs in more than 20 flights. It's not like it prevents Eustachian tubes from functioning properly :bored:
       
    12. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      luckyme

      luckyme Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      unsure
      Hi, thank you for all the suggestions... wow, flight attending with hyperacusis and tinnitus must take a lot!

      I am really thinking about getting Business Class as it is going to be a long flight and I don't want to be stuck with screaming children.

      That said, I know Business Class comes with real cutlery, plates and metal spoons etc. That stuff is also a nightmare for me, I don't how big the plates clanking will get in the cabin. Do you have any insight? Based on your experience.
       
    13. Damocles
      No Mood

      Damocles Member

      Location:
      London
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2009
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Cumulative Acoustic Trauma + Ear Infection
      If you can afford Business Class, get Business Class.

      Flying with tinnitus; in-front of the wings is always where you want to be.

      Also, regarding the cutlery and noise from other passengers etc. just bring (and wear) ear defenders.

      I don't know about long-haul; for me long-haul flights are a no-go, because of my Eustachian tube issues, but I have been on a two hour flight, and I wore my ear defenders for the whole of that, with absolutely no issues.
       
    14. kingsfan
      Mellow

      kingsfan Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Southern California
      Tinnitus Since:
      9-17-20 / 10-20-20 / 3-31-21 / 5-23-21
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      turning everything up to 11
      I think it's okay to wear them while you are at full ascent, just not during take off or descent. The inner ear can't equalize if the ear canal is sealed off.

      @luckyme, I agree. Get the Business Class seats and enjoy its luxuries. You are confident metal cutlery is used on planes? I think the best you could do it wear foam ear plugs with Peltor X5A muffs over them. I can't remember how much extra protection doubling gives you, but it's exponentially more. You could always get them, and try them out with some metal cutlery before your flight to see if it does the trick.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    15. twa
      Studious

      twa Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      US
      Tinnitus Since:
      2017- mild /Sept. 2020-moderate
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      meds/acoustic trauma
      @luckyme, I flew a lot before I had tinnitus/hyperacusis for work and personal travel. I had ear pain every time I flew so I got in the habit of buying EarPlanes before each flight. They seemed to relieve the pressure in my ears. I do not remember the plates or cutlery being loud in Business or First Class.
       
    16. Mary97

      Mary97 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Accoustic trauma but diagnosed with otosclerosis
      Luckyme, in general these days due to COVID-19, I believe that everything comes on a tray with your salad, entree, desert so as far as clanking cutlery etc., it shouldn't be too much of a problem for you I would think. But it's funny, I guess we all have different triggers. There are 100 things during the flight I want to micromanage and keep quiet, but plates and cutlery I never thought about. Just please please please if you can chose your seat from a plane diagram, stay away from the galleys, restrooms and of course engines.
       
    17. Juan

      Juan Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Several causes
      The differences in pressure are harder to compensate with earplugs on, your ears can get damaged, and it can be very painful.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    18. Julien87
      Not amused

      Julien87 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      France
      Tinnitus Since:
      2006
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure (concert)
    19. BuzzyBee
      Bookworm

      BuzzyBee Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Not Sure
      At first I was going to say Business Class, without question. However, you seem to have a real problem with cutlery. If you are wearing noise cancelling headphones in Business Class, it's possible the sound of cutlery will be amplified, as the headphones knock out a lot of droning noise. Since you are quite wealthy and money is no object, you might want to buy (as was suggested) multiple seats in the front of the plane a few rows back from Business Class.

      And honestly, a lot of this depends on what type of aircraft you are in.
       
    20. twa
      Studious

      twa Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      US
      Tinnitus Since:
      2017- mild /Sept. 2020-moderate
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      meds/acoustic trauma
      @luckyme,

      @Mary97 is a good resource as she is actively working as a flight attendant and has insight into the specifics of flying. Best to you as you fly home ~twa
       
    21. GeorgeLG
      Busy

      GeorgeLG Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Leaf blower incident after years of rock guitar playing
      I flew for a living and staying forward of the engines is good advice. The quietest plane location after millions of business travel miles spanning three decades was the upper deck of a 747 which was usually business class. It’s like a living room up there. There is also almost no foot traffic up there.

      Hang in there brother, it sounds like you have suffered with this quite a bit. I have tinnitus, hyperacusis and cancer as well. I also just lost my wife to cancer and have been living in COVID-19 isolation. Then tinnitus and hyperacusis took away my music recording which was the only thing keeping me sane. Life can be tough sometimes, it does always come in waves of joy. That said, this is the life we have and we have to play the cards we are dealt the best we can. A lot of poker players win after being dealt marginals hands. Now I am looking for new activities that can help. Try to relax the best you can and accept this while working the problem like you are now. As I sit and type this my tinnitus is off the charts so I am going to get up and do some work with the right level of masking noise and do my best to have a decent day. It’s all we’ve got. The mind body connection is strong and getting our heads right is part of getting our life back. Fear, anger, despair, depression, obsession, etc only make this worse so be kind to yourself and work that part of it as well, with help if you need it.

      Good luck traveling, I’m glad you are working the problem.

      George
       
    22. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      luckyme

      luckyme Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      unsure
      Thank you so much for all the information. You are right, we can't micro manage everything. My anxiety is getting the better of me as my return approaches.
      I am not sure what makes you say that I am that wealthy, I am as wealthy as a regular guy can be. I just don't want to make my condition worse, I won't be able to function properly if that happens. I am willing to give my wealth for my health you can say. That said cutlery is my trigger as is for many hyperacusis sufferers I am sure. Not really into the booking several seats idea, I am not wealthy like that lol... at this point I am getting really stressed out.
      Yes, thank you, hopefully I survive!
      I am so sorry to hear about your wife! Cancer is a bitch. I wish nobody had health problems in this world. What is said is true, that health is everything. Since you have hyperacusis and have travelled Business Class, can I ask you how triggering the cutlery was in that section?
       
    23. GeorgeLG
      Busy

      GeorgeLG Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Leaf blower incident after years of rock guitar playing
      I have not been on a plane since my hyperacusis started. On the big 747s the Business Class up top is quite long and the back of that area is pretty far away from the galley.

      George
       
    24. BuzzyBee
      Bookworm

      BuzzyBee Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Not Sure
      I was thinking back to this, so in my mind I was imagining you could buy a couple of seats forward the engine rather than Business Class. You really have a dilemma! Good luck.
       
    25. Mary97

      Mary97 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Accoustic trauma but diagnosed with otosclerosis
      @luckyme, traveling typically is very stressful even for people who have zero health issues. Your situation makes things exponentially more challenging. By the way, I don't know if you have Eustachian tube issues with pressure? Fortunately, knock on wood, that's one issue I don't have, but don't give my ears any ideas! Lol...

      Anyway, takeoff and landings are typically the loudest with engine noise. I like the Mack's earplugs and always have my ears as protected as possible and even with the Mack's crammed into my ears I've never had Eustachian tube issues, but everyone is different...

      I was touched by @GeorgeLG. Life can be so cruel. Hopefully at least this community provides a feeling of cameraderie for you. I know it sure does for me.
       
    26. Matchbox
      Wishful

      Matchbox Member

      Location:
      BC Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      August 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise Induced, Prednisone (drones), Barotrauma (distortions)
      Could always ask the airline if they'd bump you up to Business Class for free based on a compassionate basis if it really is quieter.

      It's happened to me healthy as a clam in the military before.
       
    27. GeorgeLG
      Busy

      GeorgeLG Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Leaf blower incident after years of rock guitar playing
      This is a great resource with a lot of knowledge and many caring people

      George
       
    28. Exit

      Exit Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise
      Go Business Class!

      I think the cutlery will not bother you too much with the constant jet engine roaring?

      Personally I wouldn’t dare fly with ear muffs. Bose over the ear headphones or another brand that’s tighter to your ears sounds better to me.

      The last time I flew my bad ear wanted to clog up during landing even with just headphones. But ear muffs would take a lot more noise out and pilots use them?
      But can you really have them on for 16 hours straight? I think pilots take them off when at cruising altitude.

      Hmmm difficult decision... Good luck my friend. Please let us know how it went and what you did.
       
    29. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      luckyme

      luckyme Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      unsure
      LOL, well it is my parents who are rich, not me :p

      Guys, I am back in New York and fortunately didn't have any setbacks. I am safe and sound, the weather here is much cooler than back home which is good. I travelled Business Class, the cutlery didn't bother me much, there were a lot of crying kids during that time at the airport, but the flight for the most part was peaceful.
       
      • Like Like x 5
    30. GeorgeLG
      Busy

      GeorgeLG Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Leaf blower incident after years of rock guitar playing
      Glad your trip was reasonably comfortable.

      George
       
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