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An Agoraphobic in Newark Airport...

Eva, Alabama
posts: 4
reviews: 4
An Agoraphobic in Newark Airport...

Hi guys! I have agoraphobia: fear of open places, or more accurately, fear of large crowded places, like airports. I have very severe panic attacks in airports. Basically most hub airports are a nightmare for me, but unavoidable when traveling.

Soooo, that brings me to my question: Where are the small, quiet places in Newark airport????

I'll be in Terminal B (B3) for my layover (3 hours, 40 min) leaving, and then returning I will be in Terminal A for that layover (6 hours, 30 min).

Small areas could be anywhere I can feel not overwhelmed by people, small and dark is best: meditation room/chapel, baby nursing rooms, airport movie theaters, hallways, hell I'll hide in a closet if I could!

Any help you could provide would be awesome!

Thanks!

Watford, United...
posts: 4,712
reviews: 12
1. Re: An Agoraphobic in Newark Airport...

I believe that there is a chapel / meditation room in Terminal C between gates C70-99 and 101-115. Not sure about other terminals.

What about a corner table in a small restaurant?

There is always the toilet cubicle if it's that bad.

Edited: 8:06 pm, July 25, 2014
Eva, Alabama
posts: 4
reviews: 4
2. Re: An Agoraphobic in Newark Airport...

Yes, I thought I read somewhere that there is a chapel in C, but unfortunately that won't help me any. :(

Restaurants aren't very good for me.

A family bathroom usually helps, I just hoped to avoid having to hide in the loo for that long. ;)

Any insight on United or SAS lounges? Busy? Quiet?

Donsol, Philippines
posts: 336
reviews: 7
3. Re: An Agoraphobic in Newark Airport...

That must be very difficult :-(

All airports should have a medical room I believe, could you enquire about the possibility of sitting quietly in there? X

London, United...
posts: 20,013
reviews: 23
4. Re: An Agoraphobic in Newark Airport...

Ok, have you tried anti anxiety medication or something similar that you could use for one off situations like this?

As for the lounges, it depends on when you are travelling as to whether they will be busy or not.

Good for you in travelling. I won't beat about the bush, your fear is irrational, I am going to guess you know that, and you need to give yourself a really big clap on the back for travelling and not letting it get the better of you:-))

New York City, New...
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
posts: 8,387
reviews: 51
5. Re: An Agoraphobic in Newark Airport...

I've used the UA Clubs at EWR quite a bit. The quietest I find is in C across from gate 74. The other terminal C one is very busy but has more nooks and crannies and isn't quite as open plan. The one in Terminal A is for regional jet flights and does have a quite corner area.

Eva, Alabama
posts: 4
reviews: 4
6. Re: An Agoraphobic in Newark Airport...

Jsteele, Very difficult, I only travel by plane once a year...and it's pretty much a nightmare the entire time.

I haven't thought about inquiring if I could use a medical room, thank you, I'll check that out!

FroggyEngland, yes I take anti anxiety meds when I fly, it's the only way I could make it without completely losing my mind. ;) The meds help, but not completely. And yes, completely irrational...my fear is that I will faint in public and people will see me, so when I'm in an open area with people around, I panic. Completely irrational, I know I won't faint...but not that easy to tell my panicking brain that. ;) I've battled this for ten years now, I'm making lots of progress, a few years ago I couldn't leave my front door. :)

OP2002, how busy is the lounge in A on an average Thursday? I'll be over six hours in A on my return.

London, United...
posts: 20,013
reviews: 23
7. Re: An Agoraphobic in Newark Airport...

I did faint once in public, at a funeral, at the graveside. I'm serious. It was a huge military funeral and as it was warm and I had not eaten, for the first and only time in my life , I fainted,

Was it embarrassing, well yes a bit afterwards, because everyone thought I was overcome with grief, as opposed to hungry and dehydrated and kept coming up to ask if I was ok. Was it a big deal, no it really wasn't. People saw me, yes, but there was only concern. As there would be if you fainted. And remember I actually temporarily stopped the funeral proceedings of two raf pilots being interred.

Fainting in the airport or any where else won't really come close to that. I survived, it wasn't the end of the world, I wasn't overly embarrassed, no one made fun of me, no one laughed. It was simply one of these things.

I'm not sure if that helps, but people seeing you faint in public is really not something to worry about and there is no reason you should faint:-))

Portland, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
posts: 20,224
reviews: 5
8. Re: An Agoraphobic in Newark Airport...

Are you on transit at Newark?

To pick up on OP2002's point, the main United Club in concourse C ($50 day entry) has nooks and crannies, notably the desks where you plug in your laptop and work. That may be the deal.

Note however that UA flights don't depart from B (some arrive) so no UC in terminal B. You'd have to time your transit (airside bus) very carefully to get to concourse B in time for your flight.

I haven't departed from B so I don't know what lounges are available there nor whether they offer day passes.

Eva, Alabama
posts: 4
reviews: 4
9. Re: An Agoraphobic in Newark Airport...

FroggyEngland, I passed out in a mall as a teenager, relieved on myself, ran into schoolmates...highly mortifying. Hence the deep set fear, though irrational. But I'm working on it. :)

USBusinessTraveller, how's the UC in A? There's a lounge for SAS in B that does day passes. I wonder how busy that one is...

London, United...
posts: 20,013
reviews: 23
10. Re: An Agoraphobic in Newark Airport...

Ah, I was going to ask, if something when you were young caused it. It's strange how things like that can have such a long lasting impact, probably because of such a sensitive age, and kids can be cruel as they lack empathy,

You're winning though,,,think of it that way. Plus you are not a kid anymore. I could tell you so many stories about the embarrassing things that happened to me as a teenager, we were all that age once. :-))

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