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Airplane Symbolism: What Do Dreams About Planes Mean?

For many of us, airplanes in our waking life symbolize change, adventure, fun, or relaxation. For some, they are a part of their work life and, for others, a source of terror.

What does it mean when airplanes show up in our dreams? Do they signal a change or need for adventure? What if you are the pilot in your dream or the plane crashes?

an airplane flying in the sky above tall pine trees.

An airplane in your dreams could represent many things.  Let’s examine the airplane as a symbol and what messages it may have for you when it finds its way into your dream world.

Related: Travel Symbolism: What Does it Mean to Dream About Cars, Buses and Trains?

The history of airplane symbolism

Airplanes are a relatively new invention. The first passenger flight was in 1914 and flew from St. Petersburg to Tampa, Florida. Since then, airplanes have been a symbol of freedom and escape.

sunrise over a mountain viewed from a window on an airplane.

Airplanes can take you away from it all or toward an entirely new experience or life. Early airlines marketed their flights as not only a way to escape but a luxurious form of travel. 

Flights were symbols of personal freedom to move about the earth and economic freedom to enjoy yourself. Spiritually, airplanes can symbolize inner exploration.

The airplane is not a perfect form of travel; malfunctions, terrorists, and even mentally ill pilots have resulted in plane crashes and disappearances that remain in one’s memory.

silhouette of a hand throwing a paper airplane in the sky with moon in the background.

Consequently, the airplane is also a symbol of risk and courage. To board an airplane means you are willing to let go of personal control over your safety for the benefit of arriving at your destination.

Related: What Does it Mean to Dream About Stairs?

Airplanes in our dreams

So if you are dreaming about airplanes, what does it mean? There are a few interpretations of what an airplane in your dream may symbolize.

An airplane in the sky

Dreaming of an airplane in the sky can mean you desire the freedom to move or travel as you want. A symbol of your longing to be untethered from responsibilities.

a distant airplane flying across a pink and turquoise sky.

Like in our waking life, an airplane flying high above you in your dream may remind you of adventures you seek or new places you want to explore.

Related: What Does it Mean to Dream of an Island?

If an airplane is in the sky and flying away from you, it may symbolize the awareness that a situation or relationship has ended. The finality of a lost opportunity or choices you made. The message of the airplane flying away into the distance may be “let it go.”

You are the pilot

If you are an airplane pilot in your dream, it may be a message to take control of a situation, especially scenarios in your life that will result in big changes.

view of two pilots from the backseat of a small aircraft flying over a coastline.

To be the pilot may also mean you are aware of, or need to recognize your role in managing the lives of others. You may have areas of your life where it is your job to keep others safe or help them move forward in their lives.  

You are a passenger

To dream you are a passenger on an airplane may mean several things. First, if you are a willing passenger, it may indicate it is time to make a change. You may want to reflect on what you really need in life, and decide if it is time to head in a new direction.

black and white photo of a dark airplane cabin with glowing round window.

If you are scared to be onboard the plane or feel you are there against your will, it may be time to examine your relationships. Who is dragging you somewhere you do not want to go? Why are you headed in a direction that doesn’t feel right for you?

The plane is going down

If you dream you are a passenger on an airplane that is crashing it may mean you are aware of or will soon be experiencing an abrupt or unavoidable change. The energy of this change will have far reaching consequences, not necessarily bad, but it will have an impact.

If you dream of watching a plane crashing, it can mean you are ready to close the door on a situation in your life. The end of this phase of life is inevitable for you, and it may be time to address it. On the other hand, if you are far away from the crash, It can be a sign that you will be safe from the fallout of your decision to make a change.

a small toy propellor plane on a rock wall at sunset.

Common meaning of airplanes in our dreams

Dreaming of an airplane is likely a sign of change or the need for change. It may mean you need an adventure or must let go of a relationship or situation. An airplane dream is an invitation to examine your life and your inner world and get excited for future changes.