What Does It Mean to Dream of Airplanes? 7 Symbolic Meanings

Airplanes are air symbols (freedom, hope, intellect)

Airplanes in dreams often carry the same symbolic meaning attached to air (ideas, intellect, freedom) or simply represent flying dreams. 

If the dreamer itself is the pilot, the airplane may symbolize the dreamer’s body, freedom, ability to overcome a difficult situation and escape from everyday monotony. 

On a subconscious level, aircraft symbolize the desire for new experiences and excitement, a wish to explore and expand their horizons.

Airplanes in dreams often carry the same symbolic meaning attached to air (ideas, intellect, freedom) or simply represent flying dreams. 

On a subconscious level, aircraft symbolize the desire for new experiences and excitement, a wish to explore and expand their horizons.
The airplane is usually a symbol of new experiences, but also the symbol of journey, from one state to another

 According to Freudians, aircraft are phallic symbols associated with new sexual experiences.

Air is a symbol for spiritual enlightenment, so dreaming of aircraft or airplanes might just be your subconscious encouraging and pushing you to explore new ideas and concepts, or just do something that is unusual for your daily life.

Thus, airplane dreams often raise the question: do you feel you are on the fast track to success, or is a vacation all you need?

Airplanes and airports as symbols of transition

Just like their real life counterparts, dream airports are crowded, chaotic and loud and often represent the fact that you are in an in-between, transitional phase of your life.

That being said, seeing a familiar face at an airport in a dream may indicate that you are unwilling to let go of aspects of your old life or thinking.

Dreaming of yourself in the middle of a flight may be your subconscious making a commentary regarding your current situation in life.

On top of that, flying in your dream implies you are unshackling yourself and moving towards personal independence, leaving friends or family, and even success.

Airplanes can symbolize fear of change

An airplane in the sky can sometimes represent something new or unknown that threatens us. One dreamer, for example, dreamed of bombs being dropped from a plane when she was offered a new job because it would bring her into the public spotlight.

In your dream, is your plane flying high or buffeted by turbulence? Is everything uncertain or up in the air in your life?

Dreams where planes are hijacked or attacked indicate a fear of flying, but on a deeper level symbolize a fear of a new, inevitable experience you have to go through.

When you dream of a war plane, it suggests you are experiencing doubt and self criticism, either from yourself or others.

Meaning of an airplane on the ground

The landing of an airplane often symbolizes a feeling of achievement, that a difficult life episode has now ended. In your real life you may have had emotions that were out of control, or experienced issues that were “up in the air,” but now they are resolved, since you “landed” the airplane.

In dreams, a crashed plane may represent anxiety bringing down your ambition and adventure, a loss of self-confidence, or a mental imbalance.

An aircraft stuck on the ground signifies frustration and a sense of not being able to move forward.

Airplanes as symbols of our past selves

The plane, like all other vehicles, represents a portion of your life’s journey, a memory if you will. Thus, in dreams, planes sometimes represent memories, subconscious material, or distant parts of your life.

Due to the fact that planes are used to travel to faraway places, it is logical to interpret the airplane as symbolizing a past event, an individual, or an emotion that is either physically away from you, in the unconscious, or deep in your subconscious and far from conscious awareness.

 Haunting dreams where planes drop bombs or suffer a horrifying, deadly crash might mean that your subconscious is trying to bring up traumatic emotions and issues burried within you that are still alive and troubling your waking life.

Airplanes as symbols of success or failure

Dreaming about a plane crash might suggest you have set personal goals that are too ambitious; perhaps you’ve been expecting too much from yourself and are now having doubts about your ability to accomplish your goals. 

An airplane taking off symbolizes success. If it lands, then beware of people or circumstances that might bring you down.

An airplane crashing suggests a major failure, usually business or career related.

However, simply travelling in a plane might suggest you have a few ups and downs to face soon.

Dreaming of experiencing a plane crash but not being killed signifies financial gains. However, dying in an airplane crash is a warning to control those passions of yours!

The symbolic meaning of a plane crashing in your dreams also depends on whether or not you were piloting it. 

If you were the passenger in a plane, the dream may be urging you to take control of your life. However, if you were the pilot, the dream is urging you to alter your course or change your plans in waking life to avert disaster.

Piloting an airplane meaning

To dream you pilot a plane by yourself suggests you’re about to achieve something unusual or that you’re about to start a stimulating new project that will keep you busy in your professional life.

If it’s a jumbo jet you are in an irritable frame of mind, for those planes feel sluggish to your commands. Don’t be impatient or your work will suffer. 

Finally, dreaming yourself piloting a fighter plane means your confidence couldn’t be higher. 

Resources and references:

  • A dictionary of symbols by Cirlot, Juan Eduardo
  • A dictionary of symbols  by Chevalier, Jean
  • Dictionary of symbols by Chetwynd, Tom
  • A dictionary of dream symbols : with an introduction to dream psychology by Ackroyd, Eric
  • Illustrated dictionary of symbols in eastern and western art by Hall, James
  • Dictionary of symbols and imagery by Vries, Ad de
  • Symbolism : a comprehensive dictionary by Olderr, Steven
  • Dictionary of mythology, folklore and symbols by Jobes, Gertrude
  • The complete dictionary of symbols by Tresidder, Jack
  • The dream dictionary from A to Z by Francis-Cheung, Theresa
  • 1001 dreams by Altman, Jack
  • The Watkins dictionary of dreams by Reading, Mario
  • Dictionary of dreams : interpretation and understanding by Colin, Didier
Atlas Mythica

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