Travis Barker Was Never The Same After His Tragic 2008 Plane Crash

Back in 2008, Travis Barker was involved in a plane crash that changed his life forever. The Blink-182 drummer was traveling from South Carolina to California on a small plane when something went terribly wrong shortly after takeoff. "I'm so soaked in jet fuel. And then we realize — you know, we're out of the plane — and then the plane explodes," Barker recalled during an interview with "Good Morning America" in 2015. Of the six people who were on the Learjet that fateful day, Barker and his friend DJ AM were the only two survivors (DJ AM died following a drug overdose one year later, according to CNN). Barker ended up suffering burns over 65 percent of his body and underwent a whopping 27 surgeries. "I stayed in burn centers for like the next four months. That feels like hell," he said on "GMA."

In an interview with Men's Health, Barker recalls his devastating prognosis. "I was told I wasn't going to run again because I had so many grafts on my feet, and there was even talk of me never playing the drums again," he said. Barker was, of course, able to overcome the odds against him. Aside from proving doctors wrong, Barker also realized that he had a new lease on life and he didn't take it for granted. In fact, the crash actually caused him to rethink some things in his life.

Travis Barker stopped doing hard drugs following the plane crash

As Travis Barker remained determined to make a full recovery, the plane crash had other effects on his life. For example, he stopped using hard drugs after the incident. "People are always like, 'Did you go to rehab?' And I [say], 'No, I was in a plane crash.' That was my rehab. Lose three of your friends and almost die? That was my wake-up call. If I wasn't in a crash, I would have probably never quit," he admitted during his interview with Men's Health. Moreover, Barker refused to set foot on another plane. For years, the musician traveled by any and all other methods of transportation, including cars, boats, and trains, but he couldn't bring himself to fly. 

However, all of that changed when Barker started dating Kourtney Kardashian. Thirteen years after the crash that nearly claimed his life, Barker decided to fly again. In August 2021, TMZ posted photos of Barker stepping off an airplane in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. "Travis getting on that plane was a big trip for him. It meant a lot that he was able to overcome his fear of flying because of Kourtney," a source told Us Weekly following the flight. In the time since, Barker has flown about 30 times.

Travis Barker credits Kourtney Kardashian for helping him overcome his fear of flying

When Travis Barker and Kourtney Kardashian decided that they wanted to get married in Italy, the most daunting part of the ordeal was undoubtedly the flight overseas — but Barker did it. On the Hulu special "'Til Death Do Us Part: Kourtney and Travis," Barker opened up about his fear of flying and how getting on a plane still terrifies him. "As everyone knows, I'm kind of shook just flying anywhere. My plane crashed on takeoff, so takeoffs are terrible for me. I'm still equally afraid of flying as I always was, but it's not something that can, like, hold me back or I can be afraid of anymore. But yeah, I'm getting better," he said (via Cinema Blend).

In the time since, Barker has flown nearly three dozen times. On July 12, Barker shared an update on Threads. "Just flew for the 30th time since my plane crash. Wouldn't be able to tour or enjoy life again the way I do without the healing love of my amazing wife. I love you @kourtneykardash," he wrote. While traveling by airplane may never be a simple feat for Barker, it's something that no one ever thought he would do again — and understandably so. However, his relationship with Kardashian seems to give him an extra boost of confidence and it's super sweet to see just how safe she makes him feel. We're sure there will be plenty of safe flights in the couple's future.