That’s the power of love. Travis Barker had his girlfriend Kourtney Kardashian by his side as he went on his first airplane trip since the 2008 plane crash that left him with third-degree burns on 65% of his body and killed four people. The traumatic incident intensified Barker’s lifelong fear of flying and made him vow never to fly again.
But on Saturday, August 14, the Blink-182 drummer conquered his fear to join Kardashian, along with her mother Kris Jenner and Kris’s boyfriend Corey Gamble, on Kylie Jenner’s private jet for a flight from Los Angeles to Cabo, Mexico.
The news was first reported by TMZ, which obtained exclusive photos of Barker, 45, and Kardashian, 42, boarding the flight and departing the plane in Cabo. Kardashian was sporting a new bob haircut after revealing Barker had cut off nearly one foot of her hair in July.
In September 2008, Barker was on a private plane following a show in South Carolina when the tires blew out during takeoff. The plane hit an embankment and caught on fire. The crash killed his security guard Charles “Che” Still and assistant Chris Baker, in addition to the two pilots.
Barker and Adam Goldstein, known professionally as DJ AM, were the only survivors. The drumming legend underwent 26 surgeries and multiple skin grafts, spending three months in the hospital, to treat the third-degree burns that resulted from the crash. Goldstein passed away a year later from a drug overdose.
Barker has since credited the plane crash with his decision to stop abusing opioids. He had built up such a tolerance to opioids that he even woke up during some of his surgeries in the hospital.
“People are always like, ‘Did you go to rehab?’ And I [say], ‘No, I was in a plane crash.’ That was my rehab,” Barker told Men’s Health in May. “Lose three of your friends and almost die? That was my wake-up call.”
He also revealed to the outlet that he wanted to overcome his fear of flying nearly 13 years after the crash. “I want to make the choice to try and overcome it…. If I do it, and the angels above help me in my travels and keep me safe, I would like to come back and [tell my kids], ‘Hey, I just flew here, and then I flew home. And everything was fine.’ I have to tell them, because I almost left them.” Barker said that would be a “perfect day.”
Barker shares son Landon, 17, and daughter Alabama, 15, with ex-wife Shanna Moakler. His children have been publicly supportive of his relationship with Kardashian, whom he has been dating since December 2020.
A source revealed to People on Sunday that Barker worked up the courage to fly with Kardashian’s help. “It’s a huge deal that Travis flew to Cabo. The plane crash many years ago was extremely traumatizing. He has needed a lot of help to get to this point,” the insider said.
“Kourtney has been very supportive. She never pushed for him to fly. They have managed to travel in the U.S. without having to fly and Kourtney has been totally fine with it.”
Among Barker’s road trips with Kardashian was a vacation in Canyon Point, Utah in April, during which the couple shared some steamy PDA pics in the desert on Instagram.