How to cope with fear of flying

Statistically, every fourth person is scared of flying. There are many reasons behind this fear: fear of engine failure, not being in control, claustrophobia, turbulence etc. If you are a nervous passenger, have a quick read through our new blog post. It has plenty of valuable advice on how to cope with your fear.

Read air travel statistics. Detailed coverage of air crashes, hijackings and terrorist attacks in the media deeply sinks in our minds and makes us think that such misfortunes are widespread. However, we should not confuse the concept of the possibility and probability of an event. The real threat to life associated with air travel is negligible. Depending on where you are in the world, the chance of plane accident is 1 out of 10 or 30 million. This fact makes air travel one of the safest means of transport. You are more likely to get into a car crash on your way to the airport that in a plane crash.

Learn more about construction of a plane. Aircraft engines are checked with enviable regularity. If necessary, the pilot can restart the engine whilst in the air. Furthermore, the aircraft is designed as a large glider, adapted for a safe landing even with failed engines.

For many, turbulence, especially strong one, is a major source of anxiety. There is no need to worry, though: turbulence for an airplane is like bumps on the road for a car. This is such a harmless and routine phenomenon that in most cases an airplane flying on autopilot can easily cope with it.

It might also be reassuring for some to know that the door of an aircraft cannot open at high altitude due to incredibly strong external pressure.

If possible, choose large air planes over small ones. Flying on larger aircraft is less bumpy. Another advice: choose a seat by the wing as these seats provide a more comfortable, softer flight.

Book flights for daytime. The ability to look out of the window will soothe the fears associated with the unknown, which often arise when flying at night.

Attend aerophobia class. Usually, such classes are held in groups, and are conducted by aircraft mechanics, pilots and psychologists. Participants receive deep insights about the structure and operation of an aircraft, and sometimes even go on a real short flight to test their newly acquired knowledge. Among the best-known programs are “Flying with Confidence” from British Airways and “Flying without Fear” from Virgin Atlantic.

Create distraction. Read magazines, books, watch your favourite series, eat snacks or do some work (on your laptop, for example). Sleep also helps: wake up early on the day of your travel, and you are likely to take a nap on a plane.

Think positive. In the days leading up to your trip, it’s easy to let the flight anxiety build. Instead, try to focus on more positive things like all those fun things you will do once you reach your destination.

Breathe. Take a few deep breaths. It really helps with anxiety.

Have a safe flight!

Team EBC