Scared of flying? Here are our best tips to enjoy your flight
According to some estimates, aviophobia, which is a clinical diagnosis of a fear of flying, only affects about 2.5% of the population. However, feelings of general anxiety about flying is much more widespread. Some travellers worry about spending too much time in an enclosed space, others are afraid of heights, and a small percentage are afraid they'll unintentionally open the plane door in the middle of their flight. Furthermore, some passengers are concerned about viruses and germs, while others are just worried that they might experience anxiety while traveling.
Everyone who has a fear of flying may have a completely different experience, ranging from rational to irrational fears. Although it would be wonderful for all passengers to have a positive flight experience, it could be too difficult to make such a bold promise. Nonetheless, we want to do everything we can to support travellers in this case, so we have put together a list of tips that should help you somewhat reduce your fear of flying.
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Debunk false truths about turbulence — Turbulence is nothing more than irregular wind patterns that give airplanes a slight sway, quite similar to driving on a bumpy road or sailing across choppy seas. However, there is absolutely no need for concern: Turbulence is something that planes are made to handle and minimize. Check out our other blog about turbulence to learn more about this.
Research the built-in aircraft safety mechanisms — Find solace in knowing how airplanes are made to handle particular situations. Being ready to tackle various situations is essential in any emergency scenario, thus having peace of mind in this regard might help you keep your cool. It's also beneficial to do some research on air circulation in airplanes. Every three minutes, fresh air is pumped into the cabin, and any recycled air is forced through HEPA filters to eliminate 99.9 percent of contaminants, including germs and viruses.
Delve into the history of plane crashes — The chance that your plane crashes is a measly one in 11 million. If you look into the statistics of this type of data, you will find that car crashes and being struck by lightning are far more likely to occur than a plane crash. Videos of all the tests that aircraft must pass before receiving the go-ahead to fly are also available. These tests range from stress testing that demonstrates the amount of wing deflection to extreme flight tests that push an aircraft to its absolute limits. Aircraft are quite tough you’ll come to find.
Chat with cabin crew — Ask to meet the pilot of your airplane if there is time before takeoff. Alternatively, have a small chat with a flight attendant. Meeting the people who are responsible for your safety can usually make the plane feel friendlier and convince you that the crew is capable and knowledgeable (which they most certainly are). The cabin crew will no doubt do everything in their power to make you feel assured and at ease.
Choose your seat wisely — When you book your flight, the majority of airlines and booking platforms let you specify a seat assignment. If you are sensitive to claustrophobia, ask for an aisle seat since you will feel less boxed in by other passengers and be able to get up and maneuver around the cabin more readily. Additionally, this makes it much easier to avoid staring out the window if the soaring views make you uneasy.
Be distracted in the best way possible — The options for entertainment you can bring along with you will vary depending on how long your flight is! Aboard-flight entertainment systems with minigames, music, movies, and other features are common in aircraft. You might also bring sudoku or crossword puzzles, download some Netflix TV series or YouTube videos you might be interested in, or curl up with a good book. Make sure to bring enough entertainment to keep you busy for the duration of the flight and to keep you occupied after it's time to turn off the electronics.
Think positively — What is your destination? Who will you see there, and what are your plans? Perhaps you are taking your long-awaited dream vacation or reuniting with your family and friends after a long separation. You should be able to see that the flight is insignificant in relation to the rewards if you can look beyond the flight and forward to what you're anticipating.
Connect with a therapist — How do you know when it's time to schedule an appointment with a specialist? A qualified therapist or counselor can help you understand the causes of your fear and how to get over it if you are having trouble sleeping, feeling sick with anxiety, or avoiding travel at the expense of your or other people's convenience.
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We hope that after reading the advice we provided, you will be a bit less anxious about your next flight. One of the most effective methods for overcoming a phobia is exposure therapy, whereas avoidance makes it worse. If you can, take that flight, push yourself outside your comfort zone, and explore a new perspective on flying!