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How do you deal with fear of flying?

How do you deal with fear of flying?

Old Dec 4, 14, 5:40 pm
  #1  
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How do you deal with fear of flying?

I realize in a flyer forum there might not be many people that relate but I thought I would try because some of you do fly A LOT and might have tips for me.

I am going to Spain next week and I am starting to get real uneasy about flying? Does anybody else get irrational fears over this?
There has been some talk on the news (although not sure about how trustworthy the sources are) about terror plots to blow 5 airliners before Christmas in Europe. GREEEEEAT! Just what I want to hear when I am getting ready to go. We are also going to London while we are there. Which is on high alert.

I know the chances are low and I am refiling anxiety meds to fly with but is there anybody else that gets nervous when they hear news like that?
I am a nervous traveler to begin with when it comes to airplanes. I am scared enough already without thinking terrorism. This is actually the first time I fly with my kids too.

UGH. I am kind of trying to pretend I am not scared and think how cool it is that I am going to be traveling to Europe, seeing loved ones and visiting some of my favorite cities. Fake it til you make it right? Any other strategies?

Pretty sure I would feel better in first class Maybe I will start figuring out how to amass miles so I can do that in the future !!

Last edited by bcnusa; Dec 4, 14 at 5:49 pm
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Old Dec 4, 14, 6:54 pm
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My husband is the same way. He'll fly with me sometimes but rarely remembers who he is at the end of the day after flying due to all the meds! He got this book from a friend and was surprised how much it helped. Thin book, so may be helpful for you, too. Good luck!!

Flying without Fear: Effective Strategies to Get You Where You Need to Go [Paperback]
Duane Brown (Author)
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Old Dec 4, 14, 7:20 pm
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How do you deal with fear of flying?

I just did a round the world, 35 hours on airplanes, luckily there was almost no turbulence. My first reaction when there
IS turbulence is to hold onto somebody, I've actually grabbed a completely strangers hand before. Yeah I'm a total weirdo..

I've flown 100k miles this year and guess what, I'm still terrified of turbulence. I don't think I'll ever get over it.

Sorry my post probably didn't help much. But I can relate.
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Old Dec 4, 14, 8:50 pm
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Originally Posted by bcnusa View Post
I realize in a flyer forum there might not be many people that relate but I thought I would try because some of you do fly A LOT and might have tips for me.

I am going to Spain next week and I am starting to get real uneasy about flying? Does anybody else get irrational fears over this?
Pretty sure everyone has fears when they first start flying. All the logic about odds and safety don't affect an irrational fear. It goes away over time. Even some of us who have flown millions of miles can still get nervous during severe turbulence. Try landing in NRT in a rainstorm with a lot of side winds and the wingtips wobbling side to side. But it's still the safest way to travel.
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Old Dec 4, 14, 10:36 pm
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Thanks so much - at least I don't feel so alone

Oh turbulence. I have been known to cry, grab people around me, sweat profusely the works. I am a mess. THANK GOD FOR PILLS.

I am going to check this book out - thanks!!!

Originally Posted by coopgirl703 View Post
My husband is the same way. He'll fly with me sometimes but rarely remembers who he is at the end of the day after flying due to all the meds! He got this book from a friend and was surprised how much it helped. Thin book, so may be helpful for you, too. Good luck!!

Flying without Fear: Effective Strategies to Get You Where You Need to Go [Paperback]
Duane Brown (Author)

Last edited by Ocn Vw 1K; Dec 5, 14 at 10:33 am Reason: Combine consecutive posts of same member.
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Old Dec 4, 14, 11:46 pm
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Stop watching the news.

Hope you have a great trip!
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Old Dec 5, 14, 10:39 am
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bcnusa, welcome to FlyerTalk! The topic comes up on this forum reasonably regularly. Here are some of the more recent threads to look at for reference.

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/trave...urbulence.html

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/trave...ut-flying.html

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/trave...ng-flight.html

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/trave...fear-mine.html

Ocn Vw 1K, Moderator.
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Old Dec 5, 14, 10:08 pm
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One word.

Ativan.
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Old Dec 6, 14, 3:32 am
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I am in the same situation. I know that flying is safer than riding my motorcycle but that doesn't really help me much.

The one item that has helped me the most is to pay attention to the amount of vibration and 'turbulence' I experience on the bus and in a car. I close my eyes and pretend that I am on a plane and I am comfortable because it's a familiar vehicle. Then when I get on an airplane I close my eyes and imagine myself in a car whose turbulence I have a much higher tolerance for. This helps me for low to medium turbulence but not for high but it might be a starting point.
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Old Dec 6, 14, 4:38 am
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I use to be a nervous flyer as I only flew once a year, but now I fly a lot more I am OK with it. I use to hate take off and turbulence but now I'm fine with it. A lot of captains/first officers will say turbulence is just like bumps in the road or speed humps only difference is nothing underneath you. I know a lot of airlines do courses to help nervous passengers or those with fear of flying and apparently these courses really do help make you feel more at ease when travelling.

I would look at seeing if the airline your travelling with, or any airline offer these courses to help out. I know BA offer a course but not 100% on other airlines.
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Old Dec 6, 14, 5:26 am
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Just do not think about it. Seriously. I almost canceled my very first trip (Europe-SFO with a connection in Germany) because I was scared of the 11 hours flight. A friend had to talk me out of calling Lufthansa to cancel. Once on the plane, I pretty much got resigned that either things will go well or not. Fast forward 10 years or so and I rarely have an year with less than 100K miles flown...

It's a plane. Bigger than the ones you are used on domestic but still a plane (bigger helps actually). Don't worry and enjoy your flight and your time in Europe.

As for London's high alert - they do this all the time - for various reasons. I am surprised almost any time when they are not on at least orange. So... don't get worried because of that. I used to joke that London goes on high alert when there is a chance of rain (which is a few times per day)

And as someone else said - stop watching the news or stop giving them so much credit. It is the holidays - of course people that have nothing else to report will start talking such nonsenses.
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Old Dec 6, 14, 8:58 am
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I have a fear of flying. I have been able to eliminate most of it, but I struggle with the last 10% or so. In terms of being concerned about this threat, I would consider the numbers. There are between 2,000 and 3,000 flights crossing the North Atlantic, and around 26,00 within Europe - every day.

And definitely stop paying attention to the news if it's bothering you.

Erin
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Old Dec 6, 14, 11:40 am
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A long time ago an airline psychologist/flight crew trainer told me this theory and it worked to help me get over the fear:

The fear is strongest when you are afraid of leaving behind (dying) someone you love very much and whom you believe will be lost without you! So, for example if you have underage children who are dependent upon you--that adds to the fear. Once those children are older and out on their own your fear starts to leave in correlation to how much traveling you want to do. In other words it gets easier when you are not afraid of abandoning your loved ones!
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Old Dec 6, 14, 12:00 pm
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I travel for business a lot and I've probably flown somewhere in the ballpark of 70 or 80 round trips. If you include all the connections, that's a lot of planes!

I STILL get nervous on planes. I don't know if it helps, but you're not alone. I bet more than half of the people on any commercial plane are nervous.

I just remind myself how silly it is to be nervous. According to Google, there are over 100,000 flights that take place per day, worldwide. How many catastrophic accidents happen to commercial airlines, less than one a year? Your chances of going down are like 1 in 40 million!!! That's a silly thing to be worried about! That's like worrying about getting struck by lightning!

You should be very careful in the car on the way to the airport though! That's where the real danger is!

Have fun on your trip. You'll still get nervous, maybe have a couple beers (not too many though, don't wanna get sick on a flight) and remember these facts.
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Old Dec 6, 14, 1:03 pm
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As I recommended on another fear-of-flying thread, you should look at booking yourself into one of those courses put on by airlines (which usually end with a test flight). They are phenomenal in terms of what they do to address people's fears.
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