Overcome your fear of flying
– How can you overcome your fear of flying? Firstly, I used to be afraid of flying. There, I’ve said it. I know, it’s hard to understand that somebody who loves travelling being afraid of flying. To be honest, flying is still not my favourite pastime but I have overcome it. My love of seeing new places used to overcome my fear but I did need about 6 vodkas before getting on a plane.
So, how did I do it? And how can you overcome your fear of flying?
Learn about your fear
Why are you afraid of flying? For me, this was the starting point. Is it being in a small tin tube hurtling along at 35,000ft. What if the wings fall off? What are all the noises and whats happening? Why does it feel like its falling soon after take off? Is it lack of control?
What helped me?
Flying in business class helped me. For me, this was not a status thing. For example, sitting up the front near the driver meant I would get a drink pretty quickly after take off. Additionally, I didn’t feel quite so penned in. Notably, the crew were more attentive and gave me less time to worry about my fear.
Firstly, this is why the bear started coming with me. Yes, I have a travelling bear. He started out as an emotional crutch on flights to help with my fears. Nowadays, he just comes with me to enjoy the ride. Another key point was I always told the crew when I got on the plane that I was afraid of flying. That way I would get a bit extra support. Most crews will deal with you sympathetically.
The turning point
Then one day a crew member told me about a great book, Flying with Confidence. That is where the change started.
What I liked about it was the explanation by a pilot of what the noises were and what was happening. This is a book by British Airways that they use in their fear of flying course. I’m told the course is very good. I’ve never been on it as I could see the progress I’d made just by reading the book. To be honest I have never read the second part of the book, the one about the psychology of it all. To be sure, my problem was lack of control and what all the sensations and noises were. Once I understood that a bit better, I felt happier.
After that it was repetition. I would take a flight at least once a month to various places. And I’d keep doing it. To clarify, I still don’t sit by the window but I will look out of it. My fear of flying never stopped me from travelling. But it has made it so much easier to travel now I have got over it. I was even happy on the longest flight in the world, 17 1/2 hours between Auckland and Doha. As I said before, I don’t think it will ever be my favourite pastime but the fact that I don’t have to cram 6 vodkas down my kneck means I can appreciate a decent wine or two in the lounge before I board the plane to go on my next adventure.
Overcome your fear of flying – Conclusions
- Identify your particular fear.
- Read about the plane and why it makes the noises
- Have faith in the airline
- Always keep yourself busy
British Airways and other airlines offer courses to help overcome your fear. See here