5 ways to get over the fear of flying

Posted by Kyro Mitchell on 14 October 2020

Boarding a flight for some means you’re off to enjoy a relaxing holiday. However, the process of actually getting onto an airplane and flying for hours on end can be quite terrifying for some, which has been made worse with the global pandemic.

To help alleviate these fears, here are the five best ways to get over your fear of flying.

Distract yourself with an inflight movie

1. Catching COVID-19 is highly unlikely

If your fear surrounding flying is based on the assumption that you may catch COVID-19 while travelling, we’ve got good news for you. The chances of actually contacting the virus from a fellow passenger of circulating cabin air are extremely low. According to Dr. David Powell, Medical Advisor for the International Air Transport Association (IATA), there has only been 44 identified potential cases of flight-related transmission among 1.2 billion travelers. That equals to around one case for every 27 million travelers.

As Powell explains: ‘We recognize that this may be an underestimate but even if 90% of the cases were un-reported, it would be one case for every 2.7 million travelers. We think these figures are extremely reassuring. Furthermore, the vast majority of published cases occurred before the wearing of face coverings inflight became widespread.’

2. Clean your surroundings

Airlines have made it clear that they routinely clean the cabin of every airplane after each flight. However, the fact that passengers don’t actually get to see this process happening can add to their anxiety. To get around this problem and ease fears, carry a travel size bag of disinfectant wipes with you. This way you can wipe down any surfaces you may come into contact with. Taking this precaution will not only protect you from contracting any unwanted viruses, but also put your mind as ease, as you’ll know for certain that your tray table, arm rest, or any other surface is as clean as possible.

3. Turbulence is nothing to fear

If you’ve ever flown before, you’re familiar with turbulence. This occurs when irregular wind currents cause the plane to shake about. This may sound scary at first, but remember that all planes are specifically designed to handle and minimize turbulence. The next time you’re flying and get anxious due to turbulence, remind yourself that the plane’s wings essentially act as shock absorbers, constantly working to smooth out the bumpy ride, similar to how shocks on a car work when driving down a bumpy road.

4. Talk to your flight attendant

Flight attendants are well-trained safety experts, completing in-person training exercises at least once a year and subsequent online training throughout the year, according to Travel and Leisure, so they’ll be able to assist you in the event of a medical emergency.

They’re also there for your peace-of-mind, as Jennifer Jaki Johnson, a flight attendant and the founder of travel wellness brand Jetsetter Chic told Travel and Leisure: ‘We are your best advocate. We will continue to check up on you and see how you are doing to make sure you feel good during your flight. We are trained to handle fainting, hyperventilation, and a list of various health incidents that may occur on the plane.’

So the next time your fear gets the best of you, simply call your closest flight attendant and explain to them how you are feeling. Chances are they’ve dealt with anxious flyers, so they’ll know exactly what to say or do to alleviate your fears.

5. Find something to distract yourself

If you’re feeling anxious while flying, find something to distract yourself with. This can come in the form of reading a book, listening to your favourite artist or podcast or watching a movie, either on your own device or the aircraft’s. Doing this will ease your fear while also passing the time. Another good trick to distract yourself is to complete a simple brain exercise. If you’re left- handed, try and write out a sentence or perform a task with your right-hand. By doing this all of your attention will be focuses with the task at hand, and before you know it your fear will be long forgotten.


Picture: Pixabay




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