6 Tips to Help You Manage a Fear of Flying
Do you have a fear of flying, or are a nervous flyer, with those nerves having an impact on your travel plans and experience?
You are not alone.
The fear of flying itself is often a number of different things, like the fear of heights, claustrophobia or not being in control of the aircraft.
Whilst we can’t give you the keys to the cockpit, we can certainly help you with some tips to make your flying experience a little more comfortable. Who knows, maybe one day you will even start to enjoy the experience!
Imagine yourself landing safely at your destination
Preparing for the journey you have coming up will really help your fears of flying. Before you travel, imagine yourself travelling to the airport, calmly walking around the airport shops, getting on the plane, landing and exiting the plane safely and enjoying your holiday. Because that is what is going to happen.
Distract yourself during flight
Concentrating on something else whilst you are flying can help take your mind off your fears. Something one of our members of staff here at Allianz Global Assistance recommends is a puzzle book. “Puzzles, particularly word searches, have been a great way to take my mind of what is going on around me with the flight and focus on the task at hand. The easier the puzzle, the better!”
Other things can include a good book, music, or watching a film and TV show.
Learn how an aeroplane works
Did you know that a plane can land even if it had no engines? Did you also know that if the engines were to fail, the plane would glide down and not ‘fall’?
Engine failure is very, very rare, as well as any other technical failures that you may be imagining happening to you. So, understanding how the plane works is not only helpful in managing your fears, but actually quite interesting!
Take some time to understand how airflow works, understand the engines (did you know they are much simpler than in automobiles, therefore less likely to break down?), and how the planes are maintained to incredibly high standards. This will really help.
Say no to caffeine and alcohol
This may be hard for the caffeine lover on an early morning flight or saying no to that celebratory drink at the airport, but this is an important one to follow. Caffeine and alcohol can add to your anxiety and can make you a little more panicky, which is not needed!
Do not tense up during turbulence
Think of turbulence ‘like driving over a cobbled street,’ as for a pilot, that is just what it is like. (Note, that is an actual quote from a pilot!).
Turbulence, although it feels uncomfortable, is actually very safe. Should your flight come into a patch of turbulence, the worst thing you could do is to tense up. Tensing up will tell your brain that you are in danger and give you feelings of panic. You will also make the bumps feel much stronger.
Instead, try to relax and allow your body to move with the motions, whilst taking long deeps breaths and reminding yourself that it is just a cobbled street. This will keep your brain calm.
Modern planes are built to handle more turbulence than they would ever encounter, so you are in very safe hands.
Know the stats
You have probably heard the phrase ‘flying is safer than travelling in a car,’ but what does that mean exactly?
Here are a few stats that we think you might like to know about flying to help ease your fears:
- There is a 1 in an 11million chance of being in an aeroplane accident (Sources: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
- 96% of passengers survive an aeroplane crash (Sources: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
- The FAA has estimated flying is 200X safer than driving
- Across the globe, on average 8 million passengers fly on any given day
Those are some eye-opening stats!
Writing as an ex-fear of flying person myself, I can tell you that I know how you feel, but do not let this fear stop you seeing the world. Tell yourself that you will conquer your fear and it will not own you.
There are so many amazing places to visit just off the coast of Singapore and beyond, so #SayYes and get out there today!