I’m not too sure when or where my fear of flying began but I do remember the first time as an adult that I knew my phobia wasn’t just a little thing. When I was around 19, I was put on a plane on my own to fly to Dubai for a company I was working for and I was at the back of the plane, last row and in between two big men. I had never really done long-haul before that occasion so it was a big deal – long story short, I ended up crying my eyes out during take off and holding hands with these two strangers – whilst I sobbed. Attractive.
After that I did a few short haul trips but only as a favour for the department and rarely did it (and I was quite OK with that) Years later, I applied for an events role that specifically noted in the job spec that frequent travel abroad would be required but for some reason at this point I decided to go for it and think about the ‘flying’ thing later. After two interviews, I got the job! Hurray! …. Oh crap this means I have to fly now! So, I decided to face it head on and have never looked back. One year later, I have been to some of the most amazing places in the world and the points below really helped me with it & I hope they help you!
- Allocate your seat. This has helped me so much, I always pick an aisle seat for two reasons; I can’t see outside and whether we are about to crash and also you feel the turbulence less! Simple.
- A piece of advice my mum gave me. ‘The only time you need to be worried is when the air hostesses look worried’
- Distract yourself. Read a book, listen to music and even better on long-hauls – watch a film! Time flies by (ha, like what I did there?)
- Don’t clock watch. This will just remind you how long is left and will only worry you more, look less and it’s always a pleasant surprise how much closer you will be to being back on the ground!
- Turbulence is NORMAL. I never knew this?!! I automatically was ready to take the brace position when there was a slight dip but after watching a British Airways video, if there isn’t turbulence that is very rare! You only need to be alarmed when a pilot speaks – if they are quiet, just assume everything is OK.
And it’s also important to remember that your fear will not go over night, it takes time. I’ve found the more I have flown, the better I am.
Happy future travels!
Love, K x