I think that I am not alone if I say that I have had a fear of flying and that it’s taken me a while to build up my confidence to fly without any fear, or at least with little to no anxiety. Most people are thinking about the plane safety, and what is the risk of the flight that’s being taken being involved in a plane crash.
In this article, I thought I’d share some of the things that I have done to get over the fear of flying.
Fly more regularly.
I’ve found that when I fly more frequently, I feel like taking the plane is similar to jumping onto a bus, train, or even in a vehicle to get from point A to point B.
I become very familiar with the boarding process, plane checks, and the safety checks so that it feels more like a normal routine. So if I happen to take a plane journey a few times a month, I know what to expect.
Like with anything in life, the more you practice something, the more your confidence grows. So I found that repetition and frequency helps.
I find that travelling on short-term flights that are only a couple of hours gives me peace of mind. I class my short-term flights as 3-4h or less.
By the time the flight has ascended and reached cruising altitude. The flight will be making its decent to the final destination.
Understand the science behind flying.
I think about the science (in particular, the physics) around flying. As long as everything follows the scientific plan and there are no unexpected things that occur, everything should go to plan with the flight and there should be little to no risk.
My confidence grows when the plane taxis on the runway and then prepares for take-off. Once the roar of the engine goes and it accelerates, I think about the speed and the process that’s required to give the airplane the lift to ascend in the air.
I know that the pilot will get us to cruising altitude as well and that the path flight is already set.
There’s also so much technology such as the autopilot that maintains several checks to ensure there is no risk while the plane is in flight.
Planes also share cameras and flight journey information as well.
I find this transparency helpful as well.
Fly on airlines with an incredible safety record.
This is something that I focus on a lot. For example, if I decide to take a plane in Australia, I’m almost 100% certain that there will be no issues because of the impeccable airline safety record in the Australian aviation industry, and the commercial flights available.
For example, QANTAS airlines has the best airline safety record in the world. Their safety-checks are very stringent. Concerns around any issues occurring during the flight are a zero-risk.
Their flights are more expensive and the in-flight experience is good, but not as good as say Etihad. But there is no question when it comes to safety.
So if you plan to fly and you want to start with peace of mind, book flights through QANTAS and their network. (I think they are a part of the STAR ALLIANCE network.)
Change your focus while travelling on the plane.
There’s a saying “Where your mind goes, energy flows.” If you focus on the negative things during your flight, you are likely to have a negative experience. If you focus on the positive things during your flight, then you are likely to have a positive experience.
I prefer to focus on the positive things. So I will usually do either of the following to enjoy my flying experience.
If I know how long my travelling time will be, I will plan to watch a certain amount of movies during my flight. If it is a long flight that is say 8-12h, I know that I can probably squeeze in 3-4 movies.
Most airlines provide on-demand entertainment nowadays. So you can easily scroll through the list of entertainment options and find movies or TV shows that you can enjoy.
I suggest watching something that will immerse your mind into the movie. Most movies will go for 2-3h.
What I’ve also done is downloaded movies onto my mobile device. You can subscribe and download movies from the following streaming platforms.
I’m one of those people that can easily sleep on the plane. It might be due to the buzzing and humming of the plane, but I just fall asleep immediately when the plane begins to fly.
It’s a great way to pass the time. I like to wake up refreshed and then either eat something or watch a movie. And when I’m ready to do so, I will sleep again.
I find it good to do this on short-term flights because I’ve pretty much missed the whole flight by the time I wake up and we are starting to land.
Listening to music
I find that listening to music gives me comfort while I am travelling. Sometimes, I just want to close my eyes and have some soothing sounds playing. So I will usually try to find a Jazz music channel or sometimes classical music. I think if I find music that plays instrumentals, it helps me relax.
Eat comfort food
I’m someone that likes to eat on the plane. If anything, I probably eat way too much while I am travelling. I often ask for snacks such as peanuts or crackers. When the main meals come out, I’m excited as I usually want to eat some carb-heavy food that includes rice, potatoes, with meat protein.
All being well, there will be a few dishes served during the flight.
Drink something to make you feel comfortable.
I usually drink water, apple juice or orange juice. Alcoholic drinks are available on most flights as well. You just need to manage your limit should you decide to drink alcohol.
Become better educated from professionals.
If you are still concerned, try to speak to flying professionals to get a better understanding. These include:
- Flight attendants
- Airline maintenance crew
- Air traffic controllers
Get excited for my next travel adventure.
I mentioned before about having a positive outlook for the travel experience. I look forward to what is waiting on the other side of my journey. So I might be returning home to see family, and I see this as a part of the lead-up with my travel experience.
Or I might be going on a holiday or backpacking adventure in a new country. And this is the start of my travel journey.
Enjoy the entire flying experience from planning to checking-in and more.
I love the flying experience. I like checking-in and getting my bags sorted. Then once I go inside, I like to look at the shops doing window shopping. And I often try to find the gaming and entertainment area.
There’s a really good one at Charles De Gaulle airport, where I managed to play the arcade game of Moonwalker, which I had always wanted to play as a kid.
If you have an airport lounge experience added as part of your flying experience, you can enjoy food, drinks, and a comfortable setting before and after your flight as well.
Being aware of and accepting the risks and potential outcomes.
There is a risk with flying, as there is with everything else in life. We want to take smart, calculated risks. And the risks with flying on reliable commercial airlines is very, very low.
The worst case is something goes wrong and the plane doesn’t take-off, doesn’t land properly, or something occurs mid-flight that causes the airplane to crash. These are all potential scenarios, but the risk of any of these occurring is unlikely.
If you’re smart with flying on reliable aircraft with good pilots, and a good aircrew that’s committed to your flying safety, there isn’t anything to worry about.
I hope that you found this helpful and that you will enjoy many more travelling experiences in the future.
If there’s anything that you’ve done to help yourself overcome the fear of flying, share it with us in the comments below.
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