Time to Conquer Your Fear of Flying

Time to Conquer Your Fear of Flying

According to the FAA Aerospace Forecast, air travel is the strongest and safest it’s ever been and this trend is only going to continue. Rationally, a fear of flying should be a thing of the past. Unfortunately, a fear of flying is not based on rationality. No matter how many comforting facts I read, getting on a plane still turns my legs to jelly. Here are the steps I take to combat the nerves:

Board the aircraft when they announce, “Those needing extra assistance may now board.” The flight staff is not allowed to ask why, so you do not need to explain that you’re afraid. (However, the times I’ve explained my fear they have always been very understanding.) You’ll gain a few extra minutes to settle yourself, not surrounded by a tight crowd of strangers.

On my flight to Europe in April, I introduced myself to my pilots before takeoff. They were both kind and understanding of my fear of flying.

Once you’re in the aircraft, ask to speak to the pilots or simply poke your head into the cockpit. Tell them you are afraid to fly and discuss the weather conditions. Ask them to give you a warning when they might expect turbulence. This makes you feel more in control of the situation.

Depending on the severity of your fear, talk to your doctor about possible medications to ease your nerves. Be sure to buy a bottle of water before boarding the flight to take with your medication, since the flight attendants will be too busy with boarding passengers to get you a cup.

Create a calm kit. Download upbeat music and guided meditations onto your phone. Buy one or two celebrity gossip magazines. Save some work tasks to do while in flight. When you feel your heart start to pound, you’ll have a plethora of things to keep your mind distracted.

It has taken me years to learn how to ease my fear of flying. As a travel concierge, it is my job to fly around the world. I don’t let the fear stop me. I simply adjust.

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