Courses to banish your fear of flying

British Airways to start flight services from London to Hyderabad
MANY holidays have been ruined or not even happened because someone in the family has a fear of flying. According to statistics, around 40 per cent of the population has some form of fear of flying, and 2.5 per cent have a clinical phobia.
This fear is known as aerophobia or aviophobia and can be triggered by many factors, sometimes in childhood or later in life. Although flying is deemed more safer than other forms of transport, people fear losing their lives by going on a plane.

Experience virtual flights

Many leading airlines such as Virgin and Easyjet recognise this problem and have developed courses to tackle it. One of the leading airlines in this area has been British Airways (BA). These courses include inviting potential customers to experience virtual flights with real pilots. trying to work out what they fear.

Lack of control

Is it the fear of claustrophobia in a plane, lack of control, or the fear of turbulence. They join pilots in a flight cockpit , where they are told about the mechanics of airline flying, in some cases supported by a clinical psychologist.
The courses explain how take off and landing works, allow passengers to familiarize themselves with the noise of turbulence and what it means, and get them to ask as many questions that concern their fears.
Other strategies and techniques that can be used is: to learn how to replace negative thoughts with positive ones; how to stop a panic attack; how to deal with claustrophobia; not having control and fear of heights; and breathing techniques.

Try a real-life short flight and get over your phobia

Once the simulated flight is over, some airlines then take their clients on a real-life short flight, where they can put into practice the techniques they have been taught in the ‘classroom’ in order to see if it helps them get over their phobia.
  Those who fear flying because they think it poses a danger, should think again. Ian Savage, associate chairman of the Economics Department at Northwestern University, came up with the following conclusions, following research.

More people die in traffic road accidents than in air

He found that a person who took a 500-mile flight every day for a year would have a one in 85,000 of a chance of dying, compared to travel on the roads that accounts for 94.4 per cent of national travel in the United States.

98 per cent success rate in those taking courses

British Airways have helped more than 50,000 people get over the fear of flying in the last 30 years, and claim a 98 per success rate. Airlines can offer group sessions, numerous packages to suit and one to one confidence in flying courses. They also offer them to teenagers and workshops for children.

Useful tips for airline travellers

If you are a passenger who has a fear of flying, it’s useful to let members of the crew know about it when booking your flight. Airlines such as Virgin Australia, for example, will put a distinctive logo on your boarding pass so that cabin crew can give you extra attention, if you need it. When I fly, I usually try to talk to the passenger next to me, or watch a film to help pass the time and take my mind off the flying.

The worst thing to do is have a few drinks hoping the problem will go away. It won’t. So the best thing to do is to either go on a course, online or on in one of their centres.

Where to get in touch for flying courses

If you or someone you know needs that final incentive to fly, find out more about the British Airways scared of flying courses by calling 0044 (0) 1252 793250 in the UK.

Virgin Atlantic Flying Without Fear, can be contacted at: 7 Kings Court, Pateley Bridge, North Yorkshire, HG3 5JW, or on their website

For easyJet, call the Fearless Flyer Team on: 0203 813 1644.

Interesting facts about flying

  • Certain aeroplanes like the Boeing 787 Dreamliner can fly for more than five hours after one of their engines cuts out before landing.
  • Lights being dimmed at night are not just for helping passengers get a good night’s sleep, but are there to help them adjust their eyes to the dark in case their is a night-time emergency.
  • Pilots often fall asleep during their flight, to wake up and see their co-pilot’s also asleep. The British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) in a 2017 found that of 500 pilots polled, 43 per cent admitted to accidentally falling asleep while being in charge of a plane, with 31 per cent waking up to see their co-pilot’s asleep.
  • Crash information compiled by Time magazine, shows the fatality rate for seats in the rear third of a plane during a crash was the safest with 32 per cent; middle was least safe with 39 per cent, while the front was marginally safer with a 38 per cent fatality rate.
  • Oxygen masks on a 737 plane will only give you 12 minutes of air. This should be sufficient time for a plane to land.
  • The Flight Data Recorder, often known as the Black Box, is not actually black in colour. It is in orange, making it more visible and easier to find if there is an accident.
  • A Ukrainian aero-engineer in 2016 invented a eject cabin system in 2016 in case there was an engine failure during a flight. This would allow passengers to eject. As most crashes happen when planes are taking off or landing, the idea was not seen as practicable.
  • Most people see a plane out of their window when flying, but the US Federal Aviation Authority says that there are about 5,000 planes in the air at any one time in the United States and more than 8,000 flying globally.
  • In a report by aircraft manufacturer Boeing, 49 per cent of fatal accidents happen when the plane is descending and landing, compared to only 13 per cent within the first three minutes of take-off.
  • Planes are quite safe even when struck by lightning as the electrical current is evenly distributed across the aluminium interior of the plane, grounding it, so that it so that the surge does not effect its electrical system.
If you go on one of the courses, we would welcome your feedback to know how you get on. Check out our Twitter account:


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