Remain Calm and Keep Flying

Share This:


Remain Calm and Keep Flying

By Peter Greenberg

Medjet Travel Assistance Tip-

Ever dealt with a fear of flying? Chances are, you’ve had some form of anxiety—maybe during takeoff, turbulence or perhaps a bumpy landing. Even the most seasoned fliers have experienced it. 

More often than not, the fear of flying isn’t a standalone phobia. It can stem from other issues like claustrophobia or acrophobia. It may also strike travelers who suffer from panic attacks that are unrelated to flying.

Of course, we’ve all heard that flying is far safer than driving a car. A look at the real numbers reveals it’s overwhelmingly safer than driving. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) reports that only 1 in 1.2 million flights result in an accident. For additional reassurance, where there has been an accident, the NTSB noted that there was a 95 percent survival rate in plane crashes from 1983 to 2000.

But while the odds are most certainly in our favor, statistics are hardly any comfort when you’re in the middle of a panic attack. That’s why most fear of flying experts focus on the following techniques:

Just breathe. Poor breathing can lead to more physiological symptoms that may increase panic. Inhale through your nose and exhale out your mouth, taking deep breaths into your belly (place your hand on your stomach to make sure it’s rising and falling).

Educate yourself on the mechanics of airplanes. For example, most people are immediately put at ease when they learn that all commercial airlines are equipped with multiple backup systems, so the risk of a pilot “losing control” is really slim to none. Learning why airplane mechanisms make certain noises, how the landing gear works, and any number of basic details can help calm the most frazzled nerves.

Captain Tom Bunn, a licensed therapist and author of SOAR: The Breakthrough Treatment for Fear of Flying, created an app that allows users to measure the G-force of turbulence on a plane, in order to reassure themselves that it is within a safe range, and is nothing out of the ordinary.

The key to beating fear of flying (perhaps the key to living life itself) is to only try to manage the parts of travel that are under your direct control. Avoid caffeine and other stimulants that can make you jittery. Arrive at the airport extra early so you’re not adding additional stress to the experience. And when in doubt, and if I happen to be sitting next to you on your next flight, you can always hold my hand. I’ll understand.