Tips To Handle the Fear of Flying

Although nearly 3 million passengers fly safely each day (many of them may even be excited to fly), roughly 60 million people experience anxiety or fear - known as aviaphobia - when boarding or flying an aircraft. 

Do you experience nervousness, accelerated heart rate, sweaty hands, nausea, or light headedness when boarding or flying in an aircraft? If you experience these symptoms, you are not alone. It’s important to understand that many components of the fear of flying are not all specific to flight itself and can involve:

  • Fear of heights
  • Fear of enclosed spaces
  • Fear of crowded conditions
  • Lack of understanding of strange sounds and sensations occurring around you
  • Being dependent on another’s judgment for your safety
  • Lack of feeling in control
  • Worrying about turbulence

There are many options available to help you overcome your fear of flying.  Here are a few tips to get you started: 

  • Acknowledge Your Fear:   If possible, identify what element of flying scares you (sounds, sensations, heights, and small spaces).
  • Educate Yourself:   Study airplanes, the airline industry and all the safety measures put in place for safe air travel.  Learning about the many built-in safety features of air travel can help dispense with your fear. 
  • Relax:  Learn relaxation techniques such a deep breathing and visualization to help you relax when you feel yourself becoming nervous or anxious.
  • Find Support:  Prior to travel, conduct an internet search for books, DVD’s, or clinics; search for products that might assist you with overcoming your fear.
  • Consult a Physician:  Consult with your doctor if alternate measures have not provided relief and you must fly.

Air travel has become an increasingly central part of our lifestyle for both business and pleasure. Increased knowledge, flight experience and the support of your peers can transform your flying experience into a positive one.