How to… Conquer fear of flying

How to… Conquer fear of flying

Trust the facts

Before your flight, read up on the facts about aviation safety to understand just how illogical it is to be scared. The statistics are reassuring — you have a one in 287 million chance of dying on a UK airline, compared with a one in 17,000 chance of being killed in a road accident.

Distract yourself

Bring something to do that you find completely absorbing — a page-turning book, an entertaining film or a favourite puzzle. Chatting to other people on the flight can help, too. It relaxes you, passes the time and makes the whole experience seem much more normal.

Noises are normal

Rattling, creaking or whirring sounds can be alarming if you’re a nervous flyer. These are all normal noises that planes make while in flight. If you’re worried, ask a member of the cabin crew, who will be happy to explain what they are. 

Don’t worry about turbulence

Turbulence is uncomfortable, but it is not dangerous. Pilots describe it as ‘bumps’ in the air flow, like bumps in the road. The reason you are asked to fasten your seat belt is to prevent minor injuries inside the plane.

Try a course

‘Fear of flying’ courses have a high success rate. They are not cheap, but the investment might be worth it. Virgin Flying Without Fear course, from £180 (ground course only), from £267 with flight — British Airways Flying With Confidence course, from £229, which includes a 45-minute flight —