Are you anxious about the thought of a boarding pass? Know that you are not the only one: one passenger out of 5 suffers from fear of flying. If this is your case, we’ve put together 5 practical and easy-to-follow tips – including the last one! We hope you’ll use them to reduce your fear of flying, and to make the most of the trips you dream of!
1. Choose your seat in advance
Booking the seat in advance is an excellent tip to view your flight in advance and be more serene on the day. The option is sometimes not free, but it allows you to control a first element of your trip – rather than leaving the choice of seat at random during check-in.
Especially as the choice of seat is not insignificant! If you tend to be nervous when flying, we advise you to choose an aisle seat. It will allow you a better access if you want to get up during the flight. You will have more freedom, and you won’t feel stuck on the window side. In the middle or near the window, you have to disturb your neighbors to get up. On the contrary, the aisle seat is more convenient if you need to go to the bathroom, grab something from your bag, go talk to the flight attendant or just stretch your legs by standing up for a few seconds.
Of course, you can also choose a window seat or a middle seat, if that’s what you prefer! The middle seat is preferred by some passengers because they appreciate being “wedged” between two neighbors, and feel less exposed in case of turbulence. Finally, the window seat allows you to enjoy the panorama during landing and takeoff!
2. Getting to the airport early
In order to be completely serene when the boarding time approaches, we also advise you to get to the airport as soon as possible. If the company recommends you to arrive 1h30 or 2 hours before the flight, come 2h30 or 3 hours in advance!
Why should you come early? It is the best way to avoid any risk of failing to board. On the day of the trip, many steps can result in small delays: travel by car or public transportation, boarding pass collection, luggage deposit, security control, immigration, customs… In addition, there are also inconveniences if you leave a special luggage (musical instrument, animal, bicycle, surfing, etc…).
Coming early allows you to be perfectly serene about all these inconveniences! It gives you time to find your terminal, to anticipate travel times in the airport, to stroll at the duty free or at the newsagent…
Another tip for not being scared when flying: your terminal probably has bay windows that allow you to see the planes on the tarmac. With a little time to spare, watching the ballet of landings and takeoffs has a reassuring side: it’s an opportunity to realize that air flights are perfectly coordinated, common and risk-free!
3. Notify the on-board personnel upon boarding
If you find it difficult to manage your stress or fear of flying, a tip: tell a flight attendant that you are anxious about flying. You can speak to a steward, a stewardess or the purser. That’s what they’re there for! Flight attendants are trained to ensure you have a pleasant flight, and reducing fear of flying is part of their training.
Don’t hesitate to inform them once you have found your seat, so as not to hinder the flow of passengers. For them, it is nothing exceptional: about 1 passenger out of 5 is concerned by this type of anxiety. They will be able to warn you in advance in case of turbulence, or even outclass you! During the flight, you are not alone: you can also call the flight crew by using the call button above your seat.
4. Contribute to distractions during the flight
Don’t hesitate to bring in your cabin everything that can entertain you and occupy your mind with your favorite activities! Of course, planes often have an onboard system with movies and games, but their quality is uneven, and they are absent on low-cost airlines. No one knows better than you what you like in terms of movies, series or music! So bring your own distractions, whatever they may be, to make you feel at home.
You can bring anything you want in the cabin, as long as you put your electronics in aircraft mode for the duration of the flight (and pay attention to the flight instructions). It can be your bedside book, your favorite series, video games on a smartphone or Nintendo Switch, an iPad or other tablets, arrowheads, a magazine, an audio book, music…
Don’t hesitate to bring more than you need: you will be able to choose once in the air. In particular, a good pair of noise-cancelling headphones, an audio book and a sleeping mask are perfect to distract your mind and forget you’re in the air. You’ll almost be disappointed when the flight is over!
5. Don’t let your mind stop you from flying!
Last advice to stop being afraid of flying: don’t let yourself be overwhelmed by negative thoughts and discover the pleasure of flying! Travelling by plane should not be a pain: by controlling your mind, you will prevent it from drifting into negative thoughts.
To get there, there are many techniques that are developed in the different modules of the Fofly online course. For example, having a minimum of technical knowledge will allow you not to “fill in the blanks” by imagining disasters every time you notice an unknown event. Another technique is to work on your irrational fears and control them when they arise.
Do you want to know more about the different methods to control your fears and overcome the fear of flying? Discover Fofly’s online course, to be tested for free on this page !