Is fear of flying irrational?

In the light of this recent New York Times article, ‘Airline Industry at its Safest Since the Dawn of the Jet Age’, is it still reasonable to feel afraid when you step onto a plane? Is whether it’s reasonable even relevant?

Personally, I think people will still be afraid, no matter how many times you hear “but being in a car is more dangerous and you do that every day.” It feels a lot bigger and it’s something we do a lot less often, after all. No matter how safe it is, it’s still pretty awesome and terrifying to think you’re flying thousands of feet above the ground in a big metal tube!

So further to that, how do you keep calm on a plane? For me it works best to just be really excited about everything (I don’t fly often, it’s still a novelty), take in the beautiful views, relax with a good book and cup of tea, and make sure I know the safety procedures well – just in case!

Link to the article: http://nyti.ms/1i8Rd7U

Rebecca Hallett 13/11/13    Travel health and safety Link Report

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5 Replies Date Popularity

Having a fear is never irrational. What IS irrational is failing to overcome that fear when logic and experience should overide emotion and dictate a new paradigm.

Michael Huxley 13/11/13    Link Report

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True! So how would you overcome a fear of flying? Any suggestions?

Lottie Gross 14/11/13    Link Report

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Personally, I think the best way to overcome fear is to normalise it. In other words, just do it!

Michael Huxley 14/11/13    Link Report

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Starting to sound suspiciously like a Nike advert there Michael!

Lottie Gross 15/11/13    Link Report

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  • Though professionals say fear of flying is treatable, anxious fliers who seek treatment usually find inadequate treatment. Standard treatments for anxiety work fine on the ground; they do not work in the air. When the treatment fails, the person believes they can’t be helped. Worse, they believe there is something terribly wrong with them.

    As both a (now retired) airline captain and licensed therapist, I have spent 30 years developing effective treatment methods. I am asking your help in making it known that effective help is at hand – even on their cell phone as a free app – and in my newly released book, “SOAR, The Breakthrough Treatment for Fear of Flying.”

    These breakthrough methods have been praised by former Surgeon General of the U.S. Navy Admiral D.C. Arthur, M.D. (posted under Editorial Reviews of the book on Amazon) and by Stephen Porges, Ph.D., neuropsychology researcher and University of North Carolina professor of psychiatry.

    Tom Bunn 14/11/13    Link Report

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  • After the awful crash in Russia yesterday evening, the BBC have released a timeline of air disasters – not sure it will help anyone with a fear of flying… http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-10785301.

    Helen Abramson 18/11/13    Link Report

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  • I don’t know if you can really overcome your fear of flying, but if you happen to need to fly somewhere (for business purposes or otherwise), you do have to learn to cope with it. I don’t have any problems with flying, but I do hate car trips, so whenever I can not escape them, I try and keep myself relaxed during the ride. It helps when I trust the driver (I don’t drive), but given that usually when you fly you don’t know who is flying the plane, people don’t even have that to fall back on. I do advise to consult reports on the safest companies out there and try and travel with these alone. As a rule, I avoid most low cost companies and use those I do trust implicitly. It’s best to pay a little extra for your ticket for the sake of your peace of mind. In my case, our national airline company (TAP) is one of the safest in the world, so I travel with them whenever I can.

    Isabel Ferreira 19/11/13    Link Report

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    That’s a good point – being well-informed can be a good way to calm your mind. At least you know you’ve done all you can!

    Rebecca Hallett 19/11/13    Link Report

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  • Surely flying is safer than ever if you stick to the major established airlines. Looking at that BBC timeline linked to above, you have to go back 4 1/2 years to the last fatal crash (Air France) whereas before that accidents were more frequent. This is something I find pretty reassuring. Though I do still love an episode of Air Crash Investigations…

    22camels 20/11/13    Link Report

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    Ok so now I see that’s what the article was saying too..

    22camels 20/11/13    Link Report

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