Fear of Flying

Although air travel is widely known as one of the safest forms of transport, a surprisingly large number of people still have a fear of flying (1 in 10 people apparently). As a confident air passenger thankfully the thought of boarding a plane doesn’t fill me with dread (I’m usually just far too excited about reaching the sunny destination at the end of the flight!) However, if you are scared of flying but don’t want to be tied to catching the ferry and driving for miles every time you go away why not consider attending a fear of flying course?

In the UK both Virgin Atlantic and British Airways run courses to help combat the fear of flying. Here are some more details so you can stop worrying about getting on a plane and start thinking about jetting off on holiday…

Private plane waiting on the runway for passengers to board

Virgin Atlantic – Flying Without Fear

The Virgin Atlantic ‘Flying Without Fear’ courses have been running since 1997 and they claim to have successfully helped 98% of its attendees combat their fear. The course is largely based on the fact that the more passengers understand about flying and what goes on during an average flight; the more likely they are to feel relaxed and comfortable with it. The full day course includes all meals, coffee breaks, a relaxation CD and a real flight. You also get a signed certificate from Sir Richard Branson if you complete the course and well as free membership of the Virgin Atlantic Flying Club and 2000 bonus air miles!

This doesn’t come cheap though, the cost of the day is £255 including VAT and courses take place at several UK airports including Manchester, Newcastle, Edinburgh, Birmingham and Gatwick.  You’ll have the opportunity to ask the pilot and the senior safety trainer from Virgin Atlantic as many questions as you like and they will explain things like how the aircraft flies (and stays in the air!), what all the noises are on board and why turbulence is totally safe. If it is as successful as they say it is then its well worth the cost!

British Airways – Conquering Your Fear

The British Airways ‘Conquering Your Fear’ course follows much the same format as the Virgin Atlantic course. It is also a day long course with plenty of time for questions and answers about flying, a detailed presentation by a British Airways pilot and a real flight at the end of the day. The British Airways course also focuses on the psychology of aerophobia (no, I didn’t know that was its official name either!) You are taught relaxation techniques that can combat your fear and also be used in other situations where you feel anxious or uncomfortable.

The cost of the British Airways course is £279 including the flight and in the UK you can attend courses at Heathrow, Gatwick or Glasgow Airports. They have also just launched the course in New York if you fancied doing it somewhere a bit more exciting, although you’d have to take a flight to get there…

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