There are those people in the world who are insistent upon the fact that one has a greater chance of dying in a car accident than in an airplane crash. For the average driver who reserves airplane travel for special occasions, this would certainly be the case. But that acknowledgement in and of itself, does little to console those who have lost loved ones in airline crashes; that fact also does little to soothe a nervous passenger who is deathly afraid (pun intended) of getting onto an airplane. Time restraints usually dictate that many of us will need to fly at some point in our lives. While some people undergo psychotherapy treatments in order to conquer their fears, there are those whose fear of flying is bit less severe, but scary nonetheless. There are however, ways (in addition to prayer, perhaps) to face one’s fear of flying in airplanes, rather than cover them up with sedatives or other similar methods. First, let’s look at some of the common myths about flying: TURBULENCE IS BAD. Let the record show that turbulence is not a bad thing during airplane flight. Basically, when an airplane flies relatively close to a jet stream, it creates small pockets of air which push the plane alternately up and down, creating the turbulence you feel. This is perfectly natural, if you consider that jet streams travel somewhere around 30,000 to 40,000 feet in the air. When you feel the bumps during air travel, simply think of the plane as a car driving across a gravel road. SLEEPING PILLS WILL HELP YOU RELAX. While it seems like a great idea to pop a sedative when you’re feeling antsy about your plane ride, it may not be good for your health. The altitude during your flight may have adverse effects. Additionally, some airline passengers may experience venous thrombosis (a blood clot which forms in the legs from lack of movement) while seated for long periods of time during flights. Taking a sedative may cause your blood flow to move along more slowly, thus encouraging a blood clot. YOU’RE AT THE MERCY OF THE PILOT. Nothing could be farther from the truth. In fact, the pilot has a rather thick “security blanket” of help which includes a back-up system for practically every mechanical function on the airplane. This means that should one utility fail, there is another to replace it. Additionally, the staff and maintenance time required to service an average-sized commercial airplane is somewhere around ten times more extensive than that of your standard high-end vehicle. Somewhere around 12 hours of ground service are applied to airplanes for each hour that it spends in the air. And air traffic controllers are required to go through at least three years of training before they are considered skilled enough to direct airplane traffic. These facts alone, should provide some measure of comfort for the nervous traveler.
But since the squashing of myths themselves are not enough to quell many passengers’ fears, there are indeed some things you can do to make your flight more “palatable.”
1) Seating: If possible, try to arrange a seat near the front of the plane. Turbulence is experienced much less by passengers in this section of the aircraft.
2) Window or No?: Many people feel more comfortable during flights if they can sit near a window. For some reason, staring into the open blue sky is calming for some. For others, the window is nothing more than a reminder of how far from the ground they really are. You’ll need to determine which of these passengers you are most like. If you do happen to get stuck w/ a window seat, you can either pull the shade down, or politely ask another passenger to switch seats with you. Most passengers enjoy sitting by the window, and may not mind changing seats.
3) Activities: Pack something(s) which might take your mind off the airplane flight itself. Music, magazines, your favorite book, or other portable amusements can help flights whiz by (shorter ones, especially).
4) Sleep: This is perhaps the easiest way to get through the agony of flying. If possible, schedule flights around bedtime, or at a time where you might nap comfortably. Avoid sedatives (see “Myths” above). Try asking the flight attendant for some hot tea; or carry a couple of your own packets of chamomile tea, which is known to relax the nerves. A warm relaxing beverage may soothe you to sleep.
5) Physical Comfort: Another thing that contributes to the fear of flying is the sense of claustrophobia. Small spaces often intensify feelings of fright. So try to obtain a seat on the aircraft’s emergency exits rows, preferably the one nearest to the front (see #1 of this list). Not only will sitting near an exit make you feel safer (in some cases it does), you will also be afforded a bit of extra leg room. Additionally, you have to make your things organize when packing them in your reisikohver ratastega. This will help you less worry so you can just focus more on how you can pacify yourself.
Flying need not cause you unnecessary stress. In most cases, the “preparations” made for airline travel take longer than the actual flight. The key to overcoming your fear of airplane flying is to pinpoint exactly what it is that causes you the most distress. Jot a few of these things down, either before or during your flight so that they may be directly addressed with airline personnel. Flight staff is accustomed to nervous passengers, and they might be able to assist you further.