Although airplane travel happens every day, the fear of flying for many is genuine, and there is even a name for it, Aerophobia. It is an anxiety disorder people experience when anticipating flying. After years of flying as an international flight attendant, I can safely say that the fear is real to many. However, I can also say that with over 23 years as a flight attendant, I have never had an airplane emergency other than sick passengers.
1.Every airplane traveler has a first time, whether it was years ago or a plan in the making. The angst you feel is widespread, and there are even courses given to first-time travelers. Jitters are normal, humans and flying do not go hand in hand, and the idea of being in the air with no control can be frightening.
2.Be excited about your destination and the plans you have made for your trip. Thinking of more pleasant thoughts can keep you from thinking of the idea of flying.
3.Make yourself comfortable for travel. Don’t overdress but be comfortable in your outfit. Make sure to charge your electronics fully. Many airplanes now have outlets for charging at the seats; all aircraft don’t have this capability. Choose music or videos you enjoy and have it already downloaded to your device. Wi-Fi is still incredibly expensive in flight and not always reliable.
4.Do not over medicate yourself for your anxiety. I can’t tell you the number of times passengers have gotten on my flight, taken a sleeping pill, and become incapacitated. Or worst to have drunk so much alcohol beforehand, they have become sick, belligerent, or denied boarding. It’s just not worth it.
5.Practice calming tricks like breathing or meditation beforehand. Let your flight attendant know that it is your first time flying. They are very experienced and will keep an eye on you and talk to you during the flight. Flight attendants are much happier to see you calm than anxious. More so, they will keep an eye on you, and you won’t feel so alone. Think of your flight attendants as friends, and they are so much more than waiters in the sky!
Have you experienced any first-time jitters? Let us know; we’d love to hear.