Fear of Flying is Not a Disease

Although plane accidents do not happen every day, the media attention that shines upon them and the number of people that die cause additional fear in passengers that are already hesitant whether to go on a plane or not.

There are several studies made in the world that have shown that 40% of people have some sort of flying fear, and it can be seen in 11% of the people who use planes to travel. Opposed to that, statistics show that flying is, according to the relation of the number of flights and the number of accidents, actually the safest way of transport. Still, in these accidents the outcome is most often fatal, and news reports usually start their reports with the words “all passengers and crew members killed”.

Experts describe the fear of flying as a low or lower psycho-physiological tolerance to risk.

-Not all people are willing to risk equally and because of that not everybody is afraid of flying. Separating yourself from solid ground represents a great change that is something not everybody is willing to do. Formula drivers, parachutists and divers have a high degree of tolerance to risk. Surely, you should know that those who are afraid of flying are not sick; they are just not ready to take that degree of risk.

Statistics that speak of the safety of this means of transportation don’t lower the fear level. Experts suggest that you should draw your mind away from the flight by reading or talking with someone, considering that the frightened passenger will pay attention to every noise.

– The best therapy is training in which the passenger gradually faces his fear. He first goes to the airport, watches the planes, the take offs and landings, and later enters the plane and only after a while goes for a test flight, mostly on short relations. There are too, certain agencies that can offer services for those are afraid of flying as a way of therapy. Many of them can be found searching on the Internet, finding websites or travel databases which have those agencies. They can offer certain services like, if you are really afraid of flying, find you a seat that’s not close to a window or things like that.

The fear people experience in those situations is a natural defense mechanism and is not a pathological sign. Experts say that the attention plane crashes get from the media increase the fright.

-When somebody feels resistance to flight and sees footage of a plane that has a broken wing, he or she will hardly believe in the safety of the plane. A person who has a true phobia won’t enter the plane, and a person who is just afraid, will try to overcome the fear. The fear of flying can be gradually beaten.

When it comes to physiological changes in the organism of the passenger that happen on every flight, the main change that occurs is the appearance of stress, more precisely the adaption to new conditions, an increased heart rate, increased breathing, sweating, and the sharpening of the senses.

According to the words of experts, fear can also be post traumatic, after a bad experience. But, if before the flight it didn’t exist, it will be beaten quite easily.

People who work on airplanes state that those who are afraid usually say that they are when entering the plane. Everybody likes to be explained what is going on, what that particular sound is, for example, the retraction of the wheels. A smile and a uniform will fill them with a sense of trust. The food and drinks can also serve the purpose of distractions. If somebody is very scared, the staff will move him to another place where they can dedicate their attention to them and where they can keep an eye on them so the frightened passenger doesn’t disturb others. One stewardess says that, in the time when she was a rookie still in training, there was this one time when she, as she was flying to a different flight, was sitting next to a woman who held her hand tightly, was sweating the whole time and kept asking questions about every small noise, but also states that she was never in the situation that she was scared about a passengers life.