You are not alone – nearly 25% of Americans are afraid of flying. And then of course there are probably another 25% who are also afraid but too ashamed to admit it.
First of all, don’t be ashamed. Flying is a completely unnatural sensation, and the innate response to fear is either “fight or flight.” Feeling fearful when you are strapped inside a metal tube and hurtling through the clouds at 500 mph is a completely rational response. Your natural instinct to either fight or flight is aroused, even though you might be trying to talk yourself out of it.
And then of course it doesn’t help if there is a child screaming in your ear, or an extra chatty seatmate who obviously had tuna for lunch. These factors just heighten the growing anxiety that you are experiencing.
So, from a flight attendant, hear me when I say: You have nothing to fear.
- U.S. pilots are well-trained and highly capable. The FAA has strict regulations in regard to mental health and substance use which keep U.S. pilots accountable and responsible.
- Airplanes are designed to handle all types of bad weather, rough turbulence, bumpy landings, etc.
- Turbulence is harmless – think of it as being in a boat and hitting waves in the ocean.
- Although you might be unfamiliar with all the airplane noises, they are usually a completely normal part of the flight. And if you have a question or concern, don’t be afraid to ask the flight attendant.
- The cabin crew is trained to handle any and every type of scenario that could arise during flight.
- If your flight attendants look calm, then everything is alright. Don’t panic until I panic.
So sit back, relax, and enjoy your flight. 🙂