Are you fearless? Not many people are. Many of us develop a fear of some kind during our lives. I myself have a mild fear of spiders. I know they are mostly harmless but still, something about them just creeps me out. You may fear mice or the dark or flying. Some therapies confront people with their fear in order to overcome it. For those of you with a fear of flying, let’s give this a try!
Step 1: Understanding the fear
Fear of flying is learned behavior, which means that you were not born with it but developed it sometime during your life. It may be the result of several issues. Let’s have a look at some of them.
Do you fear the actual flying? Do you ask questions like ‘How is it even possible? What if an engine shuts down and what about turbulence or lightning?’
Or are you uncomfortable with the idea of being in an aluminum cigar at 10.000 feet in the sky with no other place to go? You probably also suffer this claustrophobia in an elevator or tunnel.
You could also be a control freak, who worries; ‘Is the pilot doing a good job? Is he paying attention?’ You then probably also prefer driving a car to being a passenger in one.
Step 2: Dealing with the fear
Once you know in which category to place your fear, it may be easier to deal with.
If you fear flying in itself, you may benefit from a crash course (no pun intended) in aviation. When you understand that aircraft never just drop from the sky and can withstand turbulence and lightning, you may be able to relax on board and have another drink.
If you suffer from claustrophobia, relaxation techniques like deep breathing and meditation may help before and during the flight. Also visualization will benefit you, where you picture yourself at your destination having a good time after a smooth flight.
This may also help relax the control freaks amongst you.
It is always a good idea to inform the cabin crew of your fear. They will make your journey as comfortable as possible. When I was a flight attendant I once held the hand of a fearful passenger for take-off and landing, talking her through the whole experience. And she did great!
If your fear of flying hinders you; you avoid flying when you would like or need to travel, consider seeking professional help. You can read more about that in this blog.
Step 3: Practice and enjoy!
If you now understand why you fear flying and how you can try to start enjoying air travel, let’s go! Buy a ticket to a destination of your choice at KLM.COM and join our crew and passengers on a fantastic flight on one of our aircraft. I will join you, as soon as this spider leaves my desk and I can move again…