The Fear Of Flying Rises Again!

The recent tragedy of Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 has thrown my phobia of flying back into focus.

What an absolutely horrific and terrifying event it was and my heart goes out to those souls on that plane and their families who now have to deal with the aftermath of the accident.

My stomach turned when I heard the report on the news. I found myself reading the news articles and watching the reports on the telly…bad move.

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The river Thames from the air! And can you spot the O2 dome? Taken on my last flight, when I was feeling quite relaxed!

Many years ago, I attended a fear of flying course which was run by the airline, Virgin.  It was brilliant and was a turning point for me in trying to learn to manage the fear.

However, I’m not completely cured and that fear is always there lurking, but I have been able to keep it under control to different degrees since that course, even to the extent where I have been able to enjoy some of my flights (incredible!).

One of the things they advised on the course was not to read, or watch, anything about air crashes.  This feeds the fear and provides new images for you to swirl around in your brain and fixate on!

I didn’t take this advice though this time, thinking that it’s fine, I can handle it now, and read the initial reports.

I really shouldn’t have.

I have found my anxiety towards flying has increased again since this accident.

I’ve now made a conscious effort to avoid the current reports about what happened.  It won’t do me any good.

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I had already clocked the make of the aircraft that was involved in this tragedy, after the first accident with the Lion Air flight 610 back in October last year.

This led me to question whether I wanted to fly SilkAir, when we were planning our last trip, because I knew they flew that type of aircraft.  My fear of flying put in another appearance!

So, I’m making an effort to avoid the media coverage, I am putting my trust in the companies that make these aircraft to fix any problems they may have, I am trusting that the pilots would not fly them if they did not feel safe and I am reminding myself about how many flights take off and land safely every single day (this is the one thought that seems to help me the most!).

Will I fly again? Undoubtedly. My wanderlust runs too deep to let me give in to the fear completely.

Will I enjoy it?  I don’t know. It will depend a lot on my mental state at the time and how I approach the flight.

Am I sticking my head in the sand?  Yes, probably. But if it helps me to get on that aircraft the next time I need to travel, that’s fine with me!

The battle with this fear is a constant and evolving process it seems!

Do you suffer with a fear of flying?

How do you deal with it?

Please let me know!

26 thoughts on “The Fear Of Flying Rises Again!

    1. They do, don’t they? It’s definitely a strange thing, it’s not something I’ve 100% conquered but I have learnt better ways to deal with it. When incidents like this occur it can feel like I take steps backwards. I just have to try to engage all the skills I’ve learnt along the way to try to not let it get the better of me!

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  1. I know what you mean.
    I don’t really fear flying. I like watching catastrophic movies for their entertainment value. I like reading and learning new things. And everything is fine. And then the turbulence starts sooner than usual. Or lasts longer than usual…

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    1. Oh turbulence! Aaah, I do not like that! I have had a few flights in recent years that had pretty bad turbulence for quite a long time…it was not fun. It does help distracting yourself with movies and I find, music (I can’t read on planes).

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  2. My love of travel keeps me flying but I never fly with off-piste budget airlines I know nothing about. Where possible, I fly only scheduled airlines and those that I have faith in (some scheduled airlines have a casual attitude towards the pilots’ behaviour and I’ve been in some cabins where the cabin-staff have left me wondering how they would cope in the event of an emergency). All we can do is research the airline thoroughly, keep on top of any reports, and then forget about it. I’ve got trips booked May 2nd and June 6th.

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    1. Yes, I do agree, there is only so much we can do. I’m the same when it comes to airlines, I can’t say that I am very adventurous in that regard! It also helps me to try to treat the flight as part of the holiday, so I want it to be as comfortable as possible. Where are you off to on your next trips?

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  3. I think I can see my house in that top picture! 😀

    I have never had a fear of flying. I have read that statistically flying is much safer than driving for example. The tragic crashed that have occurred are frightening, but I have never let I put me off. What I have found though was that I started to feel a bit of cabin fever on long-haul flights. I can cope with 2 or 3 hours, but when I went to the US and to Africa, I found I was desperate to get off the plane! I am wondering with how I am going to get on with Australia.

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    1. Yes, they do say that it’s one of the safest ways to travel, so I try to remember that when I’m on my way somewhere. I just struggle with the sensations of flying too, like take off for example, I really hate that part! It’s definitely a work in progress, keeping the fear at bay! Hmm, yes flying to Australia is definitely a long trip. I’m always careful what seats I choose on those flights. I like to be able to get up and move around when I want, so I try to get an aisle seat where possible. If it’s a night flight, just try and sleep your way through it (if that’s ever possible!). Do you have a few hours on your stopover to be able to stretch your legs?

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  4. Sucks to have that fear. Hope you’ll be able to stay away from media concerning issues with flights and that you get your handle on it again. Sounds like you handle it well;-)

    Personally, I’m not afraid of flying. I actually quite like it, apart from always getting a headache. But I’m prone to headaches so I just accept it (and drink heaps of water).

    Once on a flight from Amsterdam to London I was sat next to a woman who hadn’t flown very much and she was unsure about the sounds and movements. She and her husband sat in separate rows due to late check-in. The woman was nervous about every movement. Since I was super relaxed on a plane I saw her feeding off of that and relaxing a but herself too. Glad I was able to help this lady deal with it. After all, they also had to fly back to Amsterdam 😉

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    1. Oh no, what a shame that lady couldn’t sit next to her husband if she was that nervous. It’s great you could help though, it definitely helps if you are with someone who is relaxed – I’m talking from experience 🙂 I’d love to feel like that when I fly – it happens only very occasionally (and it’s a complete revelation when it happens!), usually when I’ve been flying a lot. But it does also depend on my mental state, if I start the journey particularly stressed, then I find it very hard to deal with the flight. It’s an ongoing process!! But I’m not going to stop travelling so it’s just something I have to deal with. I also hear you about the headaches!

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      1. Helping her our seemed like the least I could do. I’ve flown so much that I could explain everything to her.
        Glad to hear that you know how to deal with it and that it doesn’t stop you from travelling! Would be a shame if it did, but at the same time, fear isn’t rational so you can’t help it either way. Kudos to you for grabbing it head on! 🙂

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        1. It’s totally irrational isn’t it. I’m sure she really appreciated your help, it must have made the whole experience so much easier for her. I wish I had a magic wand to make it go away, but I just try and deal with it the best I can 🙂

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  5. It’s a real issue isn’t it? I used to be scared of flying but made a real effort to force myself not to think about it and can now handle long flights fairly easily as I just switch off and think about something else. Reading or Sudoku’s when the plane is landing help me too, concentrate my mind on something else. Hope you can find a way of easing the worry.

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    1. It really can be can’t it? I do find longer flights are a bit easier as there are plenty of things to distract you, I don’t really like the smaller planes at all. I do like your idea of doing sudoku when you’re coming into land, that’s a great way to turn your mind to other things. I might try crosswords! I’m glad that you’ve managed to find a way to get over it successfully, I hope I can follow suit soon 🙂

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  6. Ugh, I am right there with you sister. Flying on airplanes is so scary, especially when a major news event like that happens. It just rattles you to the core. Last time I flew was during the recent government shutdown. So nerve racking! I feel your pain and it’s just so hard to get rid of the fear. As for how I try to deal? I think of all the people all over the world who fly in airplanes a ton and nothing bad ever happens to them. Especially celebrities. Any celebrity. Rock stars who are on planes all the time for concert tours. Sports figures who travel city to city all the time for games. The rich and famous who travel by plane all the time for vacations and work. I think about all these people and how their planes never go down. So why should mine. It helps a little. Good Luck!

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    1. Thank you! Yes!! I think that is also my go to thought when I start getting nervous. It really helps to think that right now there are thousands of flights in progress all over the world and they take off and land safely. So true about the celebs too, they travel so much don’t they and nothing happens to them…I will add that to my defence against the fear list 🙂 It always seems to be a work in progress and it’s worse sometimes than others, but I really don’t ever want it to stop me getting on a plane, that would be awful! It’s not a fun thing to battle with though is it? Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts! 🙂

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  7. I sympathize! I’m a fearful flyer too but my love for travel keeps me going. I constantly need to remind myself that flying is much safer than travel by tuktuk, car, bus, walking in a chaotic city. It helps a bit until the turbulence starts. On my 11 hour flight back from Hong Kong a few days ago, 5 of them were super bumpy. I was a mess, but I’ll be booking another flight soon!

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    1. I’m exactly the same, I love travelling too much to not get on the plane, but it can be a real struggle. Oh I do feel your pain about the turbulence, that is never fun at all. I’ve had some really bumpy flights back from that area of the world too. I kind of expect it now, so when it’s a relatively smooth flight it’s a nice surprise! I’m glad you don’t let it stop you though. How was Hong Kong?? I’ve never been, but would like to visit one day!

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