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How to Fight the Fear of Flight

08.28.2014
Topic News Articles

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If you've ever flown, it's likely you've heard about how safe traveling by plane can be. Maybe you've heard that driving a car is more dangerous or that airline malfunctions are extremely rare. Fatalities from air travel are even rarer. In fact, according to data from the International Civil Aviation Organization, one in 3 million flights were fatal in 2013. That means, traveling in a car is 100 times more deadly, The Guardian reported.

Flight fear is considered to be an irrational concern by many people, but that doesn't take away your feelings toward it. Luckily, there are a few travel tips you can use to ward off those in-flight jitters.

Acknowledge your fear

Actively fighting your fear can make you more anxious and raise your heart rate, according to ABC News. While feeding into your anxiety can seem counterproductive, the news agency suggests that acknowledging your feelings can have a therapeutic effect. State your worries to yourself in a calm and collected manner, describe how your body is reacting to the act of flying, and try saying something positive and reassuring to yourself. Being realistic with yourself can help much more than wrestling with your emotions.

Keep your mind occupied

The old saying goes that an idle mind is the devil's playground. You can help keep your thoughts away from an overwhelmingly rare and morbid circumstance by staying busy, NBC reported. Bring anything that can keep your mind away from thoughts of the flight. Bring cards, a good book, a laptop with movies or anything else that will help calm your nerves.

Be careful what you drink

While sipping on an alcoholic beverage during the flight may give you some peace of mind, remember to drink in moderation if at all. Becoming intoxicated in the middle of the flight can cloud your judgment and make you feel more panicked than before. Also, you don't want to show up to your destination inebriated. Locating checked baggage can be a hassle. Doing it while you're unable to walk in a straight line can make it into a nightmare.

Also, be careful of coffee and other caffeinated beverages. These drinks can increase your heart rate, and keep you wired and anxious. Try to avoid the caffeine at least three hours before the flight and during travel.

Listen to music

Don't let every sound of the flight send you into a frenzy. Listen to some calming music to cover up the airline ambiance with some of your own. Focus on music that keeps you relaxed.

Voice your concern at check-in

Talking to the airline staff can be beneficial for a variety of reasons. First off, asking for a seat closer to the front of the cabin can help you experience fewer bumps during the flight. According to NBC News, turbulence is much greater toward the back of the flight. At the same time, tell your gate agent, flight attendant and the passengers you're sitting next to about your fears. Oftentimes the airline staff can be very helpful with fearful passengers, and sometimes fellow passengers can be supportive, too. Either way, there's no shame in giving your fellow passengers a little forewarning.

The information contained here is provided by Brafton. AIG Travel assumes no responsibility for the use, accuracy, or interpretation of the information contained herein.