For many, flying is a joy and a privilege. But for nervous flyers, the experience could be completely different. Just the thought of stepping foot in a plane can make some travellers very nervous.

One AFF member seeks advice on how to overcome their fear of flying ahead of a trip to the United States.

I need to somehow conquer my fear of flying as I’m due to fly from Australia to L.A in less than two months for a holiday (as well as a few internal flights). To give you an example of my fear, I cried/shook in fear last December on the flight to and from QLD (which is only an hour and a half flight). I can’t tell you what exactly I fear, sometimes terrorists, sometimes faulty planes. I know this may seem extremely silly however it seems to become worse each flight I take.

One strategy recommended is to undertake a fear of flying course. There are numerous courses available, both in person and online. One such program is sponsored by Qantas and concludes with a flight on board a Qantas aircraft. Numerous success stories have resulted from these type of courses.

Another option is to talk to a doctor or a psychologist. One member attests that this helped them a great deal.

I would highly recommend talking to your GP, getting a referral to a psychologist and developing a care plan. This can all be covered by medicare, with the care plan to be implemented. My wife did this for our last trip to Asia. She was 1000 times better than all previous trips. We’d booked with Malaysian before their incidents last year, when MH370 disappeared she asked about changing airlines, but we did stick with Malaysian airlines. That’s how much the program helped.

A doctor may also be able to prescribe medication that reduces the anxiety experienced when flying.

Even some of the most frequent flyers can become nervous at the thought of flying. It’s entirely normal, and the good news is that a fear of flying is manageable.

It’s important to remember that modern day flying is now safer than ever, and the chances of being involved in a plane crash are extremely low. Statistically speaking, even the taxi ride to the airport is considered to be more dangerous.

Finally, our members suggest asking a question on our ASK THE PILOT thread, which is frequented by numerous pilots including a Qantas A380 captain. This thread contains much insight into the world of aviation and may help to alleviate concerns.

Join the discussion HERE.


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Matt Graham
The editor of Australian Frequent Flyer, Matt's passion for travel has taken him to over 60 countries… with the help of frequent flyer points, of course!
Matt's favourite destinations (so far) are Germany, Brazil, New Zealand & Kazakhstan. His interests include economics, aviation & foreign languages, and he has a soft spot for good food and red wine.

You can contact Matt at [email protected]