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Home > Fear of Flying > Fear of Flying – Causes and Tips
Fear of Flying – Causes and Tips
Flying - Fear of Flying
Tuesday, 25 November 2014 10:56

Overcoming Fear of Flying with SOAR

Good Afternoon Capt Lim,

I have a fear of flying and plan to take anxiety pills to help with the flights.

Do you have any suggestions I should do before the flight(s)? It isn't until the 7th and 8th of Dec.

I have been looking at pictures and trying to get as much information about each plane. I am hoping you would have some more information I could take into consideration.

My husband is flying with me, he is does not have the same fear. I have been on air planes before, but every time, I had to take something to calm me down.

Do you have anything for me to take or something I can do to help me?

Thank you so much


Hi Christine,

I perfectly understand your fear as statistics show that 1 in 6 air traveller have some form of anxiety or fear when embarking on a flight.

Let me be a little long-winded and elaborate a bit more on this topic as I would be giving a talk on this subject in the coming week as well.

Fear of flying is basically a complex psychological issue made more complex by security concern of air travel today. I am not sure what triggers your fear of flying. It can be any of the 8 below:-

1. Fear of height - acrophobia,

2. Fear of loss of control – unable to escape when the door of plane closes unlike in a car where you can get off in an emergency.

3. Fear of being in a crowded place – claustrophobia,

4. Onset of panic attacks,

5. Hearing too many stories of air crashes,

6. Fear of the unknown,

7. Fear of turbulence or the weather,

8. Effect of media sensationalism

Find out if you can identify the source and work on that.

As you know flying is around 10-40 times safer than driving. I know statistics does not mean much to someone who is afraid to fly but think about this. Everything we do in life involve some degree of risks; going to the supermarket, crossing the road, walking up the staircase or having a shower. Although there is some risk in flying, it is just one small risk. I feel safer flying on a commercial airplane than driving to work.

So while flying is safer, it is not risk free. We must not think safety means an absence of accidents. An accident-less world only exist in the imagination. Remember, statistics show that the risk of flying is minimal in comparison to other forms of transportation!

Here are some tips to reduce your fear of flying:-

1. Learn as much as you can about flying – you are doing the right thing by learning about the planes that you are going to fly. Knowledge is power. Knowledge is the antidote of fear.

2. Choose an aisle seat if you are one of those who is claustrophobic.

3. Think positively – I have known of people who have negative thoughts like, ‘the plane may crash when I travel by air.’

4. Don’t rush – give yourself plenty time to go to the airport as it is stressful when you have to rush and that will contribute to your flying fears.

5. Talk to the crew if you have the opportunity.

6. Listen to some soothing music

7. Remind yourself you are in control of yourself

8. Carry out proper breathing exercise to reduce your tension or stress

9. Meditation helps

10. Take only medication as prescribed by your doctor.

11. Of course you can read a good aviation book (Try my book, Life in the Skies – everything you want to know about flying) to enhance tip No 1.

Hope the above helps. However, for other chronic fearful flyers reading this, I can only recommend the treatment for fear of flying book here or attend a fear of flying course here Both are by Captain Tom Bunn from the USA (scroll down on the left side of this website for more)

Getting over your fear of flying


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Fear of Flying

Thank you!!! I made it!

Christine Schmitz , 11 Dec, 2014
A few more suggestions
Looks like you had a good trip! For anyone else reading this, as far as books, I would recommend "A Gift of Wings" by Richard Bach.

When you're on the plane, if you begin to feel nervous, hold your breath for 5 seconds and then try to breathe normally. Do that every few breaths (holding for 5 seconds & then breathing slowly) until you feel your heart beat return to normal. It will help prevent a feeling of panic.

Having air blowing on your face might also help (adjust the air nozzle on the overhead console).

Remember that refusing to fly is also very risky - You'll miss out on so many things in life, like seeing loved ones and seeing/experiencing the world you live in.
Mike W. , 31 Dec, 2014

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