The Fear of Flying Is Real
We live in a big world and one of the most modern ways to travel, and typically the only way if you need to cross a few “ponds” is by airplane. In fact, in 2013 alone already over 47 million people have boarded a flight domestically (please note: this statistic counts every single time an individual boards a plane as a different passenger so there may be frequent fliers).
Of these 47 million people on the number of flights every day, I would bet a few of them were terrified before, during, and after their flight. No matter how long the duration of time in the air.
It is a phobia that leaves no class of citizen untouched. In fact, Swedish pop star Agnetha Faltskog from ABBA, recently admitted she wasn’t a recluse all those years. Just had an intense fear of flying, preventing her from appearances with her band mates.
It’s called “aviophobia” and is defined as literally the fear of flight. According to Wikipedia, it isn’t just when airborne. In fact, the panic can begin due to a number of other phobias or triggers such as claustrophobia, acrophobia or a fear of heights, or agoraphobia – where you fear having a panic attack in a place you can’t escape from.
Although there’s no exact percentage, a number of sources show as many as 20% of people suffer some degree of fear when flying. Unfortunately for those suffering, there’s no one cure fits all. However, there are a few tips:
- Try to stay away from caffeine and energy drinks before a flight as these can be a trigger for a panic attack
- Discuss possible medication solutions with your doctor
- Learn and try breathing techniques, these will help remind you only you are in control
- Think positively and remind yourself about airport security and the regular maintenance airplanes receive
In fact, technology is playing a significant role in how airplanes are operated on. British Airways (BA), one of the largest carriers in the UK and globally, utilizes software enabling BA to analyze maintenance and safety incident data for their aircraft fleets.
In turn, this leads to an increase of insights for greater safety and less stress for both plane personnel and passengers. These predictive insight means these airlines can service their planes before maintenance breakdowns occur. Keeping you safe, your anxiety as low as possible and helping you focus on what you’re going to do when you land – not what might happen in the air.