Fear of Flying

Fear of Flying

Aerophobia is something that I am passionate about helping people with. Flying is something I came to love at a young age and it ultimately ended up being one of my careers. I have been flying commercially for 20+ years and I still take great pride and enjoyment in this job. I have met many people both at work (customers) and out of work that don’t like flying, many reasons being such as turbulence, aircraft noises, poor weather, a lack of being in control and others.

When I think about the whole airport and aircraft experience, people will go through a mixed set of emotions from days/weeks before just thinking about going on a flight or a holiday. Starting with the journey to the airport, has it been easy or was it stressful just getting there? The different sights, sounds and smells of an airport especially for first time or infrequent flyers, did we remember our tickets, passports and foreign currency? We haven’t even checked in yet! The list goes on! Our body will respond to our thoughts and experiences by releasing hormones in the brain which then creates a state (emotion) and this leads to a particular type of behaviour being displayed. What can happen during a stressed or anxious state is that our brain can unfortunately be programmed with an internal representation of a negative experience. If we don’t take the learning from such an experience, this then creates an undesirable thought process and behaviour towards a specific event. If this mindset is created before or starts when on board an aircraft, it is easy to see why a fear of flying is created.

For people with a mild dislike towards flying, meeting aircrew and having their questions answered helps to alleviate some worries and makes the overall flying experience much better. I have met people that simply can’t get on an aeroplane due to their fear of flying. When people have a phobia, the rational part of the brain shuts down momentarily and the perceived threat sets off our in-built survival response, fight or flight. In this case with flying, the phobia can be experience-specific and will have involved a one-time learning process in the brain. The wonderful news is this process can be reversed, and a new learning or way of thinking about flying can be programmed. Together with my flying experience, I now have the mind tools to help remove a phobia towards flying, and this is something I’m really excited about. In my Fear of Flying programme we will spend some time finding out what has caused this phobic response. We will then do the therapy work and help you get rid of this fear to enable your choice in the future using Time Line Therapy®.

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