If you struggle with fear of flying, you might want to get help now
In a widely reported article on climate change, British scientists are predicting that by the middle of the next century the frequency of turbulence over the North Atlantic will increase by 170% and the intensity will increase by 40%.
This is obviously bad news for those of us who struggle with fear of flying. Luckily for me, I’ll be more concerned with finding my dentures than flying to Europe by then, but it still makes me kind of twitchy just thinking about it.
I’ve written frequently and frankly about my own fear of flying, as well as my experiences treating it. If flying means palpitations, sweating, and white knuckles for you, here are some resources.
Online videos, followed by repeated strengthening exercises and a one on one phone consultation with the creator of the program (a pilot and licensed therapist). This is the program I tried and liked.
A real world treatment program where participants take classes, sit in cockpits, and tour maintenance hangars. The course takes place over two consecutive weekends, culminating with an optional orientation flight.
The only problem? If you don’t live in the San Francisco Bay Area, you’ll have to fly to get here.
If you love flying on Virgin Atlantic and Virgin America — and hey, who doesn’t? — check out their Flying without Fear courses in the U.K. Not only do you get treatment for your phobia, you also get a hot catered meal and 2,000 frequent flyer miles and a test flight.
If you’re based on the east coast, Freedom to Fly offers twice yearly 6-week workshops at the Westchester County Airport complete with a “graduation flight” from Laguardia to Boston and back.
5. Brave Flyer
Completely unmoved by statistics on relative air travel safety, the author of this e-book developed a step-by-step system of fear management for before and during flights. At just $2.99, it doesn’t represent much of a financial risk.
If you want to network with other people who suffer from fear of flying, check out the various forums on this informative website. They cover everything from thunderstorms to the best seats for a nervous flyer.
If money were no object, I would take myself straight down to this “only in California” treatment center, which offers a flight simulation experience that would rival any theme park ride. Strapped into an actual commercial airplane seat, the client can feel everything from thunderstorms to the light vibrations of cruising, all with surround sound and visual simulation. Cool.
Finally, what about apps? A quick search of the App Store revealed more than 20 iPhone and iPad apps at every price point that claim to treat fear of flying. I haven’t tried them, but I like the idea of Relax+ with Andrew Johnson. The app itself is free, but the subjects (fear of flying, control gambling, and nail biting) are all $1.99 each as in-app purchases. It’s worth a try!
Have you had success with a fear of flying treatment that I haven’t mentioned here? Please feel free to tell us about it in the comments below.