Airline anxiety: Read a book to overcome aerophobia

| Updated on October 17, 2021

Fighting fear: Wearing a rubber band can help with anxiety   -  REUTERS

Airline managements term the fear as irrational

While the pandemic has severely impacted the airline industry, with almost all airlines running under huge losses, there is a section of people who is actually afraid to fly. According to research, more than 80 per cent of the population is afraid of flying.

Is it irrational?

Called, aerophobia or aviophobia, it is classified as an anxiety disorder that can range from experiencing fear while flying to anxiety attacks before an upcoming flight. However, most airline managements have termed the fear as irrational, as it is based on the wide coverage airline accidents receive in the media. According to US-based National Transportation Safety Board, 98.6 per cent of crashes do not result in a fatality and commercial plane incidents cause death only once in 20 million flights. It also records that there was a one in 3.37 billion chance of dying in a commercial plane crash between 2012-2016.

Preparing to fly

According to flyfright.com, a site dedicated to helping “fearful flyers conquer their fears and learn to enjoy the joys of air travel,” pilots have to earn thousands of flight hours before they can even begin flying commercial planes. They must also go through regular training and re-certification throughout their careers.

“Every person involved in flying a plane is very good at their job. In addition, backup systems provide for safety during emergencies that would have been fatal just decades ago.”

How to overcome the fear of flying: It may sound bizarre, but according to the website, one way to overcome the fear of flying is the use hypnosis to conquer the fear of flying, but it may not work for everyone.

You can also buy a ticket for your psychologist, who can accompany you on the flight to provide counselling through the journey. If that doesn’t work, how about wearing a rubber band around your wrist? Every time there is an anxiety attack, snap the band on your wrist. The pain will distract you and bring you back to reality, according to Dr Prerna Kohli, a clinical psychologist. Perhaps the best solution is the knowledge that flying is still the safest way to travel. So, for all those who suffer from aerophobia, just buy a book from one of the airport’s book shops and read it on the flight.

(Source: drprernakohli. in; stratosjets.com/Steve Deane; flyfright.com)

Published on October 17, 2021

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