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Beulah's avatar

How do you cope with flying anxiety?

Asked by Beulah (371 points ) May 17th, 2011

I don’t have a fear of flying. Been an air traveler since I was a kid. But 4 years ago, while waiting for our flight to take-off, the jet suddenly lost power and it became dark and airless inside the aircraft. I hyperventilated and almost passed out! Power came back 30 minutes later after the ground rescue. But it really freaked me out. After that, I became anxious whenever I have to travel by air. Any helpful suggestions?

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20 Answers

The_Idler's avatar

Just think about the Hindenburg and the Titanic, then realise that we’ve never had it so good.

marinelife's avatar

The chances of anything bad happening on your flight are very small. You have already had your bad flight experience so you are due for good ones from now on.

gailcalled's avatar

Not available to everyone, my solution is to never set foot in a plane again. If I can’t drive or take the horse and buggy, I am not meant to go there.

JLeslie's avatar

It is very unlikely statistically for something to go wrong. Of course, since you had something go wrong, it does not really matter if it is 1 in a million, you know, or feel it can happen. But, the truth is the back up systems worked it seemed and everyone was ok.

I think you should ask for some xanax when you fly. If you get anxious you can pop one. It works very quickly, so if there is an extended emergency situation you will be able to remain calm. Just knkwing you have it might help you feel better, and you might never need to take it. Or, you can take it before the flight if you really feel you need it. Just remember those drugs are very effective, but also can be very addictive. Taking one will not make you instantly addicted, it is not crack, but you should not take it on a regular basis. If you have an addictive personality I would not take it at all.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I’m with gail. I drive and choose not to fly. I know what the odds are, but if I have engine problems in a car I pull over. Doesn’t work in a plane.

JLeslie's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe A plane can fly on one engine, it is unlikely all will fail at once.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@JLeslie I know the mechanics, and I see how people drive around here, but I still like my odds on the ground. Just a quirk for me.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I could also say ask Capt Sully about that. :)

sliceswiththings's avatar

You didn’t hear it from me, but have a pot brownie before going to the airport. Seriously. I did that on my most recent flight, and I’ve never been more calm.

JLeslie's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe I actually thought about that crash as I was writing.

ucme's avatar

I scream like a stuck Irish pig!!
At least I would if I had the nerve to board the bloody thing in the first instance.

dabbler's avatar

A big meal and noise-cancelling headphones set the stage for a nap once on board.
Keep reminding yourself it’s normal for the space canoe to rock like that.

Kardamom's avatar

I had a series of unpleasant flights when I was 7 years old. I didn’t fly again until I was 25. When I was 25, I attempted to overcome my fear (with the lure of going on a trip to England, where I always wanted to travel to) I had an OK flight, but it was very stressful trip across the pond.

A few years later, I had a chance to go to Chicago for a vacation with friends. It was a horrific flight during a thunder and lightning storm. Then I asked myself, why on earth do I need to fly? Answer: I don’t.

I don’t fly and I have no desire to fly and I have no need to fly. There are other modes of transportation. Learn about them and learn to embrace driving, going by rail, by boat, by bus and don’t answer to anyone who says that you need to fly. Just like cell phones, flying is a mere convenience, not a necessity. The fact that we are in a horrible financial recession just backs this up. There are better and more cost effective modes of transportation that don’t instill panic in the traveler.

Beulah's avatar

I also try to avoid flying but sometimes need really arises. Maybe next time I’ll try a shot of gin. Xanax is the last recourse but I’ll pass on the pot brownie thank you. :-)

JLeslie's avatar

Maybe if all of the people who are afraid to fly could push for a better rail system, our trains would be a great way to travel. I love travelling by train, but generally it takes too long and isn’t much cheaper in the US.

The_Idler's avatar

Yeah, travelling the US is horrible, because you either have to drive yourself at 60mph, or get in a plane and see nothing along the way.

Need to sort out your trains. Perfect case for a high-speed rail – or even maglev – system.
That the Chinese are doing it, and the Americans aren’t, shows how much a detriment capitalist vested interest is to the American society.

I absolutely love being able to walk to the town’s train station (in England), hop on the train, and 2 changes later be in Cologne (Germany). You can walk around. You can take your own drinks. There are even restaurant cars. No hassle, no bullshit, no massive queues, no conveyor-belt frustration, no hectic airports and absolutely no roaring, rumbling, flying sardine-cans!

Kardamom's avatar

@The_Idler That sounds so wonderful! I got to ride the tube and the double decker busses when I took a trip to England. It was perfect and fun.

I can only dream that the U.S. would invest in rail travel. It could put a lot of people to work, too.

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