General Question

perplexism's avatar

First time on an airplane. Tips for remaining calm?

Asked by perplexism (926points) October 8th, 2009

I have never flown in an airplane before, so does anyone have any suggestions on how to keep calm during the flight? I feel like I’m going to be on the flight the entire time sweating bullets.

My flight is booked for the 20th of this month, and I’ll be heading to Chicago from Florida.

I’m just so nervous!

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21 Answers

named_it_mozart's avatar

Remember that there are way, way more fatal car accidents than plane accidents. The pilot makes plenty of flights every single day back and forth, and so do the flight attendants.
Sit back, try to relax, listen to music when you get to cruising altitude. I’m usually really afraid of heights, but somehow it’s different when I look out the window of a plane. If it bothers you, though, don’t look out the window. Read a book, etc. The flight will be over before you know it.

Dog's avatar

Take a bonine tablet as boarding starts. This will prevent nausea from nerves and motion.

Airplanes make a LOT of weird noises. You know those sounds that you hear when you are having new tires put on your car? The hydrolics on airplanes often make such sounds and it is perfectly normal. Airplanes are not quiet like in the movies.

If you are old enough have a glass of wine.

SpatzieLover's avatar

Chew gum.
If you drink, get a drink as soon as you can.
Fill up you iPod with some great tunes
Play a game on your laptop.
Read a funny magazine or book.

If you occupy your mind with something else, the trip will seem to go quicker.

If there is turbulence, just know that it is normal and the plane is safe.

jrpowell's avatar

I am terrified of heights (standing on a chair freaks me out) and incredibly claustrophobic. So you would think that a plane would be my worst nightmare. It isn’t. I was scared the first time but now I love it.

Taking off is actually a lot of fun. Looking out the window when you are in the air is awesome. I will be honest here. Landing scares the shit out of me.

virtualist's avatar

… it is the safest thing you will probably ever do. Enjoy it…... My wife is not a ‘technical’ person….. to her flying is ‘magic’ ..... I long ago stopped explaining to her why ‘it’ flys and why the wings flex a bit and the experience that exists for the professional pilots and crew. She takes her dramamine, reads her books, listens to her ipodnano….. and let’s the ‘miracle of flying’ get her there fast, and magically safe and sound!

CMaz's avatar

I am usually asleep the moment my tooshie hits the chair.

occ's avatar

Buy yourself some special treats beforehand – fun things that you might not usually have…trashy magazines, delicious chocolates…and if you have a laptop computer that can play DVDs, bring it with you so that you can watch a movie that will distract you (it helps the time go faster). Also, for a trip of that length, if you are a good sleeper you can probably just sleep the whole way there and the trip will speed by.

Les's avatar

If you feel yourself getting nervous, keep an eye on the flight attendants. The ride may be bumpy, noisy, etc, all things you’re not going to be used to. But the flight attendants are. Sometimes, when I start to get nervous, I’ll catch a glance at a flight attendant, see he is talking and joking as normal, and I’ll feel much better.

@johnpowell – I hate take-off. Landing, not so much. Strange…

Grisaille's avatar

Take motion sickness tablets a half an hour before take off. With luck, you might be knocked out for most of the ride.

I hate landing, so badly. When I was returning home to NYC from LA, we had a layoff in Salt Lake City. We were coming in for landing and we all noticed that the entire city was covered in a VERY thick fog; we kept on “dropping”, like a parabolic arc and hitting turbulence like crazy. Everyone was dead silent on the plane, not knowing if we were going to die (the Captain was unusually quiet, no flight attendants to be seen).

I may have peed a little.

trogdor_87's avatar

Remember if the plain is going down, put your head between your legs and kiss your ass goodbye…good luck!

mrentropy's avatar

Ignore the gremlin on the wing.

CMaz's avatar

You saw that too?!

CaseyWVU10's avatar

Put your ipod in and take a sleeping mask for your eyes. Put your head back and sleep the entire time…P.S. bring one of those neck pillows, I know they are ridiculous but trust me, you will like when you have it there on the plane with you.

deni's avatar

the first time i flew was only a few years ago, and i was pretty scared, but as soon as we took off i realized there was nothing to be scared of it and it was actually pretty fuckin cool that this big hunk of metal was zooming through the air. i love taking off and landing now, but the rest is boring and uneventful so don’t even worry about anything. it’s like being on a big bus that just happens to be 5 miles in the air and going a little bit faster. pills are unnecessary unless you’re completely freaking out.

Barcybarce's avatar

Watch episode 1 of season 1 of LOST

boffin's avatar

…Tips for remaining calm?

The “Booze” cart…
Ask for a double…

sparkytheoutlaw's avatar

I get really reall nervous on planes…and have flown about 35 times….my advice is good…i hope. :) chew gum on take off…it helps with the altitude…at take off take deep relaxing breaths..and don’t sit near the window…and landing take deep relaxing breaths and make sure you aren’t chewing gum on the decent…it always makes me queasy to do that…once you’re off the plane pop your ears if you can…if not THEN chew some gum or suck on some hard candy it will have the same effect. make sure you sip on something while you fly…then you won’t feel so tired when you land.

missingbite's avatar

Keep in mind that flying is overwhelmingly safer than driving. In order to be guaranteed a plane crash you would have to board a flight once a day, every day for 5000 years. Even then, you have a better than 80% chance of surviving. I have spent more than 10,000 hours flying over the last 15 years and continue to fly all the time. I know it can be nerve racking but keep in mind how safe it is and don’t let the media convince you it is dangerous. It isn’t.

occ's avatar

how was your trip?

perplexism's avatar

Thanks everyone for your helpful tips, believe me when I say, I kept each one in mind as I boarded the airplane.

As for the airplane flight itself, it went great. I was a little nervous during takeoff, but eventually relaxed. I even feel asleep about 40 minutes into it. My favorite part was seeing the clouds. I’m actually looking forward to my next flight. Thanks again, guys! :)

missingbite's avatar

Congratulations!! As an airline pilot, I always love to hear about pleasant trips.

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