Any tips to cure fear of flying?

posted 2 years ago in The Lounge
Post # 16
903 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

There are some good fear of flying message boards that can be very helpful. Xanax or a stiff drink.  If you tend to be anxiety prone in other areas of your life working on your anxiety in general may translate over to fear of flight, because after all it is an “irrational fear” (as in statistically its very safe form of transportation and what not).  Ooh, also YouTube videos of take off from the a pilot’s vantage point may help too! I wish you so much luck, and you will be fine on your flight !

Post # 17
171 posts
Blushing bee

Just commenting to say that just reading about other people’s flight anxiety makes my palms a bit sweaty. The only way I’ve ever found to cope is having a drink (or two) and just being mildly (or a lot, if there’s a lot of turbulence) miserable until the flight is over. For longer flights I’ll knock myself out with Benadryl but I hate the Benadryl hangover feeling. For those who’ve had Xanax, is there a similar hangover feeling? I’ve never tried it but would definitely do so if it made flying more bearable. 

Post # 18
8170 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

Mls1988 :  

This is me too, I hate turbulence and am white knuckled throughout it , I can stand landing OK and take off usuallly , but mid flight turbulence and I am a mess ( though I think I hide it . I always have a window seat so I can turn my freaked out face away)  

Had to laugh at  an early pp who said ‘think  about how much  more likely a car accident is   ‘ or something . Goodness, how did we miss that fact  – of course , now we don’t feel any fear all , how stupid of us not to  have realised that  before   … She’s clearly got NO idea of how fear of flying works LOL  )

I agree with a pp who said just reading about it makes her anxious  . I have a longish (well, long if you are scared,  ie over 3 hours )  flight coming up soon so……..

Post # 19
1575 posts
Bumble bee

Calming music, now you can have small devices turned on during take off. Is there a nice airport lounge at your airport? I had to go on a long haul flight and paid $50 to go to a first class lounge, which had an open bar with champagne. A few glasses later I was well relaxed 🙂 

Post # 20
3532 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 29th, 2016

MrsMeowton :  Takeoff is the worst! I’ve only flown with my husband, and it’s kinda mushy, but holding his hand (more like squeezing) really helps me feel more safe and comforted. I’m not sure who you’re flying with and if that would be appropriate, but that helps me feel better while taking off and landing 🙂 

Post # 21
262 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

MrsMeowton :  As many glasses of wine at the airport that you need to feel relaxed.  Also, i like to watch all of the planes take off while we are waiting to board so my mind understands ‘oh this has happened 20 times – i watched it – and it was seemless!’ Then i would say get on the plane as late as you can so you dont have time to sit in the seat and psych yourself out.  

Post # 22
1150 posts
Bumble bee

Xanax.  If your flight is 4+ hours take enough Xanax that it makes it hard for you to stay awake about 45-60 minutes before take off.  If you have a shorter flight you probably don’t want to take that much or you’ll have a problem being groggy after landing.  

Take as much Xanax (or Valium) as the circumstances allow.

Post # 23
2021 posts
Buzzing bee

I have a huge fear of flying, and I have to fly all the time for work. This means I’m consistently with colleagues and landing and taking off to meetings, so Xanax and Valium just isn’t an option if I need to be alert. Also, agree with PP’s that saying things like “but cars are sooo much more dangerous” does not help. At all. The fear of flying is a legit fear, and I hate when people act like you’re a big sissy for not liking the fact that you’re 30k feet above ground going 600 mph in a metal vault designed to ignore the laws of gravity.

What does help me, is that I find ONE song on my iPod that makes me feel relaxed and that is my favorite song of the moment and save it for takeoff. I don’t walk around the airport with my headphones in, but I save that moment for when the plane turns to prepare for takeoff. It sounds stupid, but it helps me have something to look forward to.

Another technique I have is just watching the flight attendants. What feels like turbulence or bumpiness to me is totally normal for them. If they’re continuing in flight service, talking to each other and generally look unalarmed, it helps me feel better.

I will occasionally drink a glass of wine to help relax, just depends on what is coming after the flight. 

Everyone has their seat preferences, I prefer window so I can see the ground and also so I know what to expect (ie we’re about to go through clouds, so expect some bumps)

I also plan out what I’m going to do on my flight. I go to Seattle a lot, which is about a 3.5 hour non-stop for me. So, I get my song/ playlist ready to go. Once we are in the air, I give myself a few and then read my book, then take a break and eat (I typically stop at this really good sandwich shop in the airport and get one to go), maybe order a glass of wine. I’m all about saving some rewards for when I’m in the air haha. Whether that is saving some good food/snacks, or my music or holding back on that glass of wine.

I haven’t found the “cure” for flying, I still dislike it A LOT. But, it does help the more you do it to find a pattern that helps put you at ease. 


Post # 24
702 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2020

Personally, though I understand planes are statistically safer than cars or trains, the thing that weighs heavy in my chest is the odds of survival when something does go wrong. In a car, you have control of the wheel which brings some comfort. In a train, you are at least grounded. But in a plane, you have zero control and are thousands of feet in the air. Not comforting. So maybe that will help some see the plane anxiety point of view.

I, as some others have said, am terrified of turbulance. One thing that has helped me is watching the flight attendants. I tell myself they do this every single day and they can tell if something isn’t right. If they’re still up and serving and generally unconcerned when turbulance is happening, then I feel much better.

I suppose the same tactic could help with taking off, though they might be harder to see when sitting down. But if the professionals aren’t concerned, then I tell myself I shouldn’t be either.

Post # 25
10033 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2012


Post # 26
9123 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2013

my mom takes xanax

Post # 27
799 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

I was scared as can be on my first flight ever. I was 16 and traveling with my school. my teacher was kind enough to buy me those wristbands for your pulse. Supposedly they help you. I cried the first time we took off and the second time i bought a drink at the gift shop that helps you relax and i was fine. 

Post # 28
1135 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

I always have to bring a comfort item from home when I fly. I have a sock monkey and a little stuffed Eeyore. It sounds silly but I squeeze them or smell them and it really helps getting through the bumpy stuff. Remember to breathe. I have heard Xanax works wonders too. 

Post # 29
3042 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2008

All of the in-flight cocktails! Just remember to bring plenty of cash. 😉 

Having a really engaging book helps too! I usually bring something meant for older children/young adults that stimulates the imagination and helps me forget where I am like books in the Harry Potter series, the Time quintet (A Wrinkle in Time, Swiftly Tilting Planet, etc.), Chronicles of Narnia, The Phantom Tollbooth, any of Roald Dahl’s longer works, etc. 

Post # 30
3404 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

A common approach is to think about the scary “What if?”. So in this case, think about all of the scary things that could happen during takeoff. What would realistically happen if takeoff didn’t go well? Confronting that nightmare scenario is a great tool.

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