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Fight your fear of flying

Posted in NEWS By Maggie O' Sullivan
One in four people finds flying difficult and one in 10 has a fully-fledged phobia and can't get on a plane at all. So if that's you, what can you do about it?easyJet Fearless Flyer courseFear of flying is a blanket term, say the experts, as not everyone is afraid of the same thing. While some fear crashing or being hijacked, others are terrified of not being in control, of being in an enclosed space or of having a panic attack in front of strangers. But help is at hand: many of the airlines run courses to help passengers overcome their fears and they do seem work. In the UK, British Airways claims its Flying with Confidence sessions have a 98 per cent success rate while easyJet says 95 per cent of those taking its Fearless Flyer courses manage to conquer their fears. So if you are a nervous flyer, a course has got to be worth a go.Lawrence Leyton/Fearless Flyer courseLast week easyJet's courses take place over two days in a number of locations in the UK and on the first day, phobia expert Lawrence Leyton, above, teaches essential techniques for controlling nerves followed by a senior easyJet pilot explaining the sounds and sensations passengers experience on a flight. The following day there’s a one-hour flight, featuring a full in-flight commentary. Courses cost £189 and attendees can take a friend or partner for moral support for an additional £69.Fear of flying appsThere’s an app for most things these days and fear of flying is no exception. One of the best we’ve come across is SOAR Conquers Fear of Flying which you can download from the App Store. SOAR has been operating fear of flying programmes in the US for decades and this app helps to control panic, claustrophobia and anxiety largely by talking through every aspect of a flight, from take-off to mid-flight turbulence to landing. It includes a turbulence forecast and even a G-Force monitor so users can check the aircraft is within safe limits. There are also video courses you can download as in-app purchase.

Alternatively, have a look at a website called A Guide to Psychology and its Practice: Fear of Flying. It’s a little dry but packed with helpful information, including a brilliant list of resources, both for practical tips and psychological help. 



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