Travelling with Fear of Flying

26/04/2013 -- Admin
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It's amazing the number of people who make their wills just before they're jet off on the holiday of a lifetime.

Ask any solicitor.

Many of them are secret sufferers of Aviophobia or aerophobia, more commonly known as fear of flying.

The thought of dying in a plane crash or being hijacked by terrorists while in the air puts some people off flying for life.

Some nervous flyers are claustrophobic, others are afraid of heights.  Turbulence caused by bad weather can cause real terror.

Does travel insurance cover fear of flying?

Fear of flying is a recognised phobia affecting 1 in 10 people but travel insurance companies don’t usually accept it as a valid reason for holiday cancellation.

That’s bad luck if you have to disembark from the plane before it’s even taken off, especially if you’ve spent thousands of pounds on your holiday.

Unfortunately, much like accidents and injuries that occur under the influence of alcohol or drugs, most insurers will automatically deem fear of flying as being self inflicted.  So what you end up with is voided travel insurance.

Ways to cope

Virgin and BA airlines run courses with psychological tips and relaxation techniques to conquer the fear of flying.

One participant in the Virgin Atlantic course even went on to take his pilot licence!

As well as reassuring facts about airline safety – very few planes do crash or are attacked by terrorists – courses include talks from experienced pilots plus you get to go on a short test flight.

Top tips

  • Keep occupied during the flight with games, books, crosswords and puzzles.
  • Practice deep breathing techniques.
  • Avoid alcohol and caffeine.
  • Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
  • Suck sweets to stop ears popping because of air pressure changes on take-off and landing.
  • Listen to your favourite music.
  • If all else fails, ask your GP for medication to calm your nerves.