Tuesday, September 17, 2019 Edition: U.S. & World | Regional

How to Get Over Your Fear of Flying

Flying can be terrifying, especially if a person has never been on a plane before. However, there are many people that have flown before and they are still petrified every time they step onto a plane. To them, their fears seem rational, while to others these fears are just plain unrealistic. Rational or not, these fears are real and have a real affect on their ability to enjoy travel and go about their lives.

If you are one of the many who are afraid to fly, here are 9 tips that should help you get over your fear of flying:

1    Gain knowledge

It is better to have as much knowledge as possible before you get on a plane to fly. Flying is safer than pretty much any other form of transportation and is safer now than ever before. CNN has an interesting article that lists all of the plane crashes that have occurred since 1920 that are notable or have had more than 200 fatalities. There are only 28 crashes listed for the ninety-seven-year period. That is a very small number considering that there are at least 90,000 commercial flights on a daily basis, so the chances that your plane will crash while you are on it is incredibly small.
Gain Knowledge
2    Pretend

This may seem difficult, but how many times have you pretended to know everything during a business meeting? How about pretending to know what you are doing when you are preparing a meal that you have never heard of before? It was not easy then, but you did it. Next time that you have to fly, pretend that you are a person who isn’t afraid. Simply walk confidently to your seat and begin reading a book or a magazine. If the noise of the engines bother you, then you can put on a pair of noise cancelling headphones to block everything out.
3    Choose your seat wisely

If you feel safer in a certain seat, then that it the one that you should choose to sit in. Many people love to sit by the window, especially if they are claustrophobic, but if you hate heights, you may want to sit anywhere but the window seat.
Choose Your Seat Wisely
4    Be friendly

If you board the plane early enough, you will have a chance to chat with the pilots and take a quick peek inside the cockpit. Meeting the pilots may make you feel a little more comfortable when you are up in the air.
Be Friendly
5    Upgrade

There are not as many people in first class and the seats are a lot roomier. Besides the space, you will receive more one on one attention from the flight attendants, which could help you feel more at ease during your flight.
6    Sit near the front

If upgrading is not an option for you, then you should try to sit as close to the front of the plane as possible. It is not as bumpy of a ride in the front of the plane and there isn’t as much noise either.
Sit Near The Front
7    Be prepared for anxiety

Be prepared to have anxiety during your flight. Your anxiety will begin long before you get on the plane and it will only get worse during your flight. If you normally take medication for your anxiety, you will want to make sure that you take it before you leave for the airport and carry it with you in your carry-on bag. If you use any other strategies to calm yourself when you get anxious, you should have the items that you need for those strategies with you as well.
Be Prepared For Anxiety
8    Fight your anxiety

Anxiety can cause you to do something that you know is irrational, but you can change the way that you act if you fight your anxiety. If flying makes you panic and feel like you can’t sit still, then you will need to find something to do that will keep you in your seat. It may be watching a movie, reading a book or magazine, or knitting. The goal is to do the opposite of what your brain and the anxiety is telling you to do.
Fight Your Anxiety
9    Learn how to fly

Sometimes the best way to get over a fear of flying is to do something crazy like learning how to fly a plane. You can choose a real plane or a simulator, but the goal is to learn how to feel like you are in control when on a plane. As soon as you are flying the plane, you will learn how to control your emotions as well as you can control the plane. This should help you feel more in control when you climb aboard a plane for your next flight.
Learn How To Fly


Flying can be scary for many people, but there are so many ways that people can alleviate their fears. If you are having anxiety before your next flight, you may want to try some of the above tips and see if they make your flight a little more tolerable. It may take time, but you can overcome your fear of flying.


  1. October 4, 2017 - 3:37 am

    Hi, good article. I’m helping my brother to fight his fear of flying. He has been on plane only once and that was very bad experience for him. While we were in the air, my uncle shared frightening stories of planes crashing just for fun. It did not do any good and my little brother started crying. I hope I can help him recover.

  2. Yassine
    October 4, 2017 - 9:39 am

    Most of the advices could be very helpful, however i don’t agreed with fighting anxiety.As a life-coach,I beleive that the more you fight emotions the more the grew up, the important is to accept,and not resist it, as Susan Jeffers says : feel the fear and do it anyway!

    There’s also many exercices to deal with anxiety meditation could be very powerful, not to mention creative visuaisation by imagining right before you will go on the plane that you flew safely, and everything was fine,…

  3. Cait
    October 5, 2017 - 2:05 am

    I’m certainly lucky that flying is not a particular worry for me, but I can imagine that the stress is very difficult for people who do have this problem and want to travel. If you are not able or willing to fly, there are simply some places that are out of your reach. I understand how much anxiety and nervousness can surround travel in general and would hate to experience it when it comes to flying. It’s great you’ve come up with a list to help people who have this problem so they, too, can…

  4. Mitchell
    October 5, 2017 - 8:04 am

    Amazing! This is a timely a post. My fear for height has been one of the reasons I have steered clear of aircraft for so long but this time around I am breaking the jinx. I am truly afraid of height that I will still love to catch the wonderful view up there. I guess I will have to fight that before choosing my seat. Thanks for the tips; they are going to really help.

  5. Richard G.
    October 7, 2017 - 3:32 pm

    I used to be terrified of flying and it’s only in the last two-three months I’ve been able to get on a plane without Diazepam to calm me down. I agree with all of the points you’ve made here – knowing the statistics really helped me too! One thing I did do was to communicate my fears with staff which meant that when things happened which scared me, they were able to explain what it was and why!


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