Hi everyone!

Well I'm back here after a bit of a gap, not had to fly for a while but in May I'll be flying London City to Dublin on my own for the first time. At the moment I feel OK about it - I'm going there to speak at an archaeology conference for my PhD, which I'm quite looking forward to - but I know when the time comes around I'll probably get the same old feelings. It's only a short flight thankfully.  I'm trying to get prepared before I go, and I wanted to ask how other people have coped flying alone? I don't know whether to get a window seat or not - usually I avoid looking out of the window as I get dizzy, but I wonder if it might help to try to look out a bit. I've also been watching a lot of take-off videos. Finally, I know this sounds silly but completely by chance, I heard a radio presenter say just the other day that pilots have to specially train to fly in and out of London City, and that take-offs and landings can be particularly steep here because of the buildings. Steep take-offs are a particular pet-hate for me; I'm worrying about that now as ironically I chose London City as it would be much less hassle than Heathrow or Gatwick (I can get there and back very easily from home). I wish I'd never heard that! Any thoughts, strategies would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks in advance!

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Hi Sue,

You may find that the fact that your own your own might make you feel a little more relaxed..I say this because one of the things believed to make people anxious, or the experience worse, is showing fear or anxiety in front of the people they are with.
It was certainly a factor in my case when I last flew on a family holiday to Orlando..I knew that if I showed I was 'a little worried' (and thats putting its mildly! lol) my daughter who was 14 at the time may also start panicing...thus throwing the whole holiday into turmoil at the last minute.
I would rather have been on my own and dealt with my own fears in my own way instead of having to bottle them up for the sake of peace and quiet.
As for the airport and extra training..if its extra training they need then so be it...we all need that at some stage in our lives to enable us to to our jobs better...you will have no doubt practiced a little more to deliver you speech at the conference your heading to..can you imagine someone in your audience saying 'if this lady doesnt practice for her speech then she will collapse like a pile of uncontrolled blumbbering jelly on the stage' ?...of course not.
I hazard a guess that all pilots may need to do a little extra homework once in a while for loads of different airports that are different from the 'norm' once in a while
You may find that you wont have time to worry on the day of the fight as becasue your on your own your mind will be busy organising yourself, tickets baggage etc...I found that was a great way to take my mind of the flight...by taking control of everything at the airport..(my wife didnt complain!)
Then once your flying you can concentrate on swotting up for your lecture..
Good luck with it all.....enjoy.
I agree with Steve that although the idea of flying on your own may be scary the reality of it is sometimes better than flying with friends or family; I usually have to fly by myself and I have my own routine once I am at the airport to prepare myself. You can just focus on you. When I flew with my mum a couple of years back it made me feel worse! But when my wee girl is with me it calms me for some reason (looking after somebody else?).
It is funny but if I am on my own and I manage to chat quite pleasantly with a stranger I feel like I have achieved something (ha! they think I am normal! yay!) but even if I have been nervous other people are always lovely and are usually quite happy to chat to you about your fears or whatever else. I personally prefer a window seat as I get claustrophobic and I am not afraid of heights. I like to look at the view and think how beautiful it is, and how exciting (in a good way) it is to see all this from a plane, to try and make the plane a 'happy place' haha.
In terms of the take off just trust the pilot knows what they are doing, a slightly steeper take off you might feel it a bit more but it is only a few moments of your life! Before you know it you will be comfortably cruising and remember you only have to do this for a short while (1hr or 45 min flight?) so chat to someone or watch a DVD (sounds silly for a short flight but I took my laptop to Holland and it helped me SO much - easier to concentrate on than a book) and before you know it you will be in DUblin! REMEMBER TO CONGRATULATE YOURSELF when you get there, I did and it helped my confidence for the return flight. BEst of luck, CLaire
Hi both,
Thanks so much for your help and advice, it's already made me feel much better. It's really heartening to hear that you both seem to have got on better on your own. I'll definitely hang on to that thought when I'm on the way to the airport next month! I'm still undecided about the window-seat - I too want to be able to look out of the window and marvel at the lovely view, but it's still a bit tricky to achieve that...But maybe I should really try. You're both right about the take-off too; the pilot knows what he's doing and it will all be over quickly. I'm going to print off your replies and keep them with me whenever I start to have doubts. Thanks again so much - one of the things I'm looking forward to most is being able to write up my success story when I get back. It's really excellent to know that other nervous fliers have managed to do this on their own.
Happy Easter! :D
You can still get a window seat anyway - you don't have to LOOK if you end up finding it uncomfortable to do so - you can always close the blind! At least then you have the option. Good luck!

Sue Brunning said:
Hi both,
Thanks so much for your help and advice, it's already made me feel much better. It's really heartening to hear that you both seem to have got on better on your own. I'll definitely hang on to that thought when I'm on the way to the airport next month! I'm still undecided about the window-seat - I too want to be able to look out of the window and marvel at the lovely view, but it's still a bit tricky to achieve that...But maybe I should really try. You're both right about the take-off too; the pilot knows what he's doing and it will all be over quickly. I'm going to print off your replies and keep them with me whenever I start to have doubts. Thanks again so much - one of the things I'm looking forward to most is being able to write up my success story when I get back. It's really excellent to know that other nervous fliers have managed to do this on their own.
Happy Easter! :D
Hi Sue

I don't know many radio presenters who have a pilot's licence, do you? Pilots train to fly into all airports one way and another!!

Absolute bunkum to think there's anything special about London City airport. I wish that uninformed comment by the know all people in the media could be shut up once and for all.

They imagine that because they enjoy an audience who can't shut them up that suddenly they are experts in everything they speak about. All they do is talk a load of waffle and play records. Who of us couldn't do that.

The only decent interview I've ever had with a radio station was with Andy Townsend the footballer who asked sensible questions and respected my knowledge of aviation.

The idea of the approach or take off being 'steep' is preposterous...worthy of a circus not a radio comment.

It's like relating any serious medical knowledge or comment to what goes on in Holby City or that modern policing is like Dixon of Dock Green. Could I get a PHD in archeology by watching documentaries on National Geographic.

I am so incensed by this power that these morons have over the rest of us...they play records and waffle. Thank god that they don't fly planes!!!!

Everything that is trite, banal, superficial, unthinking, uncritical , moronic, puerile, misleading is media comment about aviation. I loathe their influence. Jumped up little idiots.

Just get all the info you need from this site and the flyingwithoutfear.com website. Facts, expert opinion based on 50 years of aviation experience on my part. This week I'm training 7 very experienced Airline Captains to become training pilots in their Airlines. These guys have done on average 20 years in aviation. This week they're learning the basics of teaching pilots to fly airliners then they'll do 3 weeks on another training course then another 3 weeks training in a digfferent area of flying then they'll take a test, then they'll be tested every six monthe ....and these are experts already!!! Radio presenters....want to learn their place in the pecking order and stick to their back slapping award ceremonies in my opinion. Philistines!

Captain Keith
Wow, thanks for your reply Keith - you are totally right of course. To be frank, the radio presenter in question (mentioning no names) is a bit of a self-important idiot at the best of times, so at the time he said it I knew he probably had no idea what he was talking about. But somehow it still worms its way into our brains! In fact, my boyfriend has even flown out of London City and told me it was rubbish. The evidence is stacking up! Thanks for taking the time to send your support. I shall also print off your reply and keep it with my notes when I head off to the airport.

And Claire, you're right - sitting by the window doesn't mean I have to look out of it! And besides, I do actually enjoy looking out of the window during landing, and I don't much fancy leaning over a stranger in order to do that! It's the going up part I always struggle with.

Thanks all, once again.

Sue :D
Sue

Good on you!Stay positive, be realistic.

Keith

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