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And I am terrified!
I have always been a little scared, but the older I get the worse I feel. I flew to New York in 2010 and It just happened that that was the day of the worst snowstorm in a decade to hit the city. So the landing was very loud and bumpy and seemed to take forever as we had to wait a long time before the plane got the permission to try and land. As the plane descended I was crying in my husbands lap and just (I already saw the buildings on the sides of the plane) before the plane landed on the runway the pilots did a go around and flew to a different airport instead. There were emergency vehicles waiting on the runway when we landed (safely!). After the landing we had to wait on the plane for another 3 hours for the customs and other personnel to get from JFK airport to Newark.
I have flown a few times after this incident but only short (2-3 hour) flights. Tomorrow Im flying again to New York from Helsinki, and I am SO SCARED! Im not sure I can even get myself on the plane. I have tried breathing exercises and talking to a flight attendant that I know but i still feel petrified. Any advice on how I can calm myself during the flight? Im afraid its going to be 8h and 45min of full on panic and anxiety.
Ps. Im new here, and I found this place by google. I did the fear assessment on the page and scored 124 points. I found the articles by Captain Keith were really good and I wish I would have found this forum sooner instead only 12h before my flight.
Katri, we need to accept the facts that flying is safe. That is the main thing.
For good couple of hours I was terrified, as I will fly the RyanAir on Friday and there are so many things about them in media (that they save on safety etc). And then I realised what Keith said about media: Do not listen to it!!! And that is quite true!!
And then I felt much better, because I thought about it in a good way. The pilots followed the correct procedure, aircraft landed safely without any emergency landing involved. So what's that big fuss about it?
That they did the right thing???
Media loves horrors, tragedies, death and much more as it sells the best. Have you ever noticed any news with only positive info on it? I doubt it!
That it why we need to focus on the positive side of flying, and the aspect is - it's safe, safer with every day :)
From reading your post there was one thing that really stuck out to me.
Despite very bad weather, the worst in 10 years you mentioned and despite you being upset and distressed at the time and having a delay once you got off the aircraft which added to your bad experience. Despite all this the plane landed safely and everyone was fine. A bit late, a bit grumpy and tired but other than that no problems at all.
Maybe you should look at this experience as a positive one, despite the problems you faced nothing really happened, the plane, crew, passengers were all fine. If you were unlucky enough to face poor weather on the plane again what would happen? The same outcome I would suggest.
I really hope you can enjoy your flight, come back to the site and tell us all how it went.
Best Wishes, Jim
So here I am. Alive and well!
The flights went OK even though they weren't exactly pleasant for me. I did cry during takeoff both times and was unable to concentrate on anything else than counting the little dots on the map of the entertainment system.
However the crew was incredible and told me beforehand that "soon the seat belt sign will be turned on cause there is minor turbulence ahead" etc. So I would not start to panic. The turbulence was not bad, hardly noticeable actually, and finally I was able to relax enough to even fall asleep for 10 whole minutes. The flight back was worse for me cause it was a night flight so I got no sleep which didn't exactly help getting over jet lag.
But I got on the plane and saw New York again which was the main thing! And I am flying again in six weeks, all tough this time the flight is only 2h 30min :) To Hungary! I am determined to let my fear keep me grounded. And this forum really helps.
Well done for getting on and doing the flight. Congratulate yourself on that! Like Jim said about the snow divert, we should take great confidence that procedures were followed and that safety wasn't compromised (and never is). If you're new to the FearOfFlying network I would wholeheartedly recommend buying a copy of the CDs and better still attending Keith and Viv's course. I'm on a high after having just returned from Los Angeles (hence why I'm up in the middle of the night UK time). The course gave me the confidence to do this and the CDs are superb! Good luck....
Thanks Nick. I'm afraid attending the course is not possible because I live in Finland. But I need to look in to the CD's :)