There are lots of myths and mis-understandings about airtravel that add to the worries and anxieties of people with a fear of flying. Quite often fearful flyers are mislead by 'stories' from friends about some terrible experience they just about survived. Or they read something in the press or see in the media that they believe to be the truth, when really the best thing to do is put it in the rubbish bin.

So I'm here to tell you the truth and answer any and every question you send me. Sometimes the answers may be a bit direct but the one thing you can be sure of is that you will always get the truth.

Planes don't routinely fall thousands of feet in turbulence, pilots don't strain the engines during a take off, cabin crew aren't there just to serve food and drinks.

Remember that every part of air travel has one overriding feature SAFETY.

Let's hear from question is too simple, no question is too hard.


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Hi Captain Keith, if you've seen my topic on Countdown to Flight you'll see how paranoid I am about flying. Can you reassure me about firesafety on the plane. There will be a chef cooking dinner for the business passengers - what happens if it goes on fire? What happens if smoke comes into the cabin for some unknown reason and we're halfway across the Atlantic, do we all die of smoke inhalation, or what if there's a fire somewhere else on board (do you think I'm paranoid about fire???). I've spent any flight I've been on waiting and waiting for something to go wrong and can't cope with doing this for 8.5 hrs. Help reassure me - the site has been great but the little voices inside my head keep saying "but what if...".
Hi Linda The plane is loaded with fire extinguishers, up to date and checked by the crew before every flight. It is a mandatory piece of serviceable equipment.

The crew are trained in fire fighting techniques.
The ovens are not like domestic ovens.
There are smoke drills and procedures that the crew will execute if there is smoke in the cockpit or cabin.
There are fire detectors in the toilets and in the baggage holds.
There are automatic extinguishers in the baggage holds.

No I don't think you're paranoid, but if you keep what iffing now then we might discuss it again?!

The website was built on the fact that before any therapy can work you've got to know the facts.

I hope this helps. Keith
Hi Linda
On flying, the plane is pressurized to around at 6000 to 9000 feet above the ground. So the air is thinner with less oxygen and thus is less likely to start a fire. (Also people live at much higher altitudes too so that "what if" doesn't apply). There are no open flames and most items in the plane are very flame resistant and some are self-extinguishing.
On BA/AA/Lan/UAL/Continental/NWA/Delta/Air Canada/Korean Air/Cathay/CPA/Egypt Air/SAS/KLM (I have flown all of them in Business) - I have yet to be served a meal in business/first in any Transatlantic or Transpacific flight that required a flame. They do have ovens which heat food items, but no open flames. In 10 years, the worst fire incident I have personally seen is burned nuts from the flight attendants unable to take the nuts out of the oven due to some chop on takeoff.:)

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