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Thought I would give a recent update of my holiday flights.
I have never not flown due to my fear but it has made me ill and often results in me passing out briefly. So this past year I have read keith's book, looked at this site, listened to the CDs (godsend on board), and had some valuable conversations on this forum.
We flew out before xmas from Heathrow on Virgin A340 600 airbus. I booked the seats early in order to have a window, view and be near the wings without paying more so ended up in 40K/H both ways.
Just before takeoff I told one of the crew I was nervous and if we could be kept informed of anything it helps. She was great and popped to see me twice in the first 4 hours.
Take off was bumpy, I used Keith's CD to stay calm but I did get afew tears. Afew hours later over Iceland it got quite shakey, despite knowing that this ws due to snowy mountains below I instantly paniced when the seatbelt light came on and had a good ol cry. The turbulence stopped within 2 minutes though - also the crew continued to serve drinks so I tried to relax for the remaining 8 hours. Hard but ok.
Unfortunately back in 09 whilst away in Oz, Air France was lost and again on this trip (only done 2 long haul), Air Asia was lost. This did not help. This forum did really help me stay realistic so thanks.
I avoided all news. I did notice something about a Gatwick Virgin emergency landing but thanks to Keith and this site I understood that the dumping of fuel and landing gear issues weren't the end of the world and I was fine with that.
Return journey : What didnt help were, 1.It was an evening/night flight and I hate not being able to see outside to see the below terrain or which way round we are. 2. The terminal shops were closed so I had 2hrs to sit and look at the cockpit of our plane. Bless the pilots who looked calm and busy, but I started to imagine stupid things like what if the cockpit window broke and we lost the pilots. Ridiculous!!!!
We took off, I was ok, even photographed the lights of LA. Then the next 4 hours it was bumpy. The seatbelt light went on twice in those 4hrs for a total of 40minutes. It wasnt 'that' bumpy not like I once had in a small prop plane but I started to panic about if it would get worse, if there was a problem etc. I had diazapam which made me a drowsy fearful flyer. I called the crew in tears and she was amazing. Despite my husband laughing at me (because im a plane spotter whos scared of flying) she spoke to me about it being normal and she even called the flight deck and confirmed it was the Nevada mountains causing it and that the weather outside all the way home was ideal. This helped enormously. Watching a cup of water also brought my fear back to a normal level. I cried lots and doubted if I could ever do it again but the last 4 hours were smooth over the Atlantic and I think with more help and common sense I will be ok. Ive done it now, I can do it again,
Thank you Keith, this site and Virgin cabin crew. x
WELL DONE CARLY!!!!!!!!!!!!
Keith on behalf of everyone here.
well done carly...hold onto the flight.....it was just the same as every other flight....take off...bit nervous.....relax a bit...gets a bit bumpy...doesnt last long...sometimes a bit more bumpy...but then settles and the wings are still on....have a brew...something to eat......bit of a kip.....next thing you know you're on final approach and you've not died even once...on the ground safe and sound...just like always.
think like this...why should any other flight you ever take be any different....you're easily over the hard part...time to let go of the fear for good cause you've proved its worthless...nobody but you has proved that..to yourself...so trust yourself.
A great update, thank you for it. I too am a plane spotter. Thankfully due to Keith, not such a nervous flyer any more. New Years Eve, we went for a walk around the perimeter of Manchester Airport. It was great.
To keep making sure I can fly, we have a cheeky little trip booked for Geneva before our next US road trip later in the year. I blame Keith that I no longer have any money, but wow!, the memories we are making are fantastic.
Your post will inspire others
Virgin's Fear of Flying legal department have imposed a ban on my ever printing or mentioning their name.
But I think in this instance their legal department can go jump.
It's right to have a plan ... and step by step too. What ever suits you. Well done you!