Last sunday I felt so awful and afraid I left the airport during boarding (with 2 kids in tow).  it was the third time I have done that for transatlantic flight and havent managed one now in 7 years. I have decided to try again - and be more in touch with my panic, and reconize it will come and go, instead of ignoring it untill i get the crucial shakes at the gate and then leave.  Has anyone ever successfully got on a plane after being so afraid they leave while boarding (and lose alot of money!).  I have the cd's and book, and they do help when I am calm, but once the panic comes, it suddenly feels like "brainwashing"


Any tips?  I am flying monday morning......

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Get excited! I've found over the last few days that concentrating on the destination rather than the getting there, delivers a level of excitment that matches and can beat the panic. Also, takes the 'unreality'  out of the situation. You'll be fine. L

Hi Nancy, I guess this reply is too late for your flight, but I hope your managed it! Some thoughts that spring to mind:

1. I agree with accepting the panic feelings rather than ignoring them. Let it come and go. That way you will come to realise that the panic doesn't keep getting worse and worse and worse, it does reach a peak and then recede. And by the way, the peak is usually at the beginning of the flight. So if you can get through the boarding and takeoff, the worst part will be over :-)

2. Any chance you can let the staff at the gate know how anxious you are? Hopefully they will put a cabin crew member on lookout for you, to help talk you through it and assist with the children etc.

3. Have you taken any shorter flights? If not that might be a good stepping stone.


Hope this helps for future flights..

Hi Nancy

That advice from Narelle is spot on...

Captain Keith

  Hi Nancy-I'm sorry to hear how the panic is affecting you.I have never actaully got off a plane during boarding but I have pulled out of several flights over the past few years.I personally found that I had created my own viscious circle.I had developed a fear of flying and as soon as I booked a flight the feeling of dread started.


3 years ago I vowed that I would never fly again but after having had a few years off my husband said we should try another flight.He booked the flight at the last minute which didn't really give me time to panic ( or at least, not so much panic!) then I took a short flight from Gatwick to Dublin and I was ok.I did feel a little unsettled but I kept reading all the tips here and reminding myself that I had flown before and I could do it again and I would be perfectly safe.

Then we booked a flight to Helsinki in Finalnd.I really tried to concentrate on looking forward to the trip and kept myself busy on the run up to the flight several weeks before.The flight was fine-we flew with Norwegian airlines and we left on time and the flight was smooth and we had a brilliant week in Finland! I'm not saying I wasn't nervous but I used a combination of all the tips that people have described here and it worked. Perhaps booking a lst minute flight, just a very short domestic flight and also explaining to the staff when you check in about your fear may help, Beverley



Just want you to know that I got to the check in desk at Gatwick and couldn't go any further. The girls went without me and I went home. I also one time managed to fly out on my holiday, but couldn't get back on the plane to come home, so came back via boat and train. It took 2 days when it was only a 2 hour flight. So you're not alone.


But I'd like to say I now have sucessful flights, my last one being 5 hours which is the longest I've done. I started off by booking an internal, cheap, test flight. This meant I didn't loose much money if I bottled it and I had the option of driving home if I couldn't do the return flight, if I made it on the plane to get there. I did it and this really built up my confidence. Why not start with something like this and take the pressure of yourself? Start small and grow from there. Also don't give up. I was always determined to beat it and have holidays like everyone else. I'm not saying it's easy and I still struggle at times, but I can control it with the support I've had.


Anyway I take it you have managed your flight Monday?? Let us know how you got on?




Thanks everyone, I am now on the other side of the atlantic for the first time in 7 years!  It did work, but I have to admit i did have to relay on some meds.  It was so short notice to try again (and so much money riding on a non refundable ticket!)  Once I am back, I will try the tips of short flights and managing the panic, hopefully after a few months, I can start to think of the next holiday without the meds!  


Great stuff  well done  and congratulations from all of us here

 Captain Keith

I am so happy to hear you made it - well done! Reading this page, I really thought I'd get to the bottom & read you hadn't boarded the plane! You have done it & can do it on your return - well done!

I can empathise having lost £800 on flights 4 years ago! You have faced your fear and done it - be positive and proud of yourself.



Yay Nancy!! Congratulations on your achievement! :-)
Well done x

So  well done Nancy!

I think gradually building up to longer flights is the way to go too!

That is what I have been doing - I am pretty used to flights to the Med between 2 and 3 hours now :) - Gran Canaria - my longest so far was about 4 hours.  Hope to go to the Cape Verde Islands which I think is about 5 hours away soon.

My aim is to be able to get across the atlantic to the US eventually by next year actually.  We have been invited to a wedding in California and my husband's sister and partner live near Los Angeles and we have an open invitation to visit them too!

Congratulations once again!

If you can't go I'm free...


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