Scary stories-what should I do about them?

I was having lunch with 2 colleagues today and they were asking me which part of flying do I find most frightening. So I mentioned turbulence. I said while it makes me anxious, I know it's not dangerous and lasts a relatively short period of time. 

One colleague said that sometimes planes will "drop" suddenly so we should keep our safety belt on at all times. Though she did end by saying that cabin crew face the most danger because of the nature of their work, they can't be strapped to their chairs at all times. 

The second colleague then told me that one of her friends, who flies with a major airline, wanted to quit after encountering turbulence on one flight that frightened her. 

Feeling anxious after lunch, I consulted my husband who assured me that our flight to Tokyo in December will be smooth. But I know that no one can make a promise like that. 

No one gave me good advice, except maybe about keeping my seat belt on. Now I feel anxious, what should I do when I hear stories like that? 

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Comment by Yilyn Lim on October 30, 2012 at 11:28pm

Thank you for your reply Sarah :) I'll try to heed your advice. It's really nice to know that I'm not alone. 

Comment by Sarah on October 30, 2012 at 8:13pm

I can sympathise with this. I've got a couple of friends who are just the worst people in the world to talk to when I'm fretting about flying.With one of them, I did tell him quite bluntly that he was making things worse and we never talk about flying anymore.

But I think most people are well-meaning, you just need to put what they say into perspective.

For instance, your first colleague. I guess what she said is technically correct. During turbulence, planes can drop. But by how much? Really not as much as we think. So by the same logic, I suppose the cabin crew are in more danger. But really how much danger is that? As much danger as we're all in when we step outside our front door every morning?

And your second colleague... well people love to exaggerate stories like this. I think all of us have a tendency to tell stories in a way that makes them sound more dramatic.

As for the turbulence, apart from the seatbelt advice, the two that have helped me are to look at the wing of the plane and see how little it moves during turbulence, and to have a glass or bottle of water and watch how little the surface of the liquid moves.

All the best for your flight!

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