I'm flying next month and despite having positive flights since having a 121 with Keith many years ago, I manage to turn my positive experiences into negative ones through probability.

So, on the whole over the last four or five years all of my flights (yearly) have been turbulence free. Turbulence is the thing that causes me the greatest anxiety and instead of dealing with it when it happens I start worrying that it might happen and that worry has started today for a flight on 12th July. So because I've had turbulence free flights every year for the last few years, I think well the probability is that I am now due to have turbulence on this flight. To the point that it's driving me insane! 

We're are flying to Sardinia this year so approx 2 1/2 hour flight. How can I help reduce this anxiety? And also realistically, on average, how long does turbulence last. I realise you could be really unlucky and have a whole flight of turbulence, but is that really rare? 

I had a bad flight when I was younger to Portugal where air stewards had to stop serving and put seat belts on. The turbulence went on for a very long time, so this is the route of the anxiety.

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Hi Anna

it may well be that the flight will be turbulent but you'll 'survive' it in every sense. Of course you'll doing the numbers of probability, life works on probabilities so what you're doing is perfectly reasonable. What isn't so reasonable is that despite your successes you're looking on the negative side.

I've put the seatbelt signs on lots of times because of turbulence ... but that's not because of my professional judgement but because the company's legal departments want to reduce the chances of being sued.

if a piece of string is about 18 inches long then turbulence will last about 20 minutes.

If you want to, just give me a ring  01420 588 628 and we can have a chat and reset your anxiety levels.

First thing to do is decide what your plan is if there's turbulence, in other words sit there worrying or get on with a book or magazine. Always have a plan. Turbulence may be uncomfortable but that's no the same as .... well you know the rest.

Well done for coming here to discuss how you feel.


Hi Keith 

Thank you so much for your reply. I am having hypnotherapy at the moment to help me relax and reduce my anxiety in general. I was so positive last year on my prop plane flight. But there was no turbulence there or back, I think that is why all these 'probability' concerns have now reared their head! 

In terms of distractions, I now have a four year old, so he is definitely a distraction. However, even with a distraction I am still wound up like a coil and really tense. It's that whole anticipatory anxiety. 

I've been trying to reason with myself that if we have turbulence it probably wont last for long because we'll be flying through all sorts of air spaces and that reassured me. Then I remembered the Portugal flight. How could the majority of a flight be turbulent when you're flying through different weathers and air all the time... I realise I'm not an expert so what I have just said may be gobbledygook!

Would love to have a chat on the phone. When are the best times to call you?

Thank you


Just try me anytime. 

A  chunk of air with weather in it ... if i can describe it like that ... could be 50 miles in size or 500. if you watch the TV weather forecasts you'll see that a depression or and anticyclone can vary in size.


Hi Keith 

Sorry it's taken me a while to report back. Thank you for the chat on the phone before I went, it really helped. We had a great flight (both ways). I asked about the anticipated turbulence when I boarded and was told it may be bumpy over France because we were flying over a jet stream. It was a little bumpy, but nothing that worried me. My son was an angel and what helped relax me further was that at 4 none of it was remotely worrying or unusual to him. He didn't even notice when there was any turbulence. So I figured if he's not noticed then I shouldn't really be worried at all. 

I was very proud of myself, I remained calm and positive and made the whole experience fun for my son. When we got nearer Sardinia my son was asking questions like 'why were the wings bending' and it felt great that I was able to confidently answer his questions, to the point where one of the passengers congratulated me when we landed on my flying knowledge and that they'd found it interesting too!

The flight back was very smooth, but we were delayed by over 2 hours due to a fault with the plane found before they took off in the UK. They had to wait for another to arrive from Spain. A lot of passengers were getting annoyed and angry, but all I could think was how reassuring it was that they were taking every precaution to make our flight safe and if it meant waiting then that was fine. I was a little worried because I knew how hot it was in the UK that day and I thought the later in the day it gets, the hotter the air will get and that might mean we get turbulence, but when I mentioned my worries to the stewardess she spoke with the captain who then had a chat with me and said my analysis was 100% accurate, but that they hadn't had any on the way over, so if we did get any it wouldn't be much. As it happened we didn't get any.

So a big thank you to you for the knowledge and the confidence. You asked me to rate my flights out of 10 and if I had been 100% anxiety free I'd call that a 10, but I wasn't. They weren't far off though, so I'd say 8.5 out of 10. I'm happy with that! 


Picture attached should be captioned 'Turbulence? What turbulence?' Being that chilled out is the goal for me

Excellent reading your account of your flights. Congratulations on your achievement.

Anticipatory anxiety, all the "what ifs" before a flight are usually worse than the flights themselves.

How great is that!

Well done and as Elizabeth says ... lots of the worry is about 'anticipatory anxiety'.

Well done.


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