Hello, I am new to this forum. I have been a fairly frequent flyer my whole life, even flew to Antarctica from New Zealand, but I had a couple very uncomfortable flights (I know, probably not dangerous, just very, very uncomfortable), and then especially since becoming a mother 9 years ago, I have developed a fear of flying. It hasn't yet stopped me from traveling (I have to travel for my research, and I live 3,000 miles away from most of my extended family), but I spend the days before my flight worrying, and any amount of turbulence on the flight makes me sweat terribly, and I get very stressed, grumpy, and the day of travel is filled with anxiety. I flew to Japan this summer and spent the whole 13 hours sweating, imagining the plane falling into the Pacific. My last few trips with my kids I have had to have my husband sit with the kids (3 and 9 years old) while I sit elsewhere because the stress of keeping the children entertained and well behaved (mainly the 3 year-old) + my anxiety is just too much.

I have read Captain Keith's book (EXCELLENT!) and was starting to feel better in the last months when all the news is now filled with plane crashes (Malaysian and today's in Taiwan). I had to get on a plane the day the news broke about M17. I was able to talk myself into calm by realizing I was taking a domestic flight in the US, where this would not happen. But the recent crash in Taiwan is more difficult for me, because my fear mostly centers on flying through bad weather. I am good at avoiding the sensationalism of the media, but more information does make me feel better, usually. I am a scientist who likes the facts. How can I continue to tell myself that turbulence is not dangerous knowing that this plane went down due bad weather (and likely encountered a lot of turbulence before the crash!)?

I am wondering how others are dealing with the news, and if you have any tips or good information for me so I can successfully convince myself that it is very unlikely this will happen to me. I have a cross country flight, with my kids, with layovers, coming up in about one week, and I really don't want to spend the day sweating and panicking. I am specifically interested in tips for flying with my kids. I have flown with them a lot, and I know all the tips for how to keep THEM happy (so they don't disturb everyone else on the flight), but doing all that leaves me terribly stressed and anxious, and then I am miserable. I always think the distraction of my kids will help, but it doesn't. When turbulence begins, I have to focus in my head and remind myself of all of Captain Keith's tips. When my three year-old is yelling, Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, I can't focus, and I get so stressed. Ideas for me, or should I just continue to try to leave the kids to my husband and sit separately (which makes me feel better over all, but also a bit of a bad mother)?

Thoughts? Thanks again for your help.


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Hello Jane.
I'm not a parent myself but through my years of visiting this site and meeting other people with flying phobias when I went on one of Keiths courses I can tell you it appears to be fairly common within the forum for mothers to develop a fear of flying when they start taking their children. I guess wanting to ensure your children are safe is the most natural thing for any mother. Good luck in finding your answers!
Another plane crash today isn't helping us nervous flyers, but remember that usually years and years go by when there are NO plane crashes, it's just very unfortunate that there have been a few together recently. How many people have been involved in fatal car accidents in the same time span? Try and let the rational part of your brain that knows that flying is safe, win over the irrational part that's all doom and gloom! We all worry the same, so you're not alone, but when you're feeling anxious try reminding yourself that planes are flying all the time 24/7 around the globe without falling out of the sky!!!

Thanks so much, Jim and Kathryn. There is enormous relief in knowing I am not alone, and having reminders to remember to be rational and focus on the facts, not my fears..Yes, I too heard news of today's disaster, and my heart just sank.

When we go to see our son in London I'm always amazed to see the planes coming into and out of Heathrow. They're landing one after the other every 90 seconds and that's just one airport (albeit a big one!). Times that by how many other airports there are across the world and it's still impossible to comprehend just how many planes there must be up there. Pilots and cabin crew wouldn't do the job if they were fearing for their lives every time they went to work!

Our son is moving to Oman next month so if I don't fly I won't see him very often, therefore it's a no-brainer for me!

Hi Kathryn, its a good point that...this always reassures me too....Oman is lovely by the way i go there about once every six or 8 weeks...muscat is a great and friendly place so make sure you go

Jane check out flight radar . com and see how many planes are in the sky......this month 100 people will die in accidents....but we live in a state of denial...we have to...or we'd never do anything.......just remember its probably one of the safest places you can ever be...cause people are there looking after you.

I visited Oman last year - I agree that it's a lovely place with very friendly people. We went camping in the desert, camel riding and saw giant turtles laying their eggs and the little ones scuttling off into the sea. Now you couldn't do all that if you stayed at home could you!
Thank you! I am feeling better already and gathering tips and strength for Friday's flight.

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