Return flight from Los Angeles (following first ever flight)

After having the best week of my life on a school trip to California, the day came for me to return home on the 10 hour flight from Los Angeles to London. In the morning of the journey day I was pretty calm. We packed up and went out for the day, going to Farmers Market mall place and then Venice Beach. All this distracted me from the pending flight, until it got to 5pm. I got on the coach and immediately tensed up knowing our next destination was LAX airport. Once arriving at the airport I had another panic attack, un able to even speak I stood at the side while the 46 other people got their bags and went to check in. A teacher stayed with me at all times to get me through the evening, I panicked all through check in, baggage weighing and customs/security. It then got to waiting for our flight where me and my friends walked around duty free for a bit before going to our gate. When arriving at the gate I looked out the window and saw our plane triggering another panic attack. I panicked until our 9:15 flight when it was time to board, again when seeing the door of the plane, I froze and couldn't breathe, which is when singer Lana Del Ray brushed past my arm, this calmed me slightly being starstruck until it was time to board. They offered to let me meet the pilot again but I didn't wanna cause hassle so I said no, but again they moved seats around for me to be next to my teacher. After taking off I was ok for the majority of the flight until turbulence set in, hitting us every hour or so our seatbelts were kept on for a good 50% of the journey, when it came to landing again, another panic attack set in and I wasmade to breathe into a paper bag. Now I'm home and never have to get on a plane again if I choose so, but my advice for anyone worried about flying is to think of the reason you're going. I tried to avoid this trip so many times then had the best time of my life when I was there that I didn't want to come back. I also highly praise the cabin crew of Virgin Atlantic for how they dealt with me.

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Comment by Sammy Herbert on April 27, 2013 at 1:17am

Thank you Jim and Zsuzsanna for your kind comments! I had tried to pull out of the trips months running up to it but the organizers assured me I would regret it if I did, and I must say I'm so glad I went through with it, although having my first flight ever, being 12 hours in front of 46 of my classmates and teachers made it slightly more pressured. I hope now that I've gone through with this I'll be able to board a flight again, maybe after a fear of flying course!  Again, thank you for your comments! :) 

Comment by Jim on April 3, 2013 at 9:52am

Sammy, this a great success story and as Zsuzsanna said to do this infront of all your classmates and a teacher makes it even better! You are very brave to attempt this and as a fellow fearfull flyer I have nothing but admiration for you for facing the fear under such circumstances.



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