Your flight has been delayed, and a disturbingly calm voice of a flight attendant cracks over the intercom, alluding to a minor problem. Could it be the weather? Is it a late passenger? Worse, is there a mechanical failure?
Feeling nervous would be an understatement.
You can always spot a nervous flyer. It might be the one who perspires, jitters or grabs on to their hand-rests the entire duration of the flight. It also might be the one that asks for two bottles of red wine, even before the first food service.
In an effort to assist thousands of flyers in conquering their fears of flying, a new book based on British Airways’ course that helps nervous flyers will be launched on March 7.
The book, co-written by British Airways’ pilot Captain Steve Allright, takes information from the airline’s one-day Flying with Confidence course which has helped more than 45,000 people over the past 25 years.
The book, tackles a number of areas of flying including how an aircraft operates, turbulence and gives advice from clinical psychologists including relaxation techniques.
Here are 10 must-know tips from British Airways’ Captain Allright:
1) Remember that turbulence is uncomfortable but not dangerous. It is a perfectly normal part of flying caused by nature.
2) Learn to control your breathing. When you feel anxious, hold your breath, then take a long deep breath in, followed by a long deep breath out. Continue long deep breathing.
3) Combine the deep breath in with a muscle contraction. Clenching your buttocks is most effective, as it overrides other nervous signals going up and down your spinal chord.
4) Aircraft like to be in the air. They are designed to be in the air. Pilots and cabin crew like to be in the air also, it is a very normal, safe environment for them to be in.
5) Understand lift. The wings enable aircraft to fly, not the engines. A commercial aircraft flying at 30,000ft can glide for 100 miles even if all the engines fail.