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  #1  
Old March 8th, 2013, 05:32 AM
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Default Flying to PR

Is there anyone else that is seriously fearful of flying? I decided to bite the bullet and agree to fly to PR so we can do a southern in July. Already I am feeling a little panicked at the prospect. If you have issues with flying, what do you do to help you with it?
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Old March 8th, 2013, 06:09 AM
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I don't suffer from a fear of flying myself, but I have been on a few flights where people are.

I would suggest making your fears known to the cabin crew when you board, as they are usually very understanding. I heard a cabin crew member on a Virgin flight bringing water to the obviously terrified lady behind me, and gently explaining everything that was going to happen before and during take off so that she wasn't unnerved if there was an unusual noise or movement, and then coming back and checking on her every so often throughout the flight.

I've also heard that there are some courses you can take which help people get over their fears, though as these often finish up with a plane journey I suspect they're not cheap!

All I can say is, it WILL be worth the journey, and I wish you the best of luck.
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Old March 8th, 2013, 06:10 AM
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Since I don't drink, my doctor prescribed lorezapan (sp?) to take about an hour before flight to ease my anxiety, and it does seem to help.

That and bringing along a tablet with headphones to watch a movie helps to distract me and pass the flight time more quickly.

I've done southern caribbean, alaska and transatlantics, and while I dread the flights, I love to cruise.

good luck and happy cruising- you'll love the southern caribbean
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Old March 8th, 2013, 06:23 AM
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I was EXTREMELY fearful of flying for many many years. So much that I drove 20 hours by myself because I wouldn't get on a plane. I just wouldn't do it. I got over my fear about 3 years ago, because like you, I wanted to go take a particular cruise. I would say I'm cured now, I'm no longer afraid. I have flown numerouse times over the last few years, and no issues whatsoever. How did I get over it? I'm not exactly sure, but a drink or two didn't hurt!
I, too, got a prescription from my doctor, but never needed it. I think what happened for me, is that I took that flight 3 years ago, and it was uneventful. So I was able to fly again, with less concerns. And I kept taking more trips, and they continued to be uneventful, so my fears have been erased. I prefer to drive to port when I can, just for the convenience, but I am no longer afraid. Hope you have the same experience.
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Old March 8th, 2013, 09:55 AM
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Is there a certain aspect of flying that causes most of your fear? Maybe addressing that concern would help some... Seeing a doctor to get a mild anti-anxiety drug would also be helpful. I don't recommend something that will knock you out, just something to take the edge off.

I am a frequent flier for work and I've never had anything scary happen, just a few annoying delays.
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Old March 8th, 2013, 11:13 AM
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Yep, it is Xanax for me.
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Old March 8th, 2013, 06:35 PM
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I am not afraid to fly - I just don't like it...

I would also suggest getting a mild anti-anxiety med. from the dr.

I could not do an MRI (really freaked out and had to leave, which surprised me), but went back with a very mild drug (forget the name) and went through it with no anxiety at all. It was amazing for me to see myself do the same exact thing that freaked me out a week prior.
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Old March 8th, 2013, 09:23 PM
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I think the loss of control is an issue. The thought of turbulence keeps me on edge too. It is like I wait for something bad to happen the entire trip. Every noise or change in noise bothers me. I think I may look into a prescription since it is a fairly long flight and we have a connection too.

Thank you for all the advice.
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Old March 8th, 2013, 10:16 PM
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I have been flying sice I was 5 years old ( I would fly regularly as an unaccompanied minor to visit my Grandparents) .

I had always loved flying. I started flying internationally when I was just 16 and I fly long haul a few times a year.

6 years ago I had a very bad incident onboard ..very scary , even the flight attendants were visibly shaken. I was alone , my three kids at home....anyway , I started to be very afraid of flying.

I love airports , love traveling , I even love airplanes. But the fear is visceral.

I started visiting a forum called fear of flying and started reading about aviation. Deeping my knowledge seems to help. And Xanax does give me a hand .

It hasn't stopped me , but I want to like flying again

Reading and learning has lessened my anxiety ...


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Old March 8th, 2013, 10:55 PM
kenish kenish is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BTSEN5 View Post
I think the loss of control is an issue. The thought of turbulence keeps me on edge too. It is like I wait for something bad to happen the entire trip. Every noise or change in noise bothers me. I think I may look into a prescription since it is a fairly long flight and we have a connection too.

Thank you for all the advice.
I love flying...so much that I have a private pilot's license and hundreds of commercial flights. But not everyone loves it and it sounds like you know the specific reasons you're a fearful flyer...that's the first step!

Some people can overcome or set aside their anxiety once they learn about aircraft design, all the layers of safety built into aviation, and statistics showing it's one of the safest activities you can do in your daily life. More people are not helped by any of that. Which group are you in? I can direct you to a lot of information if you just need facts and good info to be convinced.

You have a lot of time before the cruise, and you can use it to overcome or reduce your fear of flying...be sure it doesn't increase! Switch your perspective around- set a goal of overcoming your fear of flying, make the flights your graduation exam, and the cruise your celebration of achieving the goal. Then enjoy the flight home! It's never lost it's magic for me...being able to cover distances in a few hours from a viewpoint unimaginable 100 years ago.
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Old March 9th, 2013, 04:48 AM
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Thank you! I am hoping to fall into the category of having some facts may help. I have been getting on fear of flying sites and learning things esp about turbulence. I have heard stories of severe turbulence and even seen videos, but the thought of that possibility just scares me so much.

Even with slight turbulence, my mind reverts back to stories of planes fuselage coming apart (it has happened).

The truth of the matter is that I can't control anything, but my mindset really needs to change, so I can even enjoy that part of vacation.

I am working on this, and read something about it often. I am big into self talk once on the plane. My husband cannot understand my fear at all.
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Old March 9th, 2013, 04:54 AM
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Last year, we flew to NYC, and on the way home, we had to be shuttled to the plane, which had been delayed for some reason. I was so upset by this, because I had never heard of that. I wondered if it needed fixed, if it was fixed right etc.

Then we get on the plane , and they needed 2 adults to move to the back of the plane for weight issues. No one would volunteer, and I am stuck once I sit. They finally got one person to move. I freaked out, because it was only one. I cried as we took off, because I was sure we were going to crash.

That is how irrational I can be on take off and on landing. While cruising, I can get through with rational thought, until we hit turbulence.
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Old March 10th, 2013, 01:27 PM
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I too am scared stiff of flying BUT I refuse to let it stop me from travelling. We fly a lot, mainly to Spain (we have an apartment there), which is only a couple of hours, but it hasn't got any better.

A few years ago we took two of our grandchildren to Spain, and hit turbulence on the way. I started singing 'Nellie the elephant......'. The kids thought it was hilarious and still remind me of it.

Before a flight I'm always googling to check turbulence forecasts, weather maps etc etc and do get myself into a bit of a state.

We've just returned from a Summit cruise out of San Juan (flying via JFK) and was really panicing about the long flights. The Fear of Flying website (and others) really helped.

Following suggestions on there, I got a cup of water on the tray. If/when you hit turbulence, just watch to see if the water ripples, waves, or splashes over the side. I kept saying to DH 'is that a ripple or a wave?' (no splashes)

When it was a bit bumpy I put my headphones on and listened to M Buble at full blast, put my head back with my eyes closed and just imagined being in a car travelling down a bumpy road.

There's also an excellent video clip made by a pilot where he explains - 'imagine going over a speed bump in your car. If you go over at 10mph it feels quite gentle, but if you go over at 50mph it feels like a huge bump. So imagine what a plane travelling at 500mph feels like going over the same bump.'

http://www.fearofflying.com/free-vid...exercise.shtml

I can't say I enjoyed the flights, but these things certainly helped me.

Hope you really enjoy your cruise as much as we did.
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Old March 10th, 2013, 02:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BTSEN5 View Post
I have heard stories of severe turbulence and even seen videos, but the thought of that possibility just scares me so much.
It sounds like you're fearful because you feel there's a risk of something very bad happening due to turbulence. Good you're educating yourself; if you do, you will gain an understanding that that risk is almost zero, and why.

Quote:
Even with slight turbulence, my mind reverts back to stories of planes fuselage coming apart (it has happened).
The last instance I can think of where turbulence caused a crash was in the 60's over Japan. A lot was learned from the accident, which is true with all accidents. Since then, turbulence awareness, detection, and avoidance have made huge advances. Every few years an airliner hits extreme turbulence. They don't come apart in the air...but unrestrained passengers do get slammed around the cabin. Wearing your seatbelt at all times as the crew advises almost eliminates turbulence hazards. I may have forgotten about a more recent accident..let me know more if I did. Did you know Boeing builds sections of planes and tests them to destruction to confirm their engineers calculated everything correctly? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ai2HmvAXcU0

Quote:
The truth of the matter is that I can't control anything, but my mindset really needs to change, so I can even enjoy that part of vacation.
There are other things in daily life out of your control that pose a far higher risk. How many beers has the oncoming driver consumed ? So, again it's great that you're learning, to get an understanding of why aviation is such a low risk.
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Old March 10th, 2013, 02:38 PM
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Originally Posted by BTSEN5 View Post
Last year, we flew to NYC, and on the way home, we had to be shuttled to the plane, which had been delayed for some reason. I was so upset by this, because I had never heard of that. I wondered if it needed fixed, if it was fixed right etc.
There are a zillion reasons this could have happened. Some airlines are way more informative than others. The plane simply could have been late on the previous flight, and there were no gates available. So you had to be shuttled out to a remote ramp. If the delay was due to mechanical, understand that aircraft are constantly inspected and maintained and in that case it was good the problem was fixed. They say an airliner is a collection of spare parts flying in close formation Also, if you gave your car the same maintenance, it would last 1 million miles. Both ring fairly true.

Quote:
Then we get on the plane , and they needed 2 adults to move to the back of the plane for weight issues. I freaked out, because it was only one. I cried as we took off, because I was sure we were going to crash.
Sounds like it was a smaller plane and not lightly loaded. This is called "weight and balance" and part of flying any plane from a Piper Cub to an A380. The plane has a maximum take-off weight...something has to be offloaded if it's over limit. The plane also can't be nose or tail-heavy so sometimes the load has to be re-distributed to balance it. Think of 4 kids and a bunch of bricks (cargo and fuel) on a seesaw. The kids and bricks might have to be moved around to balance it. Pilots are required to perform a W&B calculation before *every* flight (do you think they would knowingly take off with an unsafe condition? They would be first to arrive at the crash site!) Airlines have a dispatch and load control department that does the calculation to back up the pilot's. I believe anyone doing a W&B calculation has to be FAA-certified.

On the flight you were on, they asked for 2 people and one moved. They may have moved cargo around as well. Rest assured if they were still out of balance limits, the pilot would have *required* someone to move.

Quote:
That is how irrational I can be on take off and on landing. While cruising, I can get through with rational thought, until we hit turbulence.
I actually enjoy turbulence...it adds to my sensation of flying. Not everyone does of course, but it sounds like you're on your way towards making it an annoyance and not a fear.

Something I should have mentioned in my other reply...when a plane hits turbulence (or other planes report turbulence in the area), the pilot throttles back to a slower cruise speed. The speed guarantees the turbulence cannot break the airplane...basically happygran's reference to the speed bump analogy.
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Old March 11th, 2013, 10:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BTSEN5 View Post
Last year, we flew to NYC, and on the way home, we had to be shuttled to the plane, which had been delayed for some reason. I was so upset by this, because I had never heard of that. I wondered if it needed fixed, if it was fixed right etc.

Then we get on the plane , and they needed 2 adults to move to the back of the plane for weight issues. No one would volunteer, and I am stuck once I sit. They finally got one person to move. I freaked out, because it was only one. I cried as we took off, because I was sure we were going to crash.

That is how irrational I can be on take off and on landing. While cruising, I can get through with rational thought, until we hit turbulence.
It sounds like you were on a smaller plane--most of them can't accommodate a jetway so being shuttled to the plane on a remote tarmac is very common.
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