Overcoming Flying Anxiety


Even though flying remains one of the safest forms of travel from a statistical standpoint, fear of flying is one of the most common phobias people have. Whether it’s because of fear of an accident, the claustrophobia associated with being in the airplane cabin, or the loss of control they feel, flying can be a big source of anxiety for travelers. For many people, their flying anxiety can begin days or even weeks before their flight, making them feel nervous and negatively impacting their daily lives.

However, if you have flying anxiety, the experience of flying for work or vacation doesn’t have to be stressful. There are many options for preventing and overcoming that anxiety before and during a flight. We have created the accompanying airplane anxiety guide to provide you with tips that can make your travels more calming and enjoyable. It lists some of the techniques that are most effective at helping nervous fliers cope with their anxiety.

Flying may produce anxiety in people in many ways. Some people are unnerved by the unfamiliar noises they experience during a flight, or the pain they feel due to air pressure changes. Other people don’t like confined spaces and the feeling that they can’t get out, which are only made worse by staying in a pressurized cabin for several hours. Many other people have misconceptions about how safe flying is and spend their flight in fear of an accident. No matter what causes it, anxiety can make flying uncomfortable and agonizing.

Fortunately, there are a number of strategies you can practice to help reduce your anxiety before you board the plane, as well as many steps you can take during a flight that can help you feel more at ease. One proven technique is to spend the weeks before your flight concentrating on your physical fitness, as that can have a major effect on your mental state. Whether you work out more, concentrate on meditation or yoga, or a combination, improving your physical condition can make a big difference in your mood while you fly.

While you’re in the air, you can try to concentrate on puzzles, movies or any other activity that will occupy your mind and help prevent you from focusing on your anxiety. Bringing items in your carry-on bag such as noise-canceling headphones, coloring books, a sleep mask or anything else that can take your mind off the flight is another sound strategy.

Still a little nervous about flying? Consider flying privately. You can cut out possible anxiety triggers such as long lines, delays, not-so-friendly passengers and missing luggage. The friendly, calm experience you enjoy when chartering a jet can help reduce flying anxiety. Latitude 33 Aviation is a premier private jet operator that can assist you with this option. Make yourself at home with your own private flight, enjoy catered meals, watch your favorite movies, and relax without worries. The team at Latitude 33 Aviation would be honored to make your flying experience extraordinary and is happy to accommodate special requests.

It is possible to have a comfortable, relaxing flight — even if you have flight anxiety. By being aware of what causes you to feel stressed during a flight and using some coping strategies before and during the flight, you can enjoy your flight much more and arrive at your destination feeling calm. Review the accompanying aerophobia guide to help you prepare for your next flight without stress or anxiety.


More than a quarter of Americans report feeling some kind of anxiety related to air travel. This guide goes into detail about some of the common causes of flight-related anxiety and how people can overcome it.

Reasons for Flying Anxiety

  • Turbulence
  • Mechanical noises
  • Pain caused by pressure changes
  • Misinformation about risks of flying
  • Personality factors
  • Recent stressful life events

How to Prepare for a Flight

  • Research the statistics. Knowing how many planes fly every day perfectly safely can help put your mind at ease before you board.
  • Get to know the plane. If possible, spend some time in the cabin of a plane before your trip and acquaint yourself with all the features.
  • Focus on your physical health. Your physical condition can have a significant impact on your mental state, so step up your exercise routine before your flight or start meditating to keep your mind clear and calm.
  • Make yourself comfortable. Download a favorite movie or create a playlist with your favorite music before your flight.
  • Dress for the flight. Loose, comfortable clothing will help you feel more at ease during the flight.
  • Avoid alcohol or caffeine. Certain substances can make your anxiety worse, so make sure you drink some soothing tea before your flight.

Tips to Overcome Anxiety

  • Stay busy during the flight. Keeping your mind and body occupied during the flight can help keep your mind off your anxiety.
  • Download an app. Apps are available to help you manage your anxiety through guided meditation, breathing exercises and other methods.
  • Try to sleep. If you can, try to use the flight as an opportunity to get some shuteye. You will miss most of the flight altogether and eliminate the opportunity to get nervous.
  • Shut out noise. Noise-canceling headphones or earplugs can block many of the sounds that create anxiety in nervous fliers.
  • Choose your seat carefully. Sitting closer to the front of the plane cuts down on the amount of turbulence you may feel during the flight.

Items That Reduce Anxiety

  • Headphones
  • iPod/music
  • Books
  • Movies
  • Video games
  • Aromatherapy oils
  • Sleep mask
  • Crafts

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