A small wave of apprehension rippled through my mind as I sat on a flight bound for the French Alps. My daughter was by my side, fastening her seatbelt, excited to be on an aeroplane. My husband looked out of the window on her other side. I felt sure he was thinking was I was thinking. Just two weeks before, a German Wings aircraft was plunged into the mountain face of the Alps – not so far away from where were headed – on purpose by the co-pilot Andreas Lubitz.

I’ve never had a fear of flying so this was a new feeling. I am usually a very relaxed passenger. I breezed my way through the flights on my world trip without the thought of anything bad crossing my mind. We have travelled extensively over the past few years too. My husband gets tense but I am good at zoning out. But recent events had, on this occasion, made me slightly uneasy. No doubt exacerbated by the life-changing events from the past few months: my husband’s brush with death at the hands of meningitis making the vulnerability of life a little more fathomable. 

Heathrow terminal 2

As we waited for our flight at Heathrow airport, I saw a German Wings aircraft pull out from its dock. It brought back visions of the aircraft remains, scattered on the mountains. 150 people no longer living in this world. Having been so close to losing someone myself, it made me even more affected by the news. I felt sick to my stomach as I watched the news conference confirming this was no accident. My heart went out to the friends and relatives of the victims who will be haunted by this forever.

I know this is a rare incident but, it being so close to home, and with several high profile aviation incidents happening in just over one year, it does make you think. Should I be afraid to fly? Two Malaysian airline flights. Gone. An AirAsia flight. Vanished. Looking at the statistics though does put things in perspective. These catastrophic events make the news headlines but we are more likely be involved in a car accident or die from smoking. In fact, it’s thought we have around a one in 11 million chance of dying in a commercial aircraft. But when these random events happen, they do make you jittery and a little anxious. I remember having a similar feeling the first time I got on a tube after the 7/7 terror attacks in London.

But travel I will continue to do, and with that, fly. I refuse to stop doing what I love, from seeing the world and letting my daughter experience what else life has to offer. 

So, batting away those thoughts lapping around the corners of my mind, I fastened my seatbelt, took a deep breath and smiled at my daughter, allowing the doubts to float away. I focused on entertaining my daughter, helping her with her sticker book, answering her many questions and holding her that little bit closer to me. The next hour and a half passed, uneventfully. I breathed a sigh of relief as we disembarked. 

 Have recent events made you think more about flying? I would love to hear your thoughts, just comment below.

If you do suffer from a severe fear of flying, hypnotherapy is one way to tackle it. Click here for a list of qualified hypnotherapists in the UK

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28 Comments on Should I Be Afraid To Fly?

  1. Baby Isabella
    April 10, 2015 at 6:57 pm (3 years ago)

    Such a tragedy 🙁 but please do not worry. I know it’s hard as a parent to put your fears aside. It’s made my mummy a bit fearful too. Life is so precious and every moment needs to be enjoyed and lived to the full x #PoCoLo
    Baby Isabella recently posted…A spring trip to Exbury GardensMy Profile

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    • admin
      April 12, 2015 at 7:02 am (3 years ago)

      You are so right baby Isabella – wise words from someone so young. X

      Reply
  2. Merlinda Little ( @pixiedusk)
    April 10, 2015 at 7:20 pm (3 years ago)

    Every plane that crashes is making my fear into phobia. I am not a regular traveler but home is Manila and that’s 22 hours away from the UK by plane. Luckily I cant afford to go home & hopefully when its time to go I will have the confidence to fly again without fear. #pocolo
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    • admin
      April 12, 2015 at 7:05 am (3 years ago)

      Oh I hope so Merlinda! Like I said, it really is a very, very rare for something to go wrong. That is literally the only fear I’ve have and I have flown extensively for the past few years. Don’t let fear stop you seeing places or visiting home. All the best xxx

      Reply
  3. Christine
    April 10, 2015 at 7:47 pm (3 years ago)

    I don’t enjoy flying – I’m either bored or scared – but I do see it as a necessary evil. I flew loads before kids (when I could afford to) but as I’ve got older I’ve become more apprehensive. I have been on a couple of dodgy flights and back in the 90s was a couple of miles away (on the ground) when there was a major air crash in India. I think all of these have contributed to my increasing dislike of flying. #pocolo
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    • admin
      April 12, 2015 at 7:08 am (3 years ago)

      Gosh, I bet that was scary. I think we do get more apprehensive as we get older. The fearless phase of our youth subsides and, especially when we have children, get worried more because we want to protect them as much as possible. Xx

      Reply
  4. Kim Carberry
    April 10, 2015 at 8:37 pm (3 years ago)

    I have always been afraid of flying even before the events of recent years….It has made me even more afraid now 😀 x
    Kim Carberry recently posted…Happy! #WotWMy Profile

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    • admin
      April 12, 2015 at 7:10 am (3 years ago)

      Hi Kim, Writing this post has made me realise how many people out there are afraid of flying. It really is very rare for something to happen. Don’t let it stop you seeing places you want to go. Xxxx

      Reply
  5. Laura @ Life with Baby Kicks
    April 12, 2015 at 4:29 am (3 years ago)

    I have never been afraid of flying, and I think that marrying the son of a pilot who is a complete plane geek has only helped me not be scared. I have only ever not liked landing but thats because I don’t like the bump.

    The recent events have made my mind race, but I think that in part is to do with becoming a mummy and fear in general increasing!

    I definitely won’t let it stop me flying, and my husband definitely wouldn’t let me not fly. I only ever panic on a plane if I see him look worried, and thats only happened once! Toddlers are a great source of distraction! #PoCoLo xxx
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    • admin
      April 13, 2015 at 6:18 pm (3 years ago)

      Hey Laura – I’m totally with you on having more fears now we are parents (and getting older). Fortunately my trip back was much easier so am hoping it has been nipped in the bud. My daughter really lives aeroplanes too so we’ll have to keep going on lots more! Xxx

      Reply
  6. Nomita | Ebabee
    April 14, 2015 at 1:04 pm (3 years ago)

    I agree that when something like German wings or any flight crash happens, I feel a bit apprehensive about the next fight I take even though I am not at all scared of flying – in fact I love flying . But as you say it is so rare so my rational mind always convinces me that we are fine. And I also believe if the worst was to happen – so long as my hubby, daughter and me are all together on a flight then what will be, will be.
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    • admin
      April 15, 2015 at 8:32 am (3 years ago)

      You know, I sometimes think that Nomita – I know it sounds a bit morbid but we really have no control over it and at least we would all be together. The one thing we can control is our mind and the fears inside it. I love flying too and was much better on the flight home.x

      Reply
    • admin
      April 16, 2015 at 9:56 am (3 years ago)

      I’ve been so surprised at how many people aren’t a fan of flying. I do get it but it is so worth it to see the world. X

      Reply
  7. Verily Victoria Vocalises
    April 16, 2015 at 11:48 am (3 years ago)

    I think it is very hard to not feel a little uneasy – especially when flying is something that humans do not do naturally! If we go in a boat many of us can at least still swim. I completely understand your feelings – especially given what you have been through recently. Thank you for linking to #PoCoLo x
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    • admin
      April 16, 2015 at 3:42 pm (3 years ago)

      Thanks Vic, think it was just a blimp – felt fine on the flight back. My husband really struggles with the whole ‘not being in control’ element of flying. I’m not a great swimmer and actually don’t love boats (seasickness) so looks like I’ll be sticking to flying! Xx

      Reply
  8. Mary
    June 17, 2015 at 7:43 am (3 years ago)

    Elizabeth this is so interesting, I dont think your alone in this and I think as soon as you put your life in the hands of the air crew you do feel a little vulnerable. Like you I have never really been afraid to fly but I must admit that last week when we flew to Italy I had similar thoughts to you as we took off and again when we flew over the swiss Apls. I think its natural for your mind to think that when you have heard such tragic things prior. On the way home though I was cool and didn’t give it a second thought.

    Did you have a lovely holiday? I think your right to never let the actions of others stop you/us doing what we want and love.

    Stats dont really mean much to me since I lost my daughter a few months ago, her condition was “1 in 4000” and we heard a load of other stats too but it meant nothing as we were in that stat now, so I think I have developed a “what ever” attitude and get on and do what I enjoy hahahhaha GREAT POST xx

    #bestandworst

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    • admin
      June 17, 2015 at 5:25 pm (3 years ago)

      Hey Mary, I’m so sorry to hear of you loss. Tragic. I’ve just been reading your story. I love your attitude – we can’t let fear get in the way – just get on and do it. We did have a lovely holiday thanks and I have been on planes since and been fine… Interesting to hear I’m not the only one to have those thoughts. Take care. Xx

      Reply
    • admin
      June 17, 2015 at 4:48 pm (3 years ago)

      Yes, you’re right! We only hear about the bad things x

      Reply
  9. Sarah Howe (@RunJumpScrap)
    June 17, 2015 at 2:44 pm (3 years ago)

    Oh I totally feel this and so much more since having a baby. It’s the thought of having no control over the situation really and high profile stories do not help. You do what I do; try and be calm and distracted. We had a bit of turbulence when I was coming home from hols and I was scared…lots of deep breathing also helps!! Thanks so much for linking up to #bestandworst and see you again soon xxx
    Sarah Howe (@RunJumpScrap) recently posted…Best and Worst Week #5My Profile

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    • admin
      June 17, 2015 at 7:15 pm (3 years ago)

      Distractions definitely helps!! Usually it’s sorting out my daughter! Thanks for hosting #bestandworst

      Reply
  10. Helen Gandy
    June 17, 2015 at 8:44 pm (3 years ago)

    I’m a terrible flyer and have no real reason for it, it’s really quite irrational but I hate the thought of it being out of my control. I’m yet to take Alfie on a plane as we tend to drive down to France each year but I think we’ll fly with him at somepoint soon. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and fears and linking them up with the #bestandworst and hope to see you again next week.

    Helen X
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    • admin
      June 19, 2015 at 9:11 pm (3 years ago)

      You are really not alone Helen – so many people have that same fear of being out of control – my hubby included. It’s worth overcoming though and having a little one to distract you on the flight helps! Thanks for hosting #bestandworst.

      Reply
  11. Jemma Chambers
    June 19, 2015 at 7:58 pm (3 years ago)

    I remember flying for the first time after Sept 11th, to Vegas with work (I know! result). I had a full blown panic attack. Never had one before, not had one since, but flying has never been the same since. I’m due to go to Vegas again soon and I’m already jittery. But I’m flying on my own and not seeing my loved ones around me, dreading what might happen to them, actually makes the experience easier for me
    Jemma Chambers recently posted…Moving House – it’s a RollercoasterMy Profile

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    • admin
      June 19, 2015 at 9:21 pm (3 years ago)

      Oh gosh – I don’t blame you! Know what you mean about flying on own rather than with family. I think we definitely develop more fears as we get older (and have kids)! Have an awesome time in Vegas – jel! Xx

      Reply
  12. Capt Tom Bunn LCSW
    July 10, 2015 at 4:18 pm (3 years ago)

    A procedure was in place in the U.S. to prevent what happened on Germanwings. Why all airlines did not use the procedure I don’t know. But now they are.

    Though flying is not absolutely safe, it is remarkably safe. A flight of several hours is equal in risk (of fatality) to driving merely 3 miles in a car.

    But, it doesn’t feel safe. What can be done about that? There are ways to train the mind to not trouble you with anxiety, fear, or even claustrophobia when flying. I have worked with 10,000 clients and given them this help. It can now be learned in my book, “SOAR: The Breakthrough Treatment for Fear of Flying,” recently named “Amazon Editors’ 2014 Favorite Book.”

    Reply

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