Way back when I was studying at university, I also moonlighted as a flight attendant for Virgin Blue (now Virgin Australia). Too restless to sit in a lecture theatre and so eager to start earning money, I somehow managed to mix full time university studies and full time work without too much fuss. Often when I flew, I came across passengers who were very nervous flyers. You can recognise them a mile away. Their eyes are wide, they usually sit in the aisle seat and they are sweating, breathing deeply, and nervously looking around with their hands tightly gripping the armrest.

Eager to make them feel as comfortable as possible, I told these passengers to watch me during the flight. If I was smiling and looked happy, then everything was fine. If was looking scared and freaking out, then we had a problem and they were allowed to get nervous. This often settled them, which was nice. So for my latest Life Hack, I share with you my top seven tips to help you conquer your fear of flying.

PICK THE RIGHT SEAT Where possible, always request a front row or an exit row so you have more room. Having increased legroom will make you feel more comfortable and confident. I would also recommend requesting an aisle seat as it not only give you the feeling of extra space, but it means you are able to get in and out of your seat quickly and without bothering anyone else.

EXPECT STRANGE NOISES Every flight will make some sounds you’re not familiar with. Even the sound from the front of the plane (usually quieter) is different to the sound at the back of the plan (usually louder). And even after all of my years of flying and when I was working at Virgin Australia, I’d hear different noises. They are perfectly normal and I’d be worried if the plane was completely silent. But if you are feeling uncomfortable, your friendly flight attendants will be able to reassure you.

AVOID SLEEPING BEFORE YOUR FLIGHT Nothing makes time on a plane fly faster than falling sleep. With that in mind, get as little sleep as possible before your flight. Doing so will make you sleepy on your flight and will increase your chances of having a sleep.

KEEP YOURSELF BUSY Distraction is key for nervous flyers. Have a plan set in place if you’re flying abroad i.e. Watch a movie, eat a meal, watch a movie, read a book, have a sleep and repeat. The more you occupy yourself with, the less likely you are to be nervous.

TAKE-OFF AND LANDING These are the two important times of a flight – but there is absolutely no need to worry about them, that’s the job of the two or three pilots sitting in the flight deck. Trust me, you’re in good hands.

LEARN HOW FLYING WORKS The primary objective of flight attendants is your safety, and that means they are also a goldmine of knowledge. And knowledge is power so ask your flight attendants any questions you have. They’ll be more than happy to assist, tell you the truth and make you feel confident and comfortable.

KEEP FLYING Practice makes perfect. The more you fly, the more you’ll get used to it. Its also the perfect excuse to go on lots of weekenders!

TipsJaharn Giles2 Comments