Every year we get asked about gift certificates to help loved ones to beat their fear of flying. This is a really lovely idea in our opinion except for one consideration....I would like to explain
When a person has had a fear of flying for a long long time, there is a lot of their time invested in it. They have had years of practising being fearful. Years of avoiding the scary thing. They have strategies to avoid flying plus, they might not even mention the subject.
When the partner gives their loved one the surprise voucher on Christmas Day for example, it can actually feel like quite a pressure. It is like handing an spider-containing-envelope to a spider phobic. It is scary and suddenly in their face. If you are British, you will probably politely say 'Thank you.' Secretly, they now feel a huge pressure to deliver.
Here is our tip.
Give the present but please please involve them in the decision. To the fear of flying phobic, they are being handed a nicely gift wrapped 'certificate of death!' I realise that this may sound a little dramatic but it is that dramatic for some people. If the fearful person is not involved in the decision, they will probably come to the course but will not commit to the day and therefore will leave with their fear of flying intact.
Hope that this doesn't put you off the idea as it really isn't meant to. The gift of being able to fly is as the cliche goes, 'The gift that just keeps giving...'
Paul and the flying without fear team at Virgin Atlantic