Thursday, 28 February 2013

Seat drills

When people have attended our courses, they are keen to continue the 'good work' so to speak.  Here are some thoughts and tips to help with that. I have called it 'seat drills' in other words, what you can do when you fly.  This is already assuming that you are using some of our other tips such as getting to the airport many hours before you need to so you don't rush; Buying water as soon as you get through security; wearing comfortable clothing with thin layers to modulate your own temperature...
When you get to your seat. Here is a list that might help you - not in any particular order:
  • Relax, get comfortable. Move everything away from you that you don't need. Preferably stow overhead as this leaves more room for your feet area.
  • Put water by your side and have a bottle for the turbulence and movement tip. Drink plenty of water to combat the dehydration
  • Eat at normal times that you would - don't just stuff it down because it is there. Makes you feel bloated and tired as your body has to digest the unexpected food arrivals!
  • Put the air vent on so that you have a stream of fresh, cool air immediately available.  A lot of people that suffered from claustrophobia found this useful.
  • Count the rows to the exit. This is the same principle one might use in a hotel - learn the exits from the hotel room in case you get woken in the night
  • Study the safety card.  Feel under your seat and check that you have a life jacket!  (Some people reading this might think that this will make the fear worse?  My take on it is that knowing what safety exists and where and what to do, gives you back an element of control)
  • Move around as and when you can. When you are not needing to walk about, keep the seatbelt on loosely (especially if you fall asleep, it saves being woken up)  Walking about the aircraft stops you getting that trapped in feeling which is a lot more likely if you rigidly stay in your seat.
  • Re-enforce the 'paced breathing' techniques we taught you on the courses.  Paced breathing is basically controlling your breathing to slow down heart rate, prevent the beginning of hyperventilating and therefore give you back control.  Breathe in for 4, hold for 2, breathe out for 6, hold for 2, breathe in for 4, hold for 2... etc.  The more you practice, the easier it gets.
  • Structure your flight time as we are not used to 2 hours, 6 hours, 12 hours of just doing nothing. The rest of our year is packed with stuff to do. On the flight (and at airport) we just hang around waiting for something to happen. We are not used to this so it is a good practice to chunk the time.  E.G. First two hours, I am going to read my book and eat food. Next two hours, I am going to watch a film. Next, I will go for a walk around and stretch.  ...
  • Keep these helpful thoughts in your head such as the examples below
Helpful thoughts.

  • Remember that the pilots are not there to chat to you. They are there to fly the aircraft.
  • If there are any noises you don't understand, ask the crew.
  • If you needed to know anything about the aircraft safety, they will tell you.
  • Flying is the safest form of transport.
  • Turbulence may be uncomfortable but it is not dangerous to the aircraft (and not to you if strapped in)
  • The pilots have families and loved ones that they want to get back to as well
  • The men and women that fly your aircraft are re-tested several times a year on their flying abilities - would you pass your driving test now?!
Paul & Richard
Co-Founders of the
Virgin Atlantic Flying Without Fear Programme
A Clip of the course

Helpful 12 minute video clip

Future Courses

Group course dates

Gatwick 10th March 2013 (Adult and Young Person’s Course – run in separate rooms at same location)
London Luton 14th April 2013
Manchester 28th April 2013
Newcastle 12th May 2013
Edinburgh 19th May 2013
Birmingham 26th May 2013
Leeds Bradford 2nd June 2013
Southampton 23rd June 2013

The price is only £255 inc VAT. We are good value…you get your free CD & booklet worth £30, hot meal, regular refreshments throughout the day and insurances included. We don’t charge extra for booking by debit or credit card.  We also don’t charge anything for transferring your place to another course.  Free 2000 flying club points.*   N.B.  The children’s course costs £375 inc VAT for the child, fear free adult, refreshments and flights.
Bring a companion?  If you would like someone to accompany you for the flight part of the course, please call us on 01423 714900 to book. Cost £100 + VAT
Other workshop dates

Developing Resilience Workshop – 13th May 2013 Gatwick area
Banish Stress Forever Workshop – 17th June 2013 Gatwick area

£125 including VAT & parking & refreshments

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