Monday, 26 May 2014

A realistic nervous flyer case study

We are in a very fortunate position to be able to help others. To give people back choices in their lives about how they travel.   For most people, facing a fear of flying is a very daunting thing. Recent research from Cranfield suggests that 30% of the population have a fear of flying. But not everyone wants to do something about it....

The email below has been reproduced with permission and it is a really good example of a real person, just like you, that has had to and continues to, overcome her fear 'demons.'  We hope that you find it interesting as it is a real case study - not a sales pitch.

I just thought I'd share my story/experience to help others....

I've had a crippling phobia about flying for 19 years (since the birth of my first child) I was ok up till that point. It got worse and worse as the years went on, I had so many nightmares about flying, crashing etc. and I was obsessed with all the air disaster programmes on TV.   I flew twice in those 19 years both times with tablets from the doctors. It came to a head last year when my husband had the opportunity of an all expenses work trip to Disney, Florida. And I just couldn't do it, so he went with our eldest two children. (with my blessing of course!)

A friend recommended your course and after a lot of deliberation I decided to book (or rather my husband did as an anniversary gift!) I postponed it because I wasn't ready but eventually attended Luton may 5th.

The day of the course...
The day was quite intense at times and I had a few wobbles throughout the day. Hearing the planes going over as we were quite close to the airport didn't help!  The overall impression was that all the staff there were really passionate about helping us conquer our fears. They were all approachable and knowledgeable.  The scientific part was really interesting and helpful and I also found the segment about the crew and their training really helpful too.  I have to say parts of the psychology session I found helpful but some of the 'tapping' stuff didn't really do it for me.

Onto the actual flight..
I went off in the morning saying to my husband 'I'll listen to what they have to say with an open mind but I won't be getting on the plane!' 

I was fine through the airport and security checks etc. (in the past I would break down as soon as the airport came in sight). I was fine climbing the stairs talking to myself with positive words and doing the breathing techniques etc. But as soon as I sat down on the seat I had a melt down and really didn't think I could go through with it. Karen my team leader was wonderful and calmed me down and helped me to focus on the positives and on the things I'd learnt throughout the day. She showed me pictures of her children and said 'do you really think I'd be here now doing this if I thought there was a chance that I wouldn't see them again later?' That really helped me. Howard spoke to me too and helped me take my disaster movie thoughts out of my head which really worked!

Afterwards I felt relieved but not cured. It was late and such an emotional day that I felt exhausted and thought I'd still never fly.  But I didn't give up, I have listened to the relaxation cd loads and I have read the 101 questions answered book which I would definitely recommend! I felt so much more confident that we decided to strike whilst the iron was hot and book a day trip to Nice.
The trip to Nice...
The day started fine, my husband couldn't get over how calm I was at the airport. We had priority boarding because my husband phoned ahead to tell them I was a nervous flyer but I felt abit of a fraud because I felt so calm.
I did have a few tears whilst walking up the steps with my husband and two year old but nothing like I experienced pre course. After getting settled in our seats and putting into practice all the tips from the course I was ready to go.

But then...
But then came the announcement that due to the France air traffic control strike our estimated departure time was in 4hrs time!!!! Well as you can imagine that did send me into a panic. I couldn't imagine sitting there for four hours trying to entertain my 2 yrs. old whilst trying to keep myself calm.!  I have to say the crew were lovely, they let me go and talk to the pilot in the cockpit ( who was lovely too), but after an hour and a half we decided to disembark because they couldn't tell us when we would leave and as we were due to fly back the same day we  decided it wasn't worth it. It eventually took off 5hrs after scheduled!
Despite all that I feel fine.

So, I want to say a huge thank you to you all. If has been a real life changing event.
I would thoroughly recommend the course and the book to everyone.
Thank you so much and keep up the good work.
(Hope I haven't bored you!!!)

Fiona x
Now that you have read it, you can see it is not a sales pitch. It is a realistic account of a brave person fighting their fears of 19 years.    If anyone has had a fear for a while, it does take a bit of effort to get rid of it. It takes some work. Beating a fear is a process and we find that if people approach tackling fear of flying that way, then our course is a fantastic part of that process.   There are lots of different techniques and strategies on our course to help you because we don't believe in the 'one size fits all' approach.   Look forward to meeting you ...

Take care
Paul & Richard
Virgin Atlantic flying without fear


Adult premium group course – £255 inc VAT
Birmingham 8th June 2014
Southampton 22nd June 2014
Gatwick 6th July 2014
Manchester 9th November 2014
Group ground* only course (no flight) £120 inc VAT
Leeds 1st June 2014
Cardiff 15th June 2014
Newcastle 14th September 2014
Bristol 5th October 2014
Heathrow 14th December 2014


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