Hello and welcome to our August Blog.
When is the best time to do your course? (FAQ)
A lot of people ask us this question. Normally, the question ties in with this extra information:
'...I was thinking of booking your course about two weeks before my holiday. Do you think that is enough time for me to fly comfortably?'
This, at face value, sounds like a reasonable question and maybe you have thought similarly yourself? It is the wrong question! Allow me to explain.
The course and flight proximity is the wrong way to look at it. The actual best time to book our course is when you are in the right frame of mind to book onto it. When you are saying to yourself, 'enough is enough! I need to get my fears sorted out!!' THAT is the best time. Beating a fear of flying is a process that takes time. It takes a different amount of time for each person. Our course works best when part of a process of beating the fear. This can start any time rather than treating the course as a 'one stop shop.'
Many people often have a lot of success of just coming on our course as a 'one stop shop' and doing nothing else but I am personally gobsmacked how they manage that - it seems like a heck of a lot of pressure to put on yourself?!
Start today, do something regularly towards beating the fear. Examples - read books on fear of flying, practice relaxation techniques, try mindfulness, stop watching programmes like Crash Investigation. These are all things that you can start now at no cost. They all help.
Shortly, on our YouTube channel, 'Virginflyingwithoutfear' we will upload an inspirational story. You will meet Janine and Mags. Both have been on our courses as nervous flyers. Janine 5 years ago, Mags 2 years ago. They are now team leaders helping other nervous flyers. AND, Janine is even a trained pilot. Watch the clip as Janine meets Mags just before her aerobatic flight! Amazing, well done to both of you. We truly believe anything is possible in terms of beating your fears. Never give up as these two in the clip prove. Video link here.
I keep checking the weather before I fly...
Nervous flyers check the weather and see it is windy and get worried. Pilots check the weather and think, 'great, it's windy. Wind = free lift'
Nervous flyers check the weather and see it is sunny and feel relaxed. Pilots check the weather and see it is sunny and think, 'Could be thermals today which might mean a bit of turbulence.'
By the way, pilots are never worried about weather and especially not turbulence because they know it is safe.
The weather rules':
- It is either safe to take off despite the weather or we don't take off till it is safe. In other words, there are strict rules around when you can take off and when you can't. Thundercloud overhead, we wait for it to pass. Rain, we can take off. Cross winds we take off if they are within our legal limits. If too much wind coming across the runway above our legal limits, we wait. This is a simple way to look at it but that is it in a nutshell
- The same rules apply to landing. It is safe to land or it isn't. If it isn't, we can wait for a while. Still not great, divert to somewhere else. Yes, we do have enough fuel to do that... it is all part of the planning before we even take off.
- Once we get above the clouds, we are above the weather. No matter how rubbish weather is near the ground, above the clouds it is sunshine all the way.
We have just run a couple of great courses at Manchester and Birmingham. Here is a bit of feedback from both:
Manchester July 2017
Having not stepped foot on a plane for 16 years, I really didn’t think that I ever would again. I hated the entire experience on the few flights that I had been on when I was younger.
However, my husband and son wanted to go to Florida, and I decided to book the holiday, and booked my place on the FWF course the same day. I decided that I really had to do something to try and overcome my fear, but was doubtful that anything ever could.
However, I was wrong. The Virgin Atlantic Flying Without Fear course was fantastic. Delivered in a common sense, humorous, yet thoroughly professional way, it covered all aspects of travelling by plane. We were given breathing exercises and coping mechanisms to help us deal with our individual fears and thoughts. The technical information given by the Pilot, and the general information given by the Cabin Crew gave a practical and accurate insight into the plane and airline training procedures.
I met some really lovely people on the course, and it was very reassuring to know that everyone there was attending to try and overcome their individual and personal fears in relation to flying.
The FWF team were amazing and obviously excellent at what they individually and collectively do. A special mention to Christian, our team leader who was brilliant. Friendly, professional, reassuring, and had no problem at all with answering as many questions as you could put to him. Thank you Christian!!!
This course has changed my life in the fact that I got on the flight yesterday, and although nervous, managed to practice the breathing and coping mechanisms to help me through. I felt as if I had actually enjoyed the flight, and found it to be fine. This was a amazing considering how I used to be on flights, you wouldn’t want me sitting next to you as a passenger.
So thank you so much to the FWF team, this course will change my life, and that of my family. Enabling us to go on the family holidays by plane that I haven’t felt able to do before. I wish I had done this course years ago!
With Many Thanks & Kindest Regards,
Mrs Celeste St
Birmingham July 2017
I attended the Birmingham course on July 23rd. I would like to add my thanks for a great course. Please thank Karen for helping me on a one to one basis and Ralph for answering my questions all about take off! I would very much like to single out for praise the facilitator for my table, James. He was so calm and unfailingly kind and supportive throughout the whole process. He was fantastic at explaining and stopping catastrophising whilst we endured the two hour delay at Birmingham airport and a bumpy take off. Although I didn’t love the flight I was able to put a lot of what I had learnt into practice and feel able to get on a plane again and definitely know that something has changed in my brain and acknowledge I am at the beginning of a journey and my phobia WILL improve every time I fly! It was such a relief to take off and not be sobbing with fear!
Thank you again for all your support.
By the way, this is the route that we took on flight tracker (thanks Chris Rolinson - team leader). It looks like we didn't land but we did, that particular app didn't track below a certain height!
I wonder how safe am I flying...
This was pointed out to us by Chris Rolinson (Chris what would we do without you?!) It is a nice easy read on the BBC website. Enjoy.
Live Poll at Manchester Course
As people arrived on the 30th July Manchester course, we asked them to go onto their mobiles and answer the question, 'How did you fear start?'
And the top reasons came back as below. Interesting stuff?
Paul & Richard
Virgin Atlantic Flying Without Fear
Future Fear of Flying Courses
Adult Premium course with flight. 12th November 2017 Gatwick
Children course with flight. 12th November 2017 Gatwick (available to book soon)