Monday, 16 October 2017

Flying Without Fear Blog 16th October 2017


Sad News
This month has seen the sad disappearance of Monarch Airlines. An airline that we had very close ties with and many of our friends worked there.  It just goes to show how tough it is to survive in the aviation industry.  They have just completed 50 years of being in business which was amazing. 

Monarch also helped the flying without fear programme for many years by letting us charter their aircraft for our courses. The crew (ground and air) were amazing to work with and we shall miss them being around.  Some airlines get rescued and that would be an amazing thing to happen to Monarch. It is testament to how closely commercial aviation works together as we have heard, many airlines are opening their doors to the ex Monarch staff.  We wish all the amazing staff the best of luck looking for new employment.

Email Thank you

I attended this course in July at the Manchester venue. It was quite challenging to actually take that short flight at the end of the course. My Husband decided to book a weeks sun holiday for us after I'd taken the course, we returned on Friday and although I can't say I enjoyed the flights, having used the techniques learned during the course made it a lot more bearable. The water bottle really helped my anxiety during the bits of turbulence, but the big achievement was the fact that I wasn't doing my meerkat impression when the Bing bongs went off. I kept my little folder with me and read the explanations during take off and landing, again very reassuring. My big test will be an upcoming trip to Hong Kong , so fingers crossed and thank you, this course was definitely worth the investment and has allowed me to regain some control over my fear. I would definitely recommend it to anyone fearful of flying. Marie
Fear - depends how you look at it

Most of us as humans don't like the feelings that fear creates within us.  We, flying without fear, don't necessarily believe that fear is a bad thing actually.

Granted, it can be horrible when it is out of control or when the fear stops you doing other things within your life.  But, fear also keeps you alive by keeping you alert. 

Fear is also something that you can sell.  Paul's daughters (Paul Co Founder) were talking about Tulley's Farm in Sussex (Near Gatwick) as they hold Halloween Fright Nights every year.  Apparently, this year is 'Just brilliant 'cos it is REALLY, REALLY scary!'  So, a little cliché perhaps but fear does not mean the same thing to everyone?

Thank yous - posted on the message board

I did it. I just came back from three weeks in Japan and it was amazing.

I was feeling confident, but my subconscious gave me two weeks of plane related nightmares before departure. For unwanted reasons (a trip to the A&E at 10pm the night before our flight), I didn't get enough sleep on the night before. But on that day, I was still feeling strong. The warm-up was a short and smooth flight to Paris to catch the plane to Japan. That flight went great, and we had more than enough time in Paris to catch the next flight. When I was waiting in Paris, I was excited when I saw the big plane I would take in a few minutes. Then we went inside the plane. We were sitting in a row of 3 seats and luckily, there was nobody on the 3rd seat. The plane took off, we quickly got a drink (no alcohol) and the first meal was served. After about an hour or two, while I was waiting to go to the toilet, I started talking with one of the flight attendants. At some point during the conversation, I said it was my first long-haul flight, and told her about the Virgin Atlantic course and how incredible it was for me to be on this plane. She congratulated me and we had a nice chat about how I felt. During the flight, she came to my seat two or three times just to make sure I was feeling great, and this felt amazing. At the end of the flight, she even gave us some gifts to celebrate this first very long flight. I almost cried when I went out of the plane and realized I was in Japan.

I didn't have nightmares before the flight back to the UK. My subconscious must have realized everything went great. We had to change our flight because of bad weather in Amsterdam, but I didn't see a sign or anything else like that, and in the end, the flight we were supposed to take was cancelled. It was an even bigger plane than the first one, but we had seats in the back. I knew there might be a chance there would be more noise, or that I would feel the plane move more, but it was ok. Once again, I talked with a flight attendant at some point, and in the conversation I told him about the course, how I felt, etc. And once again, he came to check on me at some point and made sure I was feeling good. It was a day flight, and I didn't have the impression I spent almost 11 hours in a plane. I watched movies, had lunch, read some books, and kept myself busy. It went by really, really fast.

The whole experience was amazing. I was very proud of myself. I went to your course looking for answers and a way to overcome this fear, and it really worked for me. Thank you for giving me this opportunity!

I've just returned from 5 weeks holiday and family visit in Bali and Australia and for the first time ever I have taken 5 flights without the usual gut wrenching stomach churning fear of old!! I have been flying for nearly 40 years living abroad in Zambia and Abu Dhabi. I am married to a travel mad husband and we have had many brilliant holidays around the world - always marred by my fear of flying. Finally after my husband arrived back from our latest trip to Cuba with his arms and hands covered in bruises as I gripped him so tightly on take off, landing , turbulence funny noises etc etc , he booked me onto one of your courses. 

I was sceptical but prepared to give it a go. I found being able to talk to like minded people liberating . We all had similar fears. The technical parts of the course helped me the most. I'm a bit of a control freak and just needed to know why and how and so the pilot talks were great . Loved the analogy of driving as in always said in a car I'm in control - now realise this is not so.

The psychological aspects were good too- I now have to ditch the idea of being afraid of flying, that person is no longer me. What will I talk about at dinner parties now when the subject comes up? Oh yes your course, of course!  I found the breathing exercises worked best for me and the mantra" turbulence is uncomfortable but not dangerous" . I arrived  at Heathrow yesterday after 14 hours from Singapore and thought yep that fear has now gone.

I'm not saying I absolutely love flying but my rational brain now registers the shear volume of air traffic and the routine safety of it rather than terrifying myself with extremely rare catastrophies.
I attended the course at Manchester on 30/7/17.

So thank you all for a brilliant course, the best present my husband has ever given me. Do you know of a similar course for losing weight? Now that would be a money spinner...

Q. Does your one day course really work?

We get asked this a lot. Here is our answer:

Yes it does.  However, it works best when combined with other things that you are doing to beat the fear.  Such as:

  • Reading books about how aircraft fly
  • Looking at Government websites that give the facts about flying
  • Practicing mindfulness or proper breathing
  • Not watching those programmes such as ' Air Crash Investigation.'
  • Not believing anything in the media when it comes to commercial aviation

If you went to a gym once, you would not expect to both gain and maintain a six pack!  Not meaning to be facetious, it is just about putting it into a helpful perspective.  Staying positive and mentally healthy takes effort just like it would to stay physically healthy.

Very best wishes,

Paul & Richard
Virgin Atlantic Flying Without Fear

Future Courses

Manchester 5th November

Gatwick 19th November

Kids with flight (6-12):

Gatwick 19th November

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