Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Flying Without Fear Blog January 2018

Hello and welcome to first proper blog 2018.

We really hope that you were able to take a decent break over the festive period?  We have come back to work mad busy with some exciting news coverage and four courses to run before the end of April.  Did you know that our prices have not changed for over 5 years!

Virgin Atlantic totally believe in this course...
L-R: Paul Tizzard, Sir Richard Branson
& Richard Conway 2003

Did you see all of the coverage in the national newspapers and hear it on the radio?  On January 9th, Virgin offered anyone with a fear of flying to book a flight with them and they would get a free fear of flying place with us.  The guarantee that they made was this, 'If you book a flight, attend the course for free and you are not cured then Virgin will refund your flight cost!'  That is how strongly everyone at Virgin Atlantic believes in what we offer.  Here is a link to one of the articles.

Inspirational Thanks by Email
To: info@flyingwithoutfear.info
Subject: Fear of flying 99% conquered

Dear Richard and Paul,

Firstly, apologies for contacting you directly (me and forums don't go together!). I'm sure you remember me but wanted to share this with you and maybe give inspiration to others who were like me. If you think this is okay to post on the forums, please could you post it for me and cut it to a bit smaller/take things out if you think you have to. I am writing this after just returning from my 2nd holiday within 6 weeks and finally I know that I have conquered my fear of flying. 

My journey started way back in 2004 when 3 months before my holiday to Florida, I was a complete emotional wreck. In the end I was hospitalised, on medication and, at one stage, told my wife and 2 daughters to go without me. It was then I stumbled across the Virgin Atlantic Fear of Flying programme, run by Richard and Paul. Richard invited me to the course which was 4 days before I was due to fly. I attended, all dosed up with tablets and I must admit, looking back, the day was a blur, but I did the course and flight, remembered how proud I was thinking, yeah this is easy but all the fears came flooding back the next day and I was like that the whole holiday.

I took the bold step of booking another one when I got home. My understanding being that, since I was dosed up on mediation, I couldn't really take in the material I was given . This time ,not on any medication, I made a mental note of listening to everything presented to me. Sure, I was nervous on the day but, when I climbed the steps to board, I felt calm and still vividly remember speaking to a gentleman on the course who was upset and offered to sit next to me, saying we can do this together. Which we both did. Great, I thought, fear conquered. Or so I thought.

I booked another 3 centre trip to America (2 internal flights involved), then the fears all came back 3 months before. It got so bad that I made some lies up, telling my wife that the schools wouldn't let us take the kids out for the week before the schools holidays broke up. I promised her that we would pre book, which I did, telling myself that I have a year to sort myself out. Even let my parents book as I was confident that "next time, I will be ok". It's amazing how quickly the year went and I'm afraid that I did exactly the same thing, lied again about schools and promised wife and kids that we would for next year but definitely in school holidays so there would be no problems. Now the pressure was on and I took the bold steps to contact Richard, saying that I was a failure and can I re-book for 2007. Richard said that I was 100% not a failure, never to think like that welcomed me on the course. I even took my wife this time to prove to her that I could do this.

The day went really well and, even my wife said how calm I was. Though (thinking back 10 years ago), I do recall it was very windy and that did freak me out a bit but, thankfully it had calmed down and was a smooth flight. Looking back now, I wished it had been windy and turbulent as, being in that environment first hand, it would of shown me that it is safe. Thinking again, I had cracked it, the holiday soon started to get closer and closer and, yet again, the fears all came flooding back. I did go on this holiday but just couldn't get the fears and thoughts out of my head. The weird thing about all this is, when I landed at Gatwick on my return, I would look back and think to myself, Yeah I did really well, I was calm on the plane and enjoyed it. Thinking these positive thoughts, I booked another holiday for 2009. But again I was a nervous wreck before the holiday, nervous about 4 days before I returned but again I would look back and say "Yeah I did really well, I was calm on the plane and enjoyed it".

This circle carried on for 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016. In between this, I did another course (think Richard and Paul were getting fed up with me!) in 2012 but, again, even though I was calm on the plane, enjoyed it, I just couldn't get the crisis thoughts out of my head and controlling the nerves.2015 was a turning point in my fears. Having just returned from Florida, we were due to fly to Crete 4 days later and, yep, I cancelled it, telling my wife it was my illness and not my fear of flying. When you Flight and not Fight, you get are overcome with relief, this lasts for a few hours, then you are overcome with guilt. I felt so low for a few days and then I said to myself, enough is enough.

I rang Richard (must be fed up with me by now!) as I always remember someone saying to me, when you give in to your fears, you have lost. I didn't want that, so in April 2016 I booked a surprise holiday for my wife to Antigua and booked myself on another course for April. I travelled to Birmingham from Kent, did the course and flight, loved every minute of it and finally, I knew we were getting somewhere. I was nervous for Antigua, but only the day before I went and a few days before I came home. I have since travelled to St. Lucia, Malaga, Palma and have just got back from Antigua. What has also helped me was that I got to fly a 737 in a simulator for an hour which showed me that (even though it was simulator) the instructor pretended it was real. We went through all the check list, showed me tall the back up systems etc. so when I flew as a passenger, I ran through all that I remembered and, to my surprise it really helped and calmed me. Also, my daughter is cabin crew for British Airways, flies all the time and she just says "its just a job". If flying was dangerous, how irresponsible a parent would I be if I let her continue in her role.

My moral to my long story is this: I remember (after my first couple of courses) reading people's messages to Richard and Paul, saying they were cured after one course and thinking "why am I not like that", "what's wrong with me", "I'm not normal". Taking a good look at myself, I ignored these comments and FINALLY realised, we are all individuals, not robots. What might take someone 1 course, can take someone 2/3/4 courses. We all put pressure on ourselves to be "normal" and be like our parents/brothers/sisters/friends etc.

If it doesn't work 1st time, don't give up, keep on trying as, what I thought would never happen, I now love flying. Yes, I still get nervous, but I now say to myself it is excited nerves as I no longer get them dreaded negative thoughts in my head "what if this happens, that happens etc. "If this is posted on the message board, please don't read the first part as a negative but concentrate on the ending which is POSITIVE. Remember we are all individually different and if it didn't work for you the 1st or 2nd time, don't give up. It will work. And I think Richard and Paul will agree, I am certainly living proof of this.

I have already booked Orlando, Turkey and Jamaica next year and can't wait!!I wish everyone a happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year and happy flying.

PS I would like to say a massive THANKYOU to Richard and Paul for their understanding, patience and help over the last 14 years, without you my new life would not have been possible. I may or may not come back for a refresher but, if I do, I know you won't judge or think "AGAIN", but, what I do know is that you would welcome be back with open arms. I wouldn't see this as a failure but just to refresh the brain.

Thank you again,


Comment:  We think Trevor is amazing and especially as he never gave up. He literally came on our first course sedated with a companion to help him walk.  His fear was enormous. We firmly believe here that if you don't give up and if you treat our course as part of a process, you will beat it.
Future Courses

4th February 2018

 4th March 2018

22nd April 2018

29th April 2018


Best wishes,

Paul & Richard

Virgin Atlantic Flying Without Fear
Our Book:
flying without fear - 101 fear of flying questions answered

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