How I made flying more enjoyable and less stressful
Righteo….my first blog. Here goes.
Hi, I’m Fran – 33 year old Mum of 2 from Yorkshire.
Friendly introductions over – lets have a bash and see if my experiences can help anyone.
I’m going to do an immensely quick journey back through my childhood & history.
I was a frequent flyer as a child – my first flight was at 6 months old to Jersey and we regularly went over there as my Grandparents resided there.
By the time I was around 8 I was flying on my own as a VIP to Jersey to meet my Grandparents – Mum or Dad would drop me at the airport – Gran would pick me up in Jersey – never a problem.
Throughout my teenage years I holidayed regularly – Tenerife one of my faves – no problem getting there or back.
In my 20’s I met my then boyfriend – now husband – went to Turkey twice – no problem (on looking back this was the most dubious of planes I’ve ever flown on but that’s another story).
In 2011 I became a Mother. To a wonderful bubbly baby girl Eva.
Something changed massively – as it tends to do when you’ve had kids – and I just couldn’t cope.
In flight I would be shouting the plane is going down after take off and really crazy things throughout the three hour flight to Spain – i’m not even joking I was actually told to shush. I would be sweating uncontrollably. My heart was racing for three hours.
I would arrive in Spain an absolute mess thank goodness for Sangria and that I have two full weeks before I have to go through that again.
As time flew – Chris abandoned me to look after the children and I sat with strangers panicking and alarming them with my problems and of my suspicions.
Then my worst experience came when my daughter began to express how she felt when flying – declaring after take off “Mummy the plane is going down!” Masses off face rubbing and panicking later I calmed myself down with a Vino – yes I arrived in Spain and yes we had a belting holiday I’m still here to tell the tale.
And that’s just it. I’m here. This is how I have talked myself out of being scared of flying – the beginning of it anyway. There are (after a quick google) 37,500,000 flights per year – passenger flights – people going places. Indeed there are emergencies, there are very very rare accidents – but these flights get there and do the job – you think of every truck you see – the planes are a truck – a much much safer truck. So I shall lead you to Tip 1.
Download Flight Radar – watch how many planes in the UK are coming and going. Become interested in Flying. Watch and listen to all of the planes coming over your house – there will be hundreds. Get yourself used to the flightpaths they take. Directly over my house they do a massive tilt to turn into Leeds Bradford Airport around 8 minutes before landing – watch the planes approach your airport and look for that tilt. The planes are lining up to the runway. When you see this on a radar you will then enjoy the flight and literally be able to countdown yourself.
Aquire yourself a One Way Airband Scanner. Yes I do realise i’m heading waaaaaay down a geek route here but I’m not bothered – this is what helped me. The pilots never flap. Ever. Listen to them coming over your house – they are cool as cucumbers – even when they cannot land safely at your destination – they simply tell Air Traffic Control – “Diverting to Newcastle”.
Watch how a plane works and aerodynamics. I could give you a really really intelligent paragraph here (if knew what the hell that meant) but – alas – what can I explain what a YouTube video cannot.
What I am getting at here is to watch for the sounds and movements the plane makes upon take off and landing. For example I used to think at about 5 minutes into flight the wheels had just come up as you hear a loud mechanical noise and the plane feels like its dropping – not at all. The second you take off the wheels begin to lift – otherwise they would cause huge drag. The sensation I always feel is when the flaps on the wings begin to change. Its cool.
Sit next to the window – overlooking the wing. As described above. When you see the noises actually happening you feel much more settled.
Arrive Early to the airport – and board as late as possible. ****This may hinder any sponsorship from airlines**** but i recommend it for nervous flyers. Get through the stressful airport checks and passport checks and quickly and early as possible – these cause huge anxiety and you do not need this on-top of any potential flight stress. Go get yourself a pint next to the window watching the planes and chillax.
An additional tip…the Flight Staff will be more than willing to help nervous flyers and happily explain the noises or sensations to you.
And to conclude…..Enjoy your flight. Enjoy Your Experience! You deserve this Holiday! You have earned it!
p.s. If you have enjoyed this blog please check out my piece on Kirkstall Abbey – perfect place for plane spotting. Enjoy xxx