Of all the things to hear on your first flight, “We are running out of fuel,” is probably not the best. Yet this happened to me, triggering off a fear of flying that still haunts me today.

I’ve never (touch wood) experienced awful turbulence or a bad take off, so I’m not entirely sure why I get so anxious when flying. It’s probably got something to do with the fact I like being in control, and find it difficult to relax!

My fear got so worse that, 5 years ago after travelling to Berlin with my college, I promised myself I would never fly again. I stuck to this for a good few years before realising that I was missing out on so many opportunities. So, I decided to face up to my fear and do it anyway! Here are some of the things I’ve found have helped me –

Get to know your favourite airlines

In my travels, I’ve been trying a range of airlines and my favourite (so far!) has to be Emirates. I flew to Hong Kong (via Dubai) with them on their A380 and I couldn’t fault a thing. When taking off, I can usually be found cuddling the nearest person’s arm, weeping into their shoulder – but with Emirates I hardly realised we weren’t on the ground anymore! I also can’t sleep on planes, so the range of movies they showed kept me occupied for the 14 hours I was cursing my body for being awake.

My friends think I’m slightly crazy when it comes to choosing which airlines to fly with (“I’d rather pay a bit more and survive than take a cheap flight and crash!” /crazy) but when it comes to being a nervous flyer, being in a comfortable environment can make you feel that bit safer. 

At WTM 2012, I got to try out a first class cabin with Emirates. *Sigh* one day…
Pick up a copy of ‘Flying Without Fear’

My friend recommended this book to me en route to Oslo after seeing just how badly my fear affected me. The book, from the Virgin Atlantic ‘Flying Without Fear’ team, covers everything you’ve ever thought of in your crazy moments (Don’t worry, we’ve all been there.) From questions such as ‘What happens if the pilot is having a bad day?’ to ‘What happens if we land in the sea?’ the book answers all questions in a reassuring manner, meaning you’ll be able to identify all the aircraft’s bumps and squeaks in no time! It’s a good little book to read on take off or during turbulence, since it explains everything you feel and see. A must buy!
I credit this book with getting me through my long haul flights!

Buy some Bach Rescue Remedy

Whenever I fly, I take my trusty Bach Rescue Remedy with me. Half an hour before I board the plane I dose up (I have been known to drink half the bottle, although I’m not sure if this would be recommended….) Before I know it, I’m floating on air, bouncing onto the plane and sitting back for a magical flight. Is it a placebo? Who cares! If it gets you from A-B without a panic attack then it’s got to be worth it!
All natural Bach rescue Remedy!

Fly with a friend

If flying solo isn’t your thing, fly with a friend you trust who will be able to distract you from the fact you’re 30,000 feet up in the air. A natter on the runway (while you’re in the plane, PLEASE) or a discussion about the X Factor while you’re over the Atlantic Ocean can do wonders for making you forget where you actually are.   

“I’m cruising at 30,000ft? I didn’t even realise I was off the ground!” is what you will hopefully say.

Don’t look up statistics

Yes, you know the ones I’m talking about. The ones that tell you when your airline last had a crash or ran out of Diet Coke on board. (OK, I made that last one up.) Knowing statistics like that will not help your state of mind. Just remember that it’s very, very, unlikely something will go wrong. And don’t even start on the YouTube videos……..

These are my tips for nervous flyers! What are yours?