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Should I Be Scared of Flying?

Fear of flying, also called aviophobia, is when someone gets really scared of being on an aeroplane. Just the thought of flying can make them feel super anxious or even panicked. It can be mild or so bad that some people avoid flying altogether.

Aviophobia can be caused by a variety of factors including;

  • Fear of heights
  • Lack of control
  • Fear of the unknown (such as unfamiliar sights, sounds, and sensations)
  • Previous trauma or bad experience (such as turbulence or an emergency landing)
  • General anxiety
  • Fear of crashing
  • And more!
Image: A photo of a white and red aeroplane, written “British Airways”, flying under a clear blue sky during daytime.

Understanding the Risks

According to statistics, flying is incredibly safe. With millions of flights taking off and landing safely every year, the chances of being involved in a plane crash are extremely low, especially compared to other forms of transportation.

The aviation industry is also highly regulated, with aircraft undergoing rigorous maintenance and safety checks to ensure they are safe for flights. Pilots and flight crews are also well-trained to handle just about any situation that might occur during a flight.

Understanding this and learning about the physics of flight, pilots’ training, and the safety features of modern aircraft can help alleviate some anxiety, and instil confidence in those who fear flying.

What to Do if you Are Scared of Flying

Don't let the fear of flying stop you from going on that vacation, or visiting your loved ones. There are various ways to manage the fears and even overcome them. Here are some effective strategies;

Identify and Understand Your Fear

Start by finding out why you are scared of flying As mentioned above, many factors can trigger the fear. Is it that you are scared of heights, have a previous traumatic experience, fear crashing, claustrophobia, or have social anxiety?

Each of these triggers may need a different solution so identifying and understanding the root cause of your fear will help you find the right solution that will address it more effectively.

Educate Yourself

Learning and understanding how aeroplanes work and the safety measures in place can help you feel more at ease when flying.

Take your time to learn about the safety features of aeroplanes, such as multiple engines, redundant systems, emergency procedures, pilot training, aeroplane maintenance, and even air traffic control.

This doesn't mean you become an engineer, tech geek, or aviation expert. It is just about knowing and understanding the basics of how planes work and the safety procedures in place to make flying safer and less intimidating.

Seek Support

Consider finding support and comfort from other travellers. This also gives you a sense of community and understanding, knowing that you are not alone and that you have others around you who understand your fear.

Find Professional Help

If you have severe aviophobia, which significantly affects your life, seeking professional help can be highly beneficial;

  • Therapist ? A therapist can help you explore the root causes of your fear and develop coping strategies to manage it. They can provide you with the tools you need to reduce anxiety and fear related to flying.
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) ? CBT is a common treatment for phobias, including fear of flying. It can help you change your negative thought patterns and develop healthier coping mechanisms.
  • Exposure therapy ? This simply means gradually exposing yourself to the source of your fear, such as flying. Over time, this can help desensitise you to the fear and reduce your anxiety.
  • Medication ? In some cases, medication may be prescribed to help manage anxiety symptoms. Note that while some over-the-counter medicines can work, it is crucial to always consult a healthcare professional to determine the right medication and prescription for you.
Image: A photo of a dark, confined aeroplane cabin with a window letting in light from outside.


Finally, the simple answer to the question “Should I be scared of flying?” is No.

There is no need to be scared of flights. As discussed in the article, accidents and plane crashes rarely happen, making flying the safest mode of transportation. Pilots, aircraft crew, and all airline staff are also highly trained to deal with all sorts of situations that may arise midair.

Not to mention that there are many ways to deal with severe travel anxiety, which can help you cope and even overcome your fears, and allow you to enjoy your travels as much as you want.

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