How to Overcome the Fear of Flying


steps on how to overcome your fear of flyingEvery day, WSL provides luxury transportation to O’Hare airport and Midway airport. Our clients are either headed out on a business trip or excited about a vacation or visit with family. The one thing many have in common no matter where they are headed is that the thought of getting on an airplane fills them with fear.

The National Institute of Mental Health estimates that the fear of flying, or aviophobia, affects 6.5 percent of the population in the United States. That’s about 21 million people! The level of angst can range from slight nervousness to more intense symptoms of anxiety.

While there is no specific cause of aviophobia, the feeling that the flyer has limited control over what happens during the flight is major contributing factor.

If you fall into that group, there are a number of steps you can take to help overcome the fear of flying.

Acknowledge the Fear

The first step in overcoming any phobia is to accept that it is an issue. Rather than avoiding your feelings, accept that flying is not a comfortable activity for you. Then you can work on how to deal with fear in whatever way works best for you, be it personal reflection or help from a mental health professional.

Educate Yourself

You’ll feel better about the flight if you know what’s happening. Read about what causes turbulence and how pilots are trained to respond. Look into the built-in safety features provided by every airline. Cockpit Confidential: Everything You Need to Know About Air Travel is a New York Times bestseller written by a pilot that breaks down the business of flying into layman’s terms.

Ask for Help

Don’t be afraid to let seatmates and flight attendants know that flying makes you uncomfortable. That way if the flight gets bumpy, they know the check in with you to see if you need anything or offer reassuring words.  

Focus On The End Result

Think about what you’ll achieve or experience after the flight has landed. What is your purpose for traveling? Looking forward to the meeting, conference, vacation or return home can help take your mind off what might be triggering your fear.

Don’t Fly

You already rely on WSL for your Chicago airport transportation service. If your business or personal trip is within a few hours from home, why not skip the flight and let WSL’s professional chauffeurs drive you instead? You (and your party if you’re traveling with a group) get door-to-door service in a luxury vehicle. Sit back and relax knowing you’re in charge of the trip. Stop whenever you want to stretch your legs or grab a snack.

The world is a big, wonderful place. Learning how to overcome fear of flying breaks down barriers that might be limiting you from advancing your career or visiting amazing places.

Note, these suggestions are not a substitute for professional counseling.