A new book, based on British Airways’ course for nervous flyers, will help thousands of customers conquer their fears.
The book, co-written by British Airways’ pilot Captain Steve Allright, takes information from the airline’s one-day Flying with Confidence course which has helped more than 45,000 people over the past 25 years.
The book, which launches on March 7, addresses a number of areas of concern including how an aircraft operates, turbulence and gives advice from clinical psychologists including relaxation techniques.
British Airways’ Captain Allright shares his top 10 tips from the forthcoming book;
* Remember that turbulence is uncomfortable but not dangerous. It is a perfectly normal part of flying caused by nature.
* Learn to control your breathing. When you feel anxious, hold your breath, then take a long deep breath in, followed by a long deep breath out. Continue long deep breathing.
* Combine the deep breath in with a muscle contraction. Clenching your buttocks is most effective, as it overrides other nervous signals going up and down your spinal chord.
* Aircraft like to be in the air. They are designed to be in the air.
* Pilots and cabin crew like to be in the air also, it is a very normal, safe environment for them to be in.
* Understand lift. The wings enable aircraft to fly, not the engines.
* A commercial aircraft flying at 30,000ft can glide for 100 miles even if all the engines fail.
* Split a long flight up into half hour sections. Go with a plan of things to do, perhaps things you never get round to. Write a letter, watch a film, read a book, eat a meal.
* Pilots undergo a rigorous selection procedure and are one of the most highly trained and tested professions on earth. They are subjected to simulator tests every six months.
* Commercial aircraft are incredibly well maintained, and are checked before every flight by pilots and engineers. Routine maintenance is conducted at regular, specified intervals by licensed engineers.
* Air traffic controllers are trained and licensed professionals operating under a very strict set of rules. All pilots have to abide by the rules of the air.
* Visualise yourself stepping off the aircraft into the arms of loved ones, or into a lovely warm climate, or into a successful business meeting.
British Airways’ Captain Allright said: “As pilots, we want every customer to have a safe and enjoyable flight. We understand that flying can be a daunting prospect for some and hope that British Airways’ Flying with Confidence course and book can help to alleviate those concerns.”