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Virgin course targets fear

Virgin Atlantic is taking its Flying Without Fear course to the UK’s Luton and Newcastle Airport’s.  Virgin Atlantic, in association with FWF Limited, offers one day courses throughout the year, aimed at teaching sufferers how to overcome their fear.  The course includes an optional 45 minute flight at the end of the session.

Sir Richard Branson, Chairman of Virgin Atlantic, commented:

“We are delighted to announce another venue for the Flying Without Fear course.  Only recently we added Heathrow and Manchester Airport to our course venues and we are thrilled to be able to add Luton and Newcastle airports so soon after.” 

“To now be able to bring the course to Luton and Newcastle means that we are able to help more people all over the country combat their fear, whether that be a business traveller or the person who wants to fly for leisure, this course will give them the confidence to fly and explore countries that they might never have been able to experience.”

The day starts with a brief introduction from the entire team who look after the participants. Two Virgin Atlantic Captains take the morning session and run through detailed information regarding aircraft functions, noises and safety to help attendees gain an understanding of how the aircraft operates. A question and answer session is held at this stage to ensure that any questions participants may have are answered.


The day breaks for a hot lunch and offers the opportunity to ask questions of the team on a one-to-one basis.  The afternoon session is led by David Landau, a well-known psychotherapist.  He talks in depth about fears and phobias and teaches the skills to help people learn to control their fears, preparing them for the flight.  After this they take a short 45 minute flight on a commercial jet.  The participants are accompanied on the flight by Virgin Atlantic pilots, cabin crew and ground staff, who can support them and help alleviate any fears.  One of our pilots gives a running commentary throughout the flight re-enforcing all that has been learnt throughout the day.

At the end of the session a post-flight debrief takes place and participants receive a free CD specially compiled by David Landau.  They will also be presented with certificates to mark their achievement signed by Sir Richard Branson.  All Virgin Atlantic Captains, crew and the rest of the team are available to answer any remaining questions the participants might have.

What distinguishes the Virgin Atlantic’s ‘Flying Without Fear’ programme from other courses is the aftercare that participants receive.  After the course, if participants take a flight with Virgin Atlantic, the Virgin Atlantic Special Assistance department will be on hand to help with special requirements tailored specifically to their needs or anxieties regarding the flight.  In addition to this there is a ‘Flying Without Fear’ channel available onboard the aircraft, which is narrated by David Landau, who provides a familiar voice to help relax the passenger.

Richard Conway, Director of FWF Limited said:

“We are delighted to announce the addition of London Luton and Newcastle International Airports to our portfolio.  By operating the Flying Without Fear courses from 6 UK airports, we can ensure that our courses are now more accessible to more people who need our help”

“Around 10 million people in the UK have a fear of flying.  Since the course began eight years ago, we have had some amazing results with a success rate in excess of 98%.”