Fear of Flying

The Fear of Flying

It is estimated that as many as 1 in 4 people have a fear of flying. That’s quite high considering that air travel is much safer than road transport. Why do people have a fear of flying rather than a fear of cars or buses?

Why a fear of flying?

It’s hard to say why people have a fear of flying. It is most likely made up of a number of factors rather than one simple one. A fear of flying could have such things on the list below as contributing factors:

  • Fear of heights (many with this once airborne have no fear)
  • Claustrophobia
  • Learning about air crashes out of context to safety (perception issue)
  • Other traumatic events (our experience in another area of life can create fears)
  • Fear of vomiting
  • Fear of not being in control
  • Fear of terrorism

There may be many other factors too that can cause fear of flying but one thing that is interesting to me is that it really ought to be called the “fear of crashing”! In reality, there are very few commercial airline aircraft crashes especially within the advanced countries airlines. Statistics also show that if planes were fully automated safety could be increased much more because of the fact that pilot error is the largest cause of air crashes. Pilot error is attributed to over 50% or air accidents. However, most people don’t like the idea of pilotless aircraft.

Overcome the fear of flying

Many airlines offer courses to help people overcome the fear of flying and a quick Internet search will soon find these for you. On such courses, you will be welcomed by the airline and have an introduction to the pilots and crew, hear how aircraft safety is paramount and enjoy a short flight with aircrew encouraging you at all times. This can be very well worthwhile if a fear of flying is preventing you from seeing distant relatives or taking a holiday of a lifetime.

Do you have a fear of flying?

Please leave a comment on your fear of flying or how you overcame it.

8 thoughts on “Fear of Flying

  1. Great brief composed post! I actually pretty nervous when the plane is shaking because of turbulences. But as usual, my mind keeps reminding me that plane is actually the safest transportations out there.

    Psychologically, fear of flying is one of the things that pretty complexed and influenced by many things. The one that I agree on is that press and media heavily influenced us. Because plane accidents give us the sense of mystery, searching the black box, etc. Press will over published plane crash, rather than car crash which about 68x more dangerous than planes. That’s something that I explain in my post = https://behavioralweb.wordpress.com/2017/08/20/why-we-afraid-of-flying-the-influences-of-press-control/

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  2. Fear of flying is completely rational and rooted deep in collective unconscious wisdom. Would our ancestors have leapt off a cliff in a card board box and expected to fly? Probably not. Look what happened to Icarus and he had the gods on his side.

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      1. Hmmm….but didn’t our ancestors invent the wheel? So clonking along on a stone age trolley with squarish wheels is firmly embedded in our psychological comfort zone. Maybe it’s a question of exposure. Wheels on the ground have been around a long time…. wheels in the air…..a mere millisecond by comparison. Deep seated irrational resistance (to flying, for example) is very interesting; your blog has got me thinking.

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        1. My ancestors invented the plane! 🙂 In reality the rest has nothing to do with out as ancestors exposure to technology it’s down to our own life experience as I am sure that we don’t pass on such experience through our genes.


  3. I have a friend who has severe claustrophobia and can’t get on a plane. His wife is in Australia and he hasn’t seen her for almost a year. Having hypnotherapy at the moment as his visa has finally come through. He is hoping to get there by Christmas.


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