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What are the Different Fear of Flying Courses?

By C. K. Lanz
Updated May 17, 2024
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People who are afraid to fly on airplanes have several different options offear of flying courses to help cure the problem. Some courses are offered online and can be completed in the convenience and privacy of home. Airlines may also run fear of flying courses at or nearby large airports, and many active and retired commercial pilots as well as therapists give seminars and courses about flying to anxious passengers. Private companies manage fear of flying courses that can include attending a series of seminars, watching educational videos and attempting a short flight. The choice depends on the severity of an individual’s phobia as well as cost, convenience and location.

Some of the less expensive and time consuming fear of flying courses are offered online. In exchange for a fee, customers can watch videos about how an airplane works, emergency features on aircraft, common disturbances like turbulence and relaxation techniques. The videos are often accompanied by articles and advice written by experts and people who have overcome their fear of flying.

Some online video courses may even be free of charge. Retired pilots or mental health professionals have created short video courses that are available on the internet or in some cases as a DVD video as well. Having a pilot explain how an airplane is designed and how safe flying can be is often a relief for those with a fear of the unknown.

International airline carriers or local airports may offer passengers a fear of flying course. Most such courses involve a series of classes in an airport that aim to demystify flying and that are typically conducted by a former pilot or aviation psychologist. In addition to class time, it is also common to spend time in a flight simulator and take a short flight.

Stress and anxiety management is the focus of some fear of flying classes. Participants learn what to expect in the passenger cabin and how to control their anxieties with controlled breathing, visualization and other techniques. A passenger who is visibly anxious during a flight may trigger similar responses in those nearby so it is in the best interest of everyone if people can stay relaxed while in the air.

A fear of flying course alone may not be sufficient for those individuals with a severe phobia. A mental health professional can help those with severe anxiety overcome their fears about flying. In some cases, passengers may consider taking anti anxiety medication prior to a flight although some forms of sedation have been linked to an increased risk of deep vein thrombosis.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

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