EasyJet has recently announced that it is launching a series of two-day courses up and down the UK for nervous flyers. The Fear of Flying courses are aimed at anyone who dreads the thought of getting on a plane. In many cases this may even prevent people from taking journeys overseas or making the most of their timeshare investment.

With 1,000 participants expected to sign up for EasyJet’s courses this year, it seems that worrying about flying is something that many of us experience. In fact, research suggests that 1 in 6 people suffer aerophobia, or fear of flying. It’s not just EasyJet, which is tackling this crippling issue, with other airlines, such as Virgin Atlantic and British Airways, offering courses aimed at nervous flyers.

If fear of flying is putting a dampener on your timeshare holiday, or even making you consider selling a time share, it can be comforting to know that help is at hand. According to EasyJet, over 95 per cent of the people who take part in the airline’s Fear of Flying course successfully conquer their phobia, and are then able to fly without experiencing any anxiety. So, what does such a course entail?

Understanding and discussing fears

At the beginning of a course for nervous flyers, participants will discuss the range of fears that are contributing to their reluctance to take to the skies. This can include factors such as turbulence, engine failure, claustrophobia, terrorist attack, bird strikes and even fretting over losing baggage. Being able to talk through fears and understanding just how low the actual risk of such events really is can help participants to see the bigger picture.

Understanding how an aircraft works

Very often someone experiences anxiety and fear on board an aircraft because they don’t understand how it works, and what sounds and sensations are normal. An experienced pilot can talk through the basic mechanics of an aircraft to course participants, including discussing statistics, features and systems that make flying the safest mode of transport today.

Relaxation techniques

As part of the course, participants are taught a variety of techniques that will help them to relax and to reduce their levels of anxiety before and during a flight. By learning specific techniques, the participants can put them into practice when they next fly, and feel confident about their journey instead of being fraught with fear. Techniques commonly include meditation, visualisation, advice on nutrition before and during the flight, and choosing where to sit on the aircraft.

Flight experience

Courses such as those offered by EasyJet for nervous flyers often include an experience flight. Flying immediately after acquiring the skills offers the best chance of success at conquering fears, and will make it far easier for the individual next time they board an aircraft.