Fear Of Flying
A fear of flying can deter you from going on holiday abroad and make you feel as though you are missing out on some great experiences. However, flying is much more enjoyable and straightforward than you might think. Below we have compiled some information on what to expect from your first time flying.
Checking In is the first thing that you will need to do once you arrive at the airport, but you will only be able to do this when your flight is open. Keep an eye on the flight monitors to check what time you can check in and which desk you need to go to. You will need your passport and ticket so keep them in your hand luggage.
This is where you hand over your hold luggage and once you have done this, the check in attendant will give you a receipt stub and will also hand you your boarding pass.
After check-in you will go through security to reach the departure lounge. Security checks may take some time and may require you to take off your coat, jewellery and shoes but it is all an essential part of flying safely. Remember that it is normal for security to carry out bag inspections, so don't be alarmed.
When you get to the departure lounge, you should be left with enough time to shop, have something to eat or just relax. It would be a good idea to have something to do or read because you may be sat there for a while. Do remember to keep an eye on the flight monitors though and bear in mind that some gates require a shuttle or a lengthy walk from the departure lounge.
Again, at the gate, you may be left with a bit of time to relax before boarding the plane. Once the plane is really, a flight attendant will call passengers up row by row, so make sure that you have your boarding pass ready.
Taking To The Skies
As you board the plane you may be expected to show your boarding pass again, so don't put it
away just yet. When you have found your seat sit down and do up the buckle but be aware that
the cabin crew will only close the doors when all passengers are on board so you may be sat
there for a while. They will then take you through a safety demonstration - don't let this
worry you as it is a routine part of any flight. However, do take note of what they are telling
During preparation for take-off there will be increased noise in the cabin - this is normal. But if you are feeling a little queasy, a good way to help you keep calm during take-off is to open the cold air vent above your head. When the aircraft has reached a certain height, the captain will switch off the seatbelt signs, meaning that you are free to move around the cabin. However, there may be occasions mid-flight when the captain sees fit to turn the seatbelt signs back on. This is purely for safety reasons in case of turbulence.
Turbulence (invisible air movement) can cause un-smooth motions in the aircraft, so could be the most feared aspect of a flight. It is caused by atmospheric conditions outside the aircraft and may result in a bumpy feeling. If worried about this, some people find it helpful to look out of the window at the wings of the plane, as the perception of motion inside the cabin can be much greater than it actually is.
Enjoying The Flight
It is very important that you drink plenty of water during your flight - not only will it keep you hydrated, it will also mean toilet breaks are necessary giving you a reason to take a walk and get some exercise. Stretching your legs and doing regular seat exercises, especially on long-haul flights, is essential. If you are a nervous flier, avoid drinking any alcohol as this will dehydrate you and increase feelings of anxiety.
At some stage during the flight, depending on where you are going, the cabin crew might give
you a landing card. Have a pen handy to fill this in, as you will need to present it on
arrival. As you start on the descent to your arrival airport the seatbelt signs will be
switched on again. This is a safety measure and does not necessarily mean that there will be
turbulence. As you land there may be a jolt as the wheels touch the runway, then increased
engine noise as the aircraft slows down.
The plane will then take you towards the airport terminal. You may have to get on a bus to take you up to the terminal. Once inside you will need to present your passport (and landing card if applicable) to the immigration authorities, then go through to reclaim your baggage. This should be clearly sign-posted but you can always ask an airport official if you're not sure where to go.