Stephen: Flight attendants advice on what to do to combat flight anxiety

Published on March 18th, 2022 @ 5:34 PM


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Turbulence is a very common part of air travel, but that doesn’t mean it’s enjoyable. Research has shown turbulence is one of the biggest causes of flying anxiety, but if you get anxious when you’re on a plane that hits a patch of rough air there are some ways to avoid your brain jumping to the worst-case-scenario. Atlanta-based flight attendant Laura Nottingham says, “First and foremost, understand that the airplane is designed to fly through turbulence. Nothing is wrong with the aircraft. Pilots are highly trained professionals and know how to expertly handle turbulence. There are various reasons turbulence occurs: wind, changes in air temperature, thunderstorms, etc.” She thinks learning about the science of turbulence is the best way to tackle your fears around it.

Ecuador-based flight attendant Doménica Jiménez says she recommends slow, mindful breathing while in the air to combat anxiety. It also helps that meditation company Headspace has partnered with a number of air carriers to provide in-flight guided relaxation. Nottingham says other ways to deal with turbulence include distracting yourself with books, music, or talking to another passenger, or speaking with a flight attendant. Other tips: if you’re really afraid of getting air sick, ask for an ice pack and put it on the back of your neck to fight feelings of nausea, pay attention to the announcements as the captain can be reassuring, ask for a seat change if you’re not comfortable or feel unsafe where you are, make sure you’re hydrated before your flight, and remember that professionals are in control.

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