Cabin crew Q&A – nervous flyers

Watch: Nicky and Ian’s top tips for nervous flyers

Q) What’s your best advice for someone flying with you who is a bit of a nervous flyer?
– Elaine Catherine

Jade“I always like to ask them why they are nervous, if they have to think about it they then realise there isn’t actually anything specific they are nervous of.  If it’s turbulence, I always explain what’s happening and why.”

Jonathan“Just try to calm down and relax. Keep talking to them which helps take their mind off things and it will help keep them distracted! A lot of people think it’s best to have a few large drinks before you get on but this isn’t the case as it just makes them more nervous when then get on board.”

Deb – “May be see your doctor in advance and get some medication or a herbal remedy. Talk to the crew and maybe visit the flight deck before take off to instill confidence. Your crew will always look after you and do what we can.”

Gina – “Keep yourself occupied on the flight, listen to music or read a book, anything to keep your mind off the flight itself.  Most of our flights have entertainment so keep focused on that and make sure you tell the crew you are nervous so they can put your mind at rest!”

Gemma “Try and pre-board if possible, I like to offer nervous passengers a brew and sit and have a little chat with them.  It’s also great to get your travelling companion to ask you open ended questions during takeoff and landing which will take your mind off being nervous or afraid. During the flight, if the flight deck are aware of any potential turbulence I like to go to the passenger and just pre warn them that this may be the case and why and it usually eases their worries.”

David “Remember that the aircraft has been given the equivalent of a mot before every departure from the UK and all of the crew onboard are fully trained and are fully aware of their surroundings and will not go anywhere if it’s not safe.”

Q) Do the Cabin Crew ever get frightened in turbulence?
– Paul Springy Houghton

Jade – “Personally, no. I understand the limits of the aircraft and the effects of turbulence and it really isn’t dangerous. I also trust the ladies and gents in the flight deck to be taking the best course possible!”

Jonathan – “Me personally no it doesn’t scare me, but for some it does. It just depends on what experience you have had. The first time I experienced really bad turbulence it did worry me a little as I had never experienced anything like that before, but after a while you just get used to it and it becomes the norm!”

Gina –  “I don’t get frightened but prolonged turbulence can make me feel a little nauseous.”

Deb“Not nervous but more aware, waiting for information and making sure everyone in the cabin is OK”

David“There are times they do if it’s a sudden onset of turbulence and it’s quite rough. Though generally we just keep going and remember to keep smiling, turbulence is a part of flying.”


Q) I’m soooo scared of flying will the crew look after me? And what do they recommend for me to relax?
– Jane Hopewell Williams

Jade“Firstly, it is ok for you to be scared of something.  Everyone has a fear if something, I used to be scared of snakes, I’m not scared of them anymore but I still don’t like them! Ask yourself exactly why you are scared, is it being claustrophobic? Turbulence? Once you’ve identified exactly what it is, you can work on that specifically, you may wish to book extra legroom if you’re claustrophobic, sit close to the front if you like to see the exits, if it’s turbulence for example, take a few moments to learn what turbulence is, then if we experience any, you’re fully aware of what’s happening and why, once you know what’s going on it’s never as daunting as you imagined!

Of course, the crew will help,  explain to us what you’re scared of so we know how to help.  Also, focus on what you’re going to get the other end, a week in the sunshine! That’s your reward!”

Gina“The crew understand people are scared  I have spent whole flights sitting with a nervous flyer just talking to them, you ready helps to keep your mind off the flight”

Ben“Of course they will look after you that is what we are there for.  Just be yourself and be calm if you have any worries or questions then ask the cabin crew, they will tell you what to expect and what the strange noises might be. I always use the term flying is the safest form of transport and if it wasn’t safe I wouldn’t be doing it for a job and coming to work every day and jetting off!”

David“Of course we will look after you, that’s one of the reasons we’re onboard. The best thing you can do to relax is ask questions to the crew and travel with someone who understands how you feel.  I would advise strongly against turning to alcohol as that will heighten your senses and make your anxiety even worse, however keep hydrated by drinking plenty of water.   Always remember we fly all the time and it is perfectly safe.”


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  • Julie says:

    My first ever flight last June,the cabin crew were amazing, but I’m not doing it again this year,as much as I want to,the fear is just tooooo much,?

  • Good tips. But a word of caution. Distraction works only up to a point. Don’t expect it to work in turbulence. Why? Because in turbulence, stress hormones are released regardless of what you are thinking. The amygdala – the part of the brain that releases stress hormones – does so when it senses dropping. I have a free app you can use in turbulence to scientifically measure it and prove the plane is doing fine. It is at

    And don’t even think about taking meds. Anti-anxiety meds are dangerous, addictive drugs that backfire. Taking them for flight anxiety makes flying worse. That’s according to research at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

  • Karen Piper says:

    I’m a very frightened flyer but won’t let it stop me from flying but this year I’ve booked to go to New York and I’m feeling sick at the thought of it already, any ideas of how I can cope with this long flight?

  • Amanda says:

    It’s the physical sensations when I take off and land I don’t like.I get very light headed during the initial climb and I also get the stomach drop and heavy head feeling during descent (although that goes once we approach the runway).Strangely turbulence doesn’t scare me but perhaps due to it only feeling a little shaky and not stomach dropping!I worry about airsickness too which is irrational because I have never being sick in a vehicle.

  • Jane says:

    Flying in a week!nervous already!!!take off and landing I am fine but any hint of turbulence I am a wreck!was in tears last year and I feel so stupid!!!does listening to music help? Or calms?

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