Afraid of Flying at the moment? Here’s why you shouldn’t be!

by Sohail Sawlani
New British Airways Boeing 787-8 Arriving from the Boeing Factory in Seattle to London Heathrow.

Around 20 million people worldwide are afraid of flying. This alongside the current COVID-19 pandemic can make many fearful of airline safety, but we decided to explore some of the measures and procedures in place to keep passengers secure. Here’s why you shouldn’t be afraid to fly in 2021.

What is Aerophobia?

Aerophobia is the fear of flying onboard an airplane which causes you to feel nervous or anxious. However, if you have aerophobia, you are not battling it by yourself. 20 million other people in the world are scared of flying too.

There is no set cause for Aerophobia, but there are a few possible reasons why people are afraid of flying:

  • Fear of heights
  • Being influenced by parents/others that flying is dangerous from a young age
  • Increased exposure to television reports of plane crashes that may be exaggerated
  • Fear of enclosed spaces (Claustrophobia)

The Odds of You Being in a Plane Crash is One in 11 Million

For many with Aerophobia, the main fear is being involved in a plane crash. However, this situation will likely not happen to you. According to a study by a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the fatality rate onboard on an aeroplane is one in 11 million! Those results are very low compared to other vehicles!

Flight-Crew are very well trained

The Flight Attendants serving and protecting you onboard your flight are very well-trained. Even if it is a junior flight attendant or a senior one. All junior flight attendants are trained for 4-8 weeks at the airline’s training centre. During this training period, they will learn everything they need to know to keep you safe including rigour training in first aid, fire safety, evacuation procedures and of course, customer service.

Also, the pilots onboard your airplane are very qualified to fly you to your destination. In order to become a first officer at even a budget airline, you need to have:

  • 12-24 months of training prior to flying commercially
  • At least 250 hours of flight time (varies country by country)
  • 6-12 months line training with the airline, supervised by an additional pilot (that’s three in the flight-deck instead of the usual two!)
  • There is always two crew in the flight-deck flying. One is a Captain with over 1500hrs experience flying

Flying during the Coronavirus is safe

Many with Aerophobia, and even those who would usually love to fly, have started to feel more anxious about flying as cases of COVID-19 spike. This fear often stems from the thought of contracting the virus onboard flights as airplanes are tiny, confined space.

Inside a British Airways Boeing 747

Inside a British Airways Boeing 747 © Stuart Bailey via British Airways

Travel Radar spoke to leading carrier, British Airways, about what they’re doing to keep passengers safe. In the interview a spokesperson said:

“We continue to follow all the guidance from regulators and government authorities. We have taken several steps to greatly reduce contact between customers and crew, and require the wearing of masks at all times.

The airline is cleaning all key surfaces including seats, screens, seat buckles and tray tables after every flight and each aircraft is completely cleaned from nose to tail every day. The air on all British Airways flights is fully recycled once every two to three minutes through HEPA filters, which remove microscopic bacteria and virus clusters with over 99.9% efficiency, equivalent to hospital operating theatre standards.”

With such measures in place across the aviation community, from aircraft through to airports, you can rest assured safety and infection-control is vital to all current operations.

Your luggage will likely not get lost

Many people fear that their luggage will get lost in transit. However, this will likely not happen that often because according to a report by the United States Department of Transportation, there is only a 1% chance that your luggage will get lost! That is only around three bags lost per every one thousand bags!

Hand Luggage on Beach

© Claudia Altamimi

In a nutshell:

We hope this article highlighted that, even with the ongoing pandemic, flying remains safe. If you’re considering flying this year (subject to Government Guidance), go for it!

Has this article helped to tame your Aerophobia/fear of flying this year? Let us know down below in the comments!

Editor’s Note: All information presented in this article is subject to compliance with your local government’s guidelines. Please follow all advice of authorities and only fly where permitted to do so. 

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Uthaya Kumaran s/o N Sivagnanam
Uthaya Kumaran s/o N Sivagnanam
8 months ago

Well done Sohail. Enjoyed reading it. Am sure travellers would abound reading this article. Thank you.

Rajkumar Krishnan
Rajkumar Krishnan
8 months ago

Great article! After reading this article, noone should be fearful of flying.

8 months ago

Very well written and great insights! I had to travel recently for personal reasons and I felt very safe! 🙂

Pratap K.
Pratap K.
7 months ago

Great article. Certainly encourages me to travel. I’ve never been afraid of flying but with Covid, I certainly feel quite uneasy about the idea of having to do so. Your article is reassuring. Thanks.

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