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3 Ways That Airlines Address Flight Anxiety

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Flight was once thought to be impossible, but it’s now so commonplace that the biggest factors stopping humans from soaring through the sky are either economic or motivated by a fear of flying. While flying in a plane is safer on average than driving a car, the irrational fear of flying holds a lot of people back in terms of their travel options. However, airlines aren’t blind to these problems, and they’ve taken many steps to help passengers feel at ease thousands of feet in the air. Here’s what you need to know.

Entertainment

Thanks to endless depictions in movies and TV shows, it’s safe to assume that even people who have never stepped foot on an airplane are aware of the promise of in-flight movies. In-flight entertainment makes sense for a form of transportation that can take upwards of 12 hours and offer little freedom of movement. However, this entertainment is more than a way to make the time spent stationary more bearable. Distraction is a potent treatment for anxieties of all sorts, irrational fears included. Focusing on something, anything else helps immensely. Furthermore, MSNBC live streaming or the latest blockbuster are pretty overt and demanding of attention, making it the easier choice when compared to reading a book. Rather than being solely responsible for manifesting reading material via theater of the mine, you can simply tune into the in-flight entertainment and let it surround you with sensations.

Concessions

Again, food and drink aboard an airplane serve a fairly self-explanatory purpose. Throughout the course of half a day or more, you’re going to need sustenance. While you could simply do without for up to 3 days without water or two full weeks without food, especially when confined to a resting position, it’s not going to be pleasant. However, these concessions, in addition to alcoholic beverages, serve as another way to put passengers at ease. It’s hard to deny the power of a good meal when it comes to putting your mind at ease. While the idea of eating while enduring the fear of flying may not seem like a good idea, it all boils down to a simple math equation. If there’s a threat to your gastrointestinal fortitude when flying a plane, it’s more likely to be stress than the flight itself, and having a nice meal can potentially abate the possibility of the former without contributing to the latter. Alcohol in particular is a great way for the more anxious passengers to unwind.

Hidden Safety Features

Last, but certainly not least, airlines make it a major priority to make their aircraft as safe as possible. There are a variety of safety precautions in place aboard an airplane, from oxygen backs to an emergency latch on the bathroom doors. However, the true beauty of these safety measures is that many of them are deliberately hidden in some way. Protecting passengers from the very real, albeit rare, potential for disaster is incredibly important. However, broadcasting that these precautions have been taken is more likely to make nervous flyers more anxious than they are to be necessary to prevent a catastrophe. For example, the “William Shatner’s seat,” the seat on either side of the plane with the clearest view of the corresponding wing, is marked with a subtle triangle. This design choice allows the airline’s staff to identify this important vantage point quickly and easily without tipping off passengers to the need for such a view during a potential incident.

Flying can be scary, either to first time flyers or paranoid passengers. However, you can rest assured knowing that even getting an aircraft into the air entails a ton of technical considerations, and that same level of care and attention to detail has gone into providing a relaxing environment that can help to alleviate anxiety among passengers. It’s important at the end of the day to remember that, statistically, driving an automobile is far more likely to end poorly.

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