Flying in an aeroplane normally means you're off somewhere hot and exotic for some rest and relaxation - hurrah! But for some, the mile-high journey can take the shine off what should be an exciting adventure...
1. Flying stats
Anyone with a phobia of flying will have been told – numerous times – the statistics about the likelihood of dying in a plane crash. One in 11 million now is it? It doesn’t matter, when you step foot on the plane, you’re CONVINCED that ‘one’ will be you…
When you pluck up the courage to fly, you just want to do it quietly and mainly pretend it isn’t happening. Yet if people you’re flying with know you’re scared, suddenly everyone wants to talk to you about it! Zip it!
3. Turn it off
You can’t (or shouldn’t) watch anything, fact or fiction, that involves plane crashes. If you do, it’ll just confirm your beliefs that aeroplanes are death traps! Maybe you were scarred as a kid when you watched Final Destination?
4. Airport mayhem
You hate airports – everyone rushing around, the confusing signs, the stress of getting through security and cramming all your liquids into those tiny little bags. Argh! It’s almost as bad as the plane itself.
5. Check before you travel
Sadly, although you might be able to pluck up the courage to travel on BA or Virgin, you won’t be going anywhere that involves small airlines with patchy reputations. If it ain’t in the top 20 safest airlines to fly with, you ain’t going!
6. Suspicious minds
As you board the plane, you become suspicious of everything and everyone. What was that strange creaky noise? Is it me or was the pilot acting strangely? This seat doesn’t feel very secure… Is the window loose?!
7. Flight attendants
You watch the flight attendants’ reactions throughout the whole flight (this may make you look creepy, but you don’t care). If there’s any odd movement or noise (or smell, or anything really), their passive face will at least make you feel marginally better.
8. Safety first
Although your primary fear is to do with your safety, the whole safety procedure briefing fills you with an awful sense of dread. All it does is remind you of the danger you’re putting yourself in – but it’s too late now, we’re on the runway!
9. Stay alert!
You envy people who can calmly drink a glass of wine and be snoring within minutes of the plane taking off. If you drink, your imagination just becomes more vivid, and sleep is out of the question – you need to be poised and ready at all times, just in case!
You can’t keep your guard up forever, especially if it’s a long flight. Slowly, you’ll start to realise that maybe this flight isn’t doomed to end in disaster after all. Time for a drink?
11. At last
Despite it all, the moment you step off the plane into a new country, all is forgiven and forgotten. You just need to pretend you don’t have to do it all again on the way back…