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First time flyer

Jeffc9801
New Arrival

My wife and I are both first time flyers,  traveling to CA for a family wedding.   The family doesn't seem to care neither of us have flew before and pretty much ditched us on our own flight.

I am an anxious person in general.  I realize that flying is probably safer than driving and my fears range from something happening with the plane to something happening to me or my wife. 

Is this normal?  To be afraid but also realize there's no reason to be afraid?   Is this just like the first time jitters? 

I'm honestly just looking for advice on how to feel more comfortable and not freak out. 

Thanks 

4 REPLIES 4

Re: First time flyer

DancingDavidE
Top Contributor
Solution

@Jeffc9801 wrote:

My wife and I are both first time flyers,  traveling to CA for a family wedding.   The family doesn't seem to care neither of us have flew before and pretty much ditched us on our own flight.

I am an anxious person in general.  I realize that flying is probably safer than driving and my fears range from something happening with the plane to something happening to me or my wife. 

Is this normal?  To be afraid but also realize there's no reason to be afraid?   Is this just like the first time jitters? 

I'm honestly just looking for advice on how to feel more comfortable and not freak out. 

Thanks 


Look up first time flyer on this forum, there was some good discussion a while back with some useful guides and suggestions. 

Air travel is a safe and highly regulated method of travel. There about a billion passenger trips in CY 2018. (Includes people flying more than once as multiple trips.) You can search for the stats but per passenger-mile air travel is far ahead of personal cars. 

Virus-wise you may look at a recent article “how safe is air travel” on MIT Medical which is generally complimentary...travel by car is open to many factors especially if you’ll be driving multiple days to get to this wedding. Where do you stay, eat, take bio-breaks, etc. 

 

 

Home airport MDW, frequent visitor to MCO to see the mouse.

Re: First time flyer

dfwskier
Top Contributor

Congrats on your upcoming first flight!

 

I wouldn't say that most first time flyers are nervous, but certainly a lot are. Search for the terms "first time flyer" or "nervous flyer" and you find a bunch of threads from other like you. Check them out as a lt of them give great advice that will help you feel more comfortable.

 

As far as plane vs car goes from a safety standpoint, flying a a lot safer than driving. Driving   will kill tens of thousands, and injure hundreds of thousands more. I don't think there's been a fler death in the US this year.

 

If you can, snatch a window seat and watch the world go by. It's fun!

Re: First time flyer

ffflyer
Active Member
Solution

Your fear is perfectly normal. 

I suggest you try to get the first flight out coming and going as this will decrease the chance of delays. Get nonstop flights if at all possible. To me, it’s worth driving an extra hour to get a nonstop flight. Avoid checking luggage if possible as well. 

Bring extra credit cards, a couple hundred in 20s, a couple of blank checks, water, snacks, and masks. Make sure your phones are fully charged and bring headphones. Download the SWA app before your flight. 

Arrive early at the airport so you don’t have to rush or worry about TSA lines. 

When you get settled into your seats take a look around the plane. Look out the window and into the cockpit while the door is open. 

If you find yourself feeling anxious say, “stop!” And take three deep slow breaths. 

First time flyer fears are perfectly normal. Everyone on the plane was a first timer at one time. 

Enjoy the experience. 

Re: First time flyer

ksbrg
Employee
Employee

I still get nervous while flying, even though I've been flying for years and KNOW there's nothing to be nervous about. Sounds like we share a bit of anxiety 🙂

 

Noise-canceling headphones is what did the trick for me. A lot of my anxiety came from different noises (usually landing gear), so a pair of good headphones and a calming playlist relieved A LOT of my anxiety.

 

And, hey, you're flying Southwest - make friends with a Flight Attendant! They fly all the time! I've heard a lot of People focus on the FAs when they get nervous because the FAs' calm demeanor helps them realize everything is normal.

 

It does get easier with time! Several years ago, I almost refused to fly. Now, my wife and I fly regularly and even did a 17-hour non-stop trip to Hong Kong last year.

 

Like @ffflyer said - snag a window seat and try to enjoy the view. Take pics and let us know how it goes!