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Super FEARFUL Flyer!!

Explorer C

Hi all you experts! I have just booked a flight for March and I must say it isn't even the end of Jan and I am petrified. I haven't flown in many many years due to my high anxiety level and fear of flying altogether. What makes it worse is by the time I will be flying out I have a 4 year old, will be her first time on a plane and I will be 6 months pregnant. This heightens my fears even moreso. I have never trusted the care of my daughter with anyone, and I guess surrendering control of not only my life, but hers as well into strangers hands has me so freaking nervous! I do apologize for sounding so darn silly! Smiley Frustrated My sister is flying here to my state fly back out with me since she worries of me being preggo and with a toddler flying alone, however, she isn't the best at easing worries haha. Any helpful tips for this scared mom to maybe help deal with all of this a bit better? I am telling you guys, I am sweating and heart racing as we speak! I did not do Early check in since my sister bought her ticket seperate for us so we will wait until the 24 hr before to do the check in and hope we three get to sit together. 


Hopefully my daughter and I get a comforting visit from the SW bear I saw floating around for another fearful flyer like myself. LOL! But seriously, how do you frequent flyers do it? Any advice helpful. Also parents, how do you manage keeping a toddler busy on a plane, especially a super curious one like mine?


Re: Super FEARFUL Flyer!!

Explorer C

Also, would I be able to meet the pilots beforehand? I feel that would give me a bit of ease if so.

Re: Super FEARFUL Flyer!!

Aviator A

Hello. You are not alone in being a fearful flyer. You'll be surrounded by caring Southwest employees. Be sure to let the gate attendant know of your fear. You probably will be able to talk with the pilot before the flight.


As I said at the start, lots of people are afraid of flying. They've come here in the past asking for advice. Rather than repeating the advice, here's a link to advice given to other people. It contains 

information that will help you overcome your fear.


Enjoy your flight! You'll do fine.




Re: Super FEARFUL Flyer!!

Frequent Flyer A

@TiaM85, you are not alone with fear.  As a frequent flyer now but a nervous when I started, I tried to remember (1) how many flights full of passengers come and go through our skies every day.  Surely these folks would not do this if it were terribly risky.  (2) I also tried to remember how nervous I was when I started driving, but those worries eased off after more experience with it.  Finally, distraction, not only for you, but your child.  Hopefully, this will be the first of many safe flying experiences and it may become routine for you.  


As @dfwskier said, let the gate agent and  flight attendants know.  I have only seen it once, but I was on a flight with a fearful passenger and the plane pulled out, then pulled back in and he got off.  There were some callous and uncaring passengers making comments but the crew handled it well.


I believe that you can do it.  Plan lots of things like sticker books and coloring books that you can do with your child on the flight.  Take long walks in the terminal before boarding time to physically work off the nervousness, and deep controlled breaths while on the plane can help.  Go get ‘em and help your child see the world from an angle that she has never before experienced.  Look for swimming pools as they are usually recognizable to children.

Re: Super FEARFUL Flyer!!

Frequent Flyer C



Wow, Your hope are riding high and yes being a mom-to-be is something you are experiencing as of right now. And the anxiety are riding on you. I would recommends that you see the doctor before you go on airplane trip.


I agree with you about not trusting the stranger while on flight. Please keeps your daughter to yourself. Trust no one...

Re: Super FEARFUL Flyer!!

Explorer C

Like you I went through many years of being a white knuckle flyer to the point I was surprised any of the plane still had armrests left  in them But I have discovered as time has passed that if I could sit where I could either see the flight attendants or at least hear the flight attendants that seemed to help my thinking was that if they weren’t worried I wasn’t going to worry.  You are  absolutely not alone And if I fly with my entire family I am much more nervous than if I fly alone but thankfully the incredible flight attendants on Southwest have really helped to calm my fears 

Re: Super FEARFUL Flyer!!

Adventurer A

Fear of flying was a challenge for me for a long time.  One suggestion may be to sit next to a dead heading crew member so that all of the noises and movement can be explained to you as they occur.  There are certain things that seem wired that are just normal operations during a flight.  Noises like the lifting and locking of the landing gear, movement of flaps and engine noise changes are just part of the mechanical actions of the plane.  The landing approach often starts a long way from the airport in major cities.  If you sit next to a pro you can ask questions and better understand the dynamics of the flight.   Another nice thing is to open the SW site on your WiFi device and watch your flights progress in real time.  That feature is free on board.  Also, focus on where you are headed, not how you are getting there.  By the way the views are great.   Have fun!