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Anxiety and Flying for the first time in years

Explorer C



I'm flying for the first time in six years in a few days. I used to fly all the time, but developed a fear of flying (claustrophobic - not mechanical/safety related). Should I tell the stewards/stewardesses? Is there anything I should know particular to Southwest?


I've been working on this with a therapist for some time, so I curious for anything specific to Southwest I should know.






Re: Anxiety and Flying for the first time in years

Aviator A



Flying on Southwest is pretty easy here are some tips to make it less stressful for you


  • Southwest doesn't assign seats you get to pick your seat based on your boarding position the earlier you check in the better the boarding position there are 3 groups A B and C to get the best chance of group A you will want to check in at exactly 24 hours before your flight so if you leave at noon eastern we'll be online at 11:59am so when the clock strikes noon you can click check in. If you will be unable to check in at the 24 hour mark I suggest buying EB check in for $15 that way you will be checked in automatically and you will have a even better chance of A boarding. Be sure to be at the gate 30-40min prior to departure time so you can line up and get the seat you want when they call for boarding.


  • I suggest arriving to the airport early they usually recommend 2 hours early for domestic and 3 hours early for international travel that way you have time to check bags get boarding passes and go though security. Security is not as bad as some make it sound as long as you don't have too much liquid in your bag (no full bottles of water) and as long as you don't have any prohibited items. 


  • I suggest bringing a book to read or if you have music to listen to that way when your inflight it will help you calm down maybe grab a snack to have on the flight or eat before the flight pretzels will be served and they will serve drinks (alcohol is available for purchase should you want that) I stick so a water or soda and a bag of pretzels and I'm good to go. There is free live tv should you want to watch tv instead of reading a book or listening to music. 


  • You can talk to the flight attendants and they can always try to help you stay calm should you become scared but I bet if you have a good seat mate and a nice snack and book or good tunes you should be just fine 


  • if your flight is late don't stress just take take a deep breath and they will have you on your way as soon as possible. 

Feel free to let let us know how it went when travel is complete. If you have any other questions about traveling Southwest let me know and I'll be glad to help. 


Hope this helps! 


Re: Anxiety and Flying for the first time in years

Retired Community Manager



Thank you so much for joining the Community and asking your question here. On behalf of Southwest Airlines, we don't take it for granted that you're choosing to fly with us. I think you'll find this Community to be full of supportive people who have great suggestions about how to enjoy your flight. We're so glad to we get to welcome you onboard soon!


Re: Anxiety and Flying for the first time in years

Explorer C

After a bad car accident a few years ago, I became fearful of flying--no logical correlation, but I think it had to do with loss of control.  I had to fly for work, so I had to work through it.  I did a couple of things--first is I always sat on the aisle.  That way I could virtually ignore that I was on a plane 🙂      I also reminded myself how rarely anything goes wrong on a plane--it's an anomaly so the odds are in your favor.  Note my user name--16C became my go-to seat.  It was over the wing, I couldn't see past it (blocking the visual again) and it became comfortable for me.  If you aren't flying on a recurring basis, having that comfort may not help.  I also brought a good book--one I could really get into and completely lose myself in.  I started reading immediately and stayed focused.   


Do one more thing...roll your window down on your car while driving/riding and stick your arm out the window like you used to do when you were a kid.  Notice how the wind lifts your hand/arm.  When you are moving forward the lift makes it where it is literally easier for your hand to stay up than down.  You have to force it down.  As a plane moves through the air rapidly, it's the same concept.  It's literally easier for it to stay up.  This is a very rudimentary reference to Bernoulli's Principle if you want to read a more scholarly account. 🙂  You can look it up and there are some YouTube videos if you want to hear the real deal.  


These days I fly all the time for work...and I can even look out the windows.  Drop your shoulders, breathe deep.  You'll get there!