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Teenager with flying anxiety

New Arrival


This summer I will be flying from ELP to LAS with my 7 and 14 year old daughters. We have flown in the past but now my 14 year old is really nervous since she read about the issues with the MAX aircrafts. Last year we went to Cancun and we flew in one of those and eventhough she knows the aircrafts have been grounded she is really anxious about our upcoming flight. She loves flying Southwest yet her nerves are already kicking in.  What can I do to ease her into it? 


Re: Teenager with flying anxiety

Rising Star

@leah1805 I personally love to fly but that isn't going to do much for your daughter!  A couple of thoughts/third party references:


  • I did a search for "flying safety" and this article, titled "How safe is commercial flight" is the first one that appears in the search results.
  • Southwest pilots are experienced with years of flight experience.  This may not be the best example as it involves an aircraft in distress, but if you click over to this YouTube link you can listen to the calm demeanor of the Southwest Captain, Tammie Jo Shults, as she works to get her damaged aircraft back on the ground.  Note that you may want to stop listening at the 2:40 point or so.  This Southwest blog post, for International Women's Day, also highlights Tammie Jo, to include her background and experience as a Navy pilot.
  • If you want to listen to normal aircraft operations you can listen to air traffic controllers and aircraft talking to each other live over at  It's very fast paced but it's all very coordinated.

You will probably get several responses from other active members of the community here, hopefully one of us is able to provide some ideas that help!

Customer | Home airport DCA

Re: Teenager with flying anxiety

New Arrival

I'm a frequent Southwest flyer and also an FAA certifed Flight instructor. I'd recomend a couple of suggestions for calming nerves while flying.


1. Get a window seat. Looking out of the "tube" we're all stuck in dramatically helps focus the nervous passenger on other things besides the fact thier stuck in a tube. Prompt the passenger to also have the map open and ask if they can figure out where they are at random intervals during the flight. It'll keep them focused "outside the plane".


2. Engage in conversation. This would actually be better with a stranger sitting next to them. Again the idea is to take their mind of their fears and have it focused on another task.


Hope that helps.


Rusty Shaffer