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Recent studies indicate that fear of flying is the world’s second-biggest cause of agony, coming in only after possession of obsolete technology. The distress is so substantial that its estimated economic impact is well over thirty billion dollars per year. While that impact is largely mitigated by the sale of anti-anxiety prescription drugs, fear of flying remains a significant issue, if only in terms of its psychological toll. Some readers have confided in us that they feel nothing can be done to hamper their dread, but we know from personal experience that this could not be further from the truth.
At Points Envy, we literally fly billions of miles every year, and we are often asked whether we have ever been fearful of flying. Publicly, we would never admit to being fearful of anything. But given that this is only the Internet, we are willing to admit that yes, on occasion we have been afraid to board an airplane.
Typically these occasions have involved inclement weather and/or psychedelic drugs, but we understand that some people fear flying for lesser reasons or no for reason at all.
Our most recent harrowing experience involved a complex situation in which, due to ridiculously rigid circumstances involving a viral outbreak, over three hundred feral animals, and around twelve ladies of the night, we were forced to book an economy ticket on a 45-minute intra-Asia flight. If you know anything about Points Envy, you can imagine the terror we experienced waiting for departure in the not-a-lounge area before this “flight.” Luckily, at the last minute we were able to bribe one or more of the premium cabin passengers to switch identities and boarding passes with us, allowing us to have a decent flight experience and leave the country without interference from the authorities.
While we managed to escape the worst, we still got a taste of the fear that some people regularly experience prior to boarding. To help those of you who might have such issues, we’ve compiled a list of strategies and suggestions that we feel will enable you to control your fears and/or distract yourself from the fact that you are barreling through the sky at perilous heights inside an imperfect machine weighing hundreds of tons and consisting of thousands of moving parts likely put together by someone from Washington state or France.
Here are just the tips you need to relax and make the most of your time in the friendly skies:
- Embrace your fear, and get excited about the flight! As you board, sing “Highway to the Danger Zone” as loudly as possible.
- Identify other passengers to dislike, and realize that if the plane goes down, at least they will die too.
- Start a blog! To see how great sky-born blogs can be, head over to pointsenvy.com.
- Walk around the business class cabin pitching business ideas to the passengers, then head back to first to find investors.
- Try anti-anxiety drugs, like heroin. They are surprisingly easy to score in airport terminals and lounges.
- Attempt to guide your plane to a fun new destination using only your cellphone to interfere with the navigation equipment.
- Remember that your carry-on bag functions as a parachute.
- Try to distract yourself with our #boredinfirst games.
- Draw buildings and trees on the window with a magic marker to make it feel more like you are still on the ground.
- Get really drunk.
- Take some time to remember all the bad things in your life and realize how it wouldn’t be so bad to go after all. Also keep in mind that there are much worse ways to die than a fiery plane crash, like being hanged, drawn and quartered or getting old.
- Ask the flight attendants or fellow passengers if they will cuddle with you; offer money if necessary.
- If your points balances permit, bring along a college physics professor to repeatedly tell you the “Why Airplanes Work” story.
- Last but not least, stop being such a wuss.
These methods are a surefire way to take your mind off of your fear of flying, and some of them are also quite effective for relieving your psyche of other burdens, like worrying about your job performance or your family. If for some reason they don’t work, you are probably too sober or are not following our advice correctly. Try them again on your next flight, especially the last one, and if you are still having a problem, then there is probably nothing that can be done for you.