How ever much of a cool, calm and collected air passenger you are there are bound to be some times when your nonchalance is tested. Cooped up in an aircraft with up to possibly three or four hundred people when bad weather strikes can be daunting. It sometimes only takes one person to panic for mass hysteria to set in. Here are some ideas and tips for staying calm when you are flying in bad weather:-
This may sound selfish and I do not mean ignore people who need help. What I do mean is do let others fear rub off on you. It is so easy to feel scared if you have someone next to you who is panicking. Trying to block them out may help. Perhaps listening to some calming music on your IPod will help drown them out.
I am a great believer in slow, calm breathing helping to alleviate panic. In the event of bad weather, whilst flying, controlling your breathing is a must. Try to breathe slowly and actually concentrate on the breath in and the breath out. Counting with each breath will help slow down your breathing rate and keep you calm. Start with four counts to each breath and increase a little as the fear subsides.
Alert the staff.
Although the cabin crew will obviously be busy in bad weather alert these staff if your fear is in danger of getting out of control. They should be able to offer advice and reassurance. It may be that you will benefit from oxygen. Let's face it they will not want anyone getting hysterical and affecting other passengers.
Before you fly read about the possible effects of bad weather on flying. Most of the time nothing serious will happen. IF you are prepared for the possibilities you may be able to cope better with the experience.
Taking note of the cabin crews advice and following procedures will make you feel safer. Make sure that your seat belt is fastened and that the folding tray in front of you is secured tightly in place. Securing your personal space may help you feel a little more in control.
Including the breathing exercises try and rehearse some relaxation and meditation techniques before you travel. You will then have them to concentrate on if bad weather strikes.
Think outside of your current situation.
This is not easy but will really help. If for example you are going on holiday try thinking about some of you holiday aspects. Consider your accommodation or places that you want to visit when you arrive. Anything really that will take your mind off your current situation.
All things must pass.
This is very true and if you are lucky your bad weather will be short lived. Sit tight and try to think ahead. In no time at all your flight will be over and you will be safe and well. Try not to think about the possible worst case scenarios as they are unlikely to happen and totally out of your control anyway.
Usually the weather will seem far worse than it is. Air turbulence can make a plane and its passengers really jolt without anyone coming to any harm. Consult your pharmacist before you travel if you think a calming medication may be appropriate, just in case. Over the counter medication such as Kalms may offer help to some.