A family holiday that should be exciting and fun can easily be derailed by having one of your brood worrying, and in some cases actually refusing, to get on the plane. As many as one in five people have aviophobia (fear of flying) and it can be especially difficult for children.
Luckily British Airways can help. BA has been running Flying with Confidence courses for more than 30 years, promising to help nervous fliers overcome their fears.
The courses usually start around 9am and are divided into morning (technical) and afternoon (psychology) sessions, followed by a flight on a BA jet. During the flight, there’s an extra pilot on the flight deck who provides a reassuring running commentary.
BA runs two fear of flying courses especially for children. For kids aged seven to 11, there are half-day sessions, for a maximum of eight children. These include a visit to Terminal 5 with a British Airways Captain. For older children and teenagers (11-17), there’s a full-day Teenagers Course, which includes a flight on a BA jet. Both courses are hosted by professional councillors and include input from a BA pilot.
The courses involve interactive group work, self-awareness and a range of coping strategies and techniques. Since the courses started in 2012, BA has boasted of excellent results. Kids with a range of issues have enrolled and successfully confronted their fear of flying.
Family Traveller’s Emma Kirkham has a daughter who is a nervous flyer. Emma says:
My ten-year old daughter Annie developed a real fear of flying after experiencing some in-flight turbulence and seeing news of a plane crash on TV. We’re planning a special family holiday next year to Canada and already she has become anxious about the trip.
Annie is enrolling on BA’s Children’s Workshop, which is aimed at children at junior school aged seven to 11, at Heathrow airport. We are hoping for success – watch this space!
When: Children’s Workshops run twice a year. The next scheduled workshop is on Saturday 21 October 2017.
Where: London Heathrow Airport
Price: British Airways Children’s Workshop costs £199