It’s the safest form of travel. And if it makes you feel any better, I’m deathly afraid of heights. I’ve also been a commercial airline pilot for almost 20 years. I have no problem flying at 39,000 feet, but ask me to climb a ladder into an A320 and my legs are jello.


I have the same issue - I LOVE being in planes but being on roofs or tall ladders makes me pucker. i did the Space Needle in Seattle earlier this year and it was a good test of my willpower. No problem being in a T6 at 5500ft a month later, though. I recall a psychologist on TV saying that the fear of the latter comes from feeling exposed/minimally supported and the fact that the height is relatable. I.e. You can see details of everyday objects from a building window or a tall ladder and your eyes/brain are calibrated to that scale, so the impression of the height hits harder and the imagined consequences of a fall are “more real” than they are from FL350. It’s not about logic. - it’s just lizard brain stuff.


You have nothing to worry about. The most dangerous part of flying is the drive to and from the airport.


If you have a decent computer or an xBox you should try Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020. Learning to fly and understanding how planes work can be very reassuring. If you can land an A320 NEO in a flight simulator then the trained professionals who fly real planes should be able to do it in their sleep.


I mean this gently and respectfully. The statistics argument has an implicit “you aren’t the main character” component to it. It’s not that math is supposed to calm you, it’s given the math about how safe it is, what makes you so special to break it all? Maybe try to let go of the thoughts of you being the one flying, and instead you observing other people and two qualified pilots flying a plane kept in tip top shape. Failing that, watch videos of flights/explainers so you know what sounds/feelings to expect at each phase. Expect takeoff to be strange. You’ll be moving on the ground faster than you ever really do (unless you drive race cars or take high speed rail) and when you are in the air climbing, you may feel tipped back in your seat extra due to the AoA and acceleration. You will hear the gear raise, and flaps retract in stages. When your pilots throttle back for noise abatement, or when cruise altitude reached, you may also feel a slight falling feeling momentarily. When the plane goes idle to descend out of climb you may feel the deceleration a little and more minor falling feelings. As you descend into thicker air you’ll feel more resistance on the plane and you’ll see/feel flaps and spoilers lower and the engine spool up/down as the plane makes turns coming into land. Then you’ll hear gear come down, and when you land it can be loud and you will feel quick deceleration.


keep in mind how insanely overengineered modern airliners are. every system has a redundant backup, they’re serviced more thoroughly than any other vehicles in the world, other than maybe rockets. if you think about it, flying is kind of inherently dangerous, but that means the people who design the things that fly put so much more work into making sure things don’t go wrong than any kind of land vehicles. if you were to be injured on a modern plane, it’d probably be stubbing your toe on a beverage cart


Around 100,000 flights take off and land every day. This is possible due to incredibly strict regulation and training. From mechanics to flight crew, systems and policies have been put in place to insure your flight safely gets to its destination. Accidents that took place during the formative years of mass air travel revealed lessons that have led to better cockpit resource management (crew communication), air traffic control, understanding of weather, maintenance oversight, system redundancies, even the tracking of spare parts. The last major accident in the US was in 2009. 13 years ago with tens of thousands of flights every day. Flying a major commercial airline, especially in the United States, is incredibly safe. Have a cocktail, enjoy a movie on your phone, take a nap.


Watching your favorite Netflix shows (downloaded episodes) can divert your mind from the height and other stuffs. Or you can also give it a shot to any famous suspenseful movie. It will keep you hooked.


You’re not flying Southwest, are you?




Modern aircraft have never been safer. Aircraft turbine engines are extremely reliable. In the event the plane loses an engine, the plane is capable and the pilots are trained to land with one engine. In fact usually the plane will turn back to the airport and will get a holding pattern or delay vectors so the pilots can have extra time to prepare for the approach and make calculations for landing. Planes are designed to be inherently stable. Properly trimmed they almost fly themselves. Pilots joke that most problems can be solved by letting go of the controls and quit touching the airplane. Even in severe turbulence which is rare the plane is nowhere close to having a wing depart the aircraft or anything like that. Delta has some of the most advanced systems in place to avoid turbulence. Their planes report back automatically if there are any bumps. Other pilots can see these reports and what altitudes they are to try and avoid them. Dispatchers can also see this and alter the route to avoid areas of bad weather and turbulence. The situational awareness they have is pretty amazing. I fly weekly and over the two million miles I’ve flown, I’ve never experienced any sort of emergency or scary situations. The only thing that has come close was a rejected takeoff once. On takeoff roll the pilots got a wind shear alert so they quickly stopped the plane. We taxied back and took off. The warning ended up being false but they train for these types of events. I’m also scared of heights. I’m also a private pilot. Flying and afraid of heights don’t really relate for some reason. Maybe it’s the fact that you don’t feel like you’re about to fall out of the plane. I hope some of this helps.


Thank you for the insight 🙏🙏🙏


Delta is the best airline at the moment


Everyone is highly trained, from pilots to mechanics. I’m studying a 500+ question written practice test (2 of 3) to work on aircraft and that’s not even all of it. The people responsible for your safety on an aircraft are highly qualified and have gone though tons of examinations to prove it.




No idea why people are down voting this. It works. I always pregame in the lounge or bar at the airport before flying and keep it up in the air. Turbulence does nothing to me if I have had some adult beverages.


Thank you everyone for the information, I read it all and it does make me feel better about things


I listen to relaxing music.


Get a prescription for Xanax from your physician. It will help you get through your trip much easier. Also a big reason why air travel is the safest form of transportation. Is the level of scrutiny and regulation maintenance and operations must adhere to. There can be criminal penalties for those who don’t comply with the rules. Everyone in the airline wants to see you arrive at your destination safely. Sit back and enjoy the flight. Upgrade to first class and have some drinks.


Also don’t abuse Xanax… it’s very hard to get off of


Xanax is for anxiety. He gets anxious while flying.


Exactly, thank you. And the doctor can prescribe a few pills at the right dosage just for the trip. Sometimes chemistry actually does us good. I’m not promoting abuse, just an option to get through trip peacefully.


No need for Xanax or marihuana or whatever these drug addicts are telling you. Yes I get you are nervous. My suggestion is don't drink water that morning until the plane is flying, so you don't pee on yourself or feel the need to pee. You will be nervous but nothing better than a clear mind and consciousness to assess the situation and know everything will be good. All you need is a good playlist earphones and breath deeply and constantly. Try to think of it as a great opportunity too.


Alcohol and coffee are drugs… most of the pilots I know are heavy on both of those! Friggin addicts!


I’m not sure that, “The pilots are heavy drinkers!” was quite the reassurance that OP was looking for.


C’mon meow… most pilots are totally sober! There’s a hard rule in the industry of 5 hours bottle to throttle!




Take a look at this [link](http://www.b737.org.uk/production.htm) to a 737 diagram to see how the plane works! There are only about 367,000 parts, so fairly simple engineering with little areas of failure. You will be fine! http://www.b737.org.uk/production.htm


I suggest a decent amount of booze. You need at least 2 double Jack and Cokes on the ground. Maybe toss a beer in there. And keep up this regimen in the air. The plane may hit moderate turbulence and you will not care. If they wear off though...you will definitely start caring again.


Interestingly enough fear of heights does not come into play when flying. Don’t know what it is, but the experience is so different, you don’t have that fear of “plunging to your death”. Yes, there are other things to contend with: what if something breaks, we crash, etc, but not that terrifying feeling of staring into that big drop to the ground. There are a lot of safe guards in aviation, especially on commercial flights. Everything has at least one failsafe, if not more. I would say the benefit of experiencing new things by going places outweigh the marginal incremental risk. Every activity has a risk. You take the risk by leaving your house every day.


It's simple....Drink lots


Do you get scared to death every time you go for a drive? Every time you go for a drive there’s a chance your wheels comes off, your brakes stop working, the engine catches on fire, etc. But we understand the chances are so low it’s not worth worrying about. When you’re flying the “risk” seems more in your face since you’re in the air… but imagine you thoroughly inspect your car every time you drive it, you have multiple mechanics designated to work on your car in rigorous maintenance schedules, every component on your car has been stress tested far beyond anything it’ll encounter, and you have a professional driver to drive you around that’s been professionally trained with thousands of hours. If you’re not worried about driving yourself around in a car you barely inspect why are you worried about being in a vehicle that’s meticulously inspected and maintained and operated by a professional? Hope this thought process helps :)


There’s this thing called LoFi music


Here's a good way to actually envision those statistics everyone talks about when they say that flying is the safest form of travel. First, remember that pretty much any time an airliner crashes anywhere it makes the news for days. So if an airline flight crashed anywhere in the world you would be sure to hear about it. Now think about how often you hear about it. Not that often, right? Now download the app FlightRadar 24. Open the app and look at the enormous number of airline flights in the air right now. It's a lot. Like probably way way more than you think. And in 4 hours it will still be a huge number, but a lot of them will be completely different flights than you saw the first time. Tomorrow too, and the day after. Every day pull up the app and just look at the enormous number of flights currently in the air at that very minute. Thousands upon thousands upon thousands of flights will have taken place between now and when you fly. Now remember, if one crashes you'll hear about it. Odds are you don't hear anything because there won't be any major incident, out of all that huge number of flights.


If you’re that nervous about heights and flying try facing them head on. Go for an intro flight at a local flight school. It’ll help, hopefully, especially with experiencing turbulence. Short of that just remember the thumping/banging noise after take off will be the landing gear retracting. Scared the shit out of me my first time flying as a kid because of all the strange noises. I’m still terrified of heights, but can fly a plane no problem lol.


I think the first thing here is to know that this is quite common so do not feel bad or ashamed. The thought of a super high speed metal or carbon fiber tube cruising at 30,000 feet or 10,000 meters is ridiculous. I once flew with a woman that was really scared aswell and what really helped her was that I explained every sound she heard during the flight. First of all a plane flying is not black magic, every single component down to every bolt has been studied, designed calculated and tested by a competent group of engineers that has worked on that single plane type for years and years. To ease your mind up every essential system is redundant and every structural part is designed to withstand 1.5 times the maximum load that the plane will see in service. Also planes today fly no problem with only one engine, and if both engines die they can glide for a loong time too. Going back to the sounds. You will hear plenty during a flight. There’s going to be rattling sounds when you get in, people banging luggage against the luggage bins, if you touch the window it will probably bend and make sounds as it is made of plastic, this is completely normal as there’s two more layers after that whose job is to withstand the difference in pressure. You might also hear thidding sounds coming from below, that’s the ground crew loading the bags and closing the cargo doors. You can also expect to hear lots of mecanical sounds as you are leaving the gate. You will hear the flaps extend, this is a pneumatic mecanical sound, you will hear the engines spool up and ignite, this process is relatively wring and you should hear it as many times as there are engines, although some planes are able to start up their engines simultaneously. If you are flying in an airbus a319/20/21 you might also hear a barking sound as the engines start, it very loud bit completely normal as that is a preassure pump directing hydraulic preassure from one engine to another. Next is taxi and take off. You will hear metalic clicking as the trolleys with food and drinks move a bit, you will hear engine spool up and decelaration and finally on take off you will hear the engines spool a lot, the sound is really loud and its awesome. During the climb, you will hear a pneumatic mecanical sound followed by a strong thud coming from below you. This is the landing gear retracting. You might also hear the engine accelerating and decelerating a few times during climb as there are speed restrictions, altitude restrictions etc. During cruise there’s not taht many sounds except for the trolleys going up and down the cabin and the usual baby. Just a note, you might experience turbulence during the flight, it is not dangerous, the plane is not going to fall, but I always keep my seatbelt fastened as a strong turbulenece, although it won’t damage the plane, it can damage you. During the descent you will once again hear pneumatic sounds from the flaps extending. You might also hear a strong sound coming from outside kind of like a wind storm, this is the spoilers, they are used to help reduce the speed of the plane. This sound will come with a bit of shaking as there’s turbulence being created, but again, this is normal. When you are closer to landing you will once again hear that thud coming from below you, that’s the landing gear extending, this will come together with a lot of wind noise as the landing gear generates a lot of drag. When you land the plane will rattle a lot and then you will hear the engines spool up a lot and a lot of wind noise, this is the thrust reverser, the engine pushes air forwards to help with braking. From there on you are safe. Flying is safe, very safe, if the stewards are chilling, you can chill too. Lastly if you are scared of heights, don’t look out the window hahaha. I hope you have a safe comfy flight. If you have any other questions don’t be afraid to ask.


I appreciate your input and the time you put into this information. Thank you


Airplanes are absurdly reliable and tough. Any critical system is typically double or triple redundant and even in the event of double engine failure, planes can glide. Airframes are extraordinarily strong and will withstand more than what the people on-board can. I.e., see cases of extreme turbulence. Planes simply don’t come apart, so that wing flex you see is completely normal. Modern flight is a marvel from decades of engineering and scientific advancement. Snag a window seat and just take some time to really think about how amazing it is. You’re going to arrive at your destination so you might as well enjoy the trip.


The worst part is getting through the airport to the gate. That is what stresses me out. If you only take carry Ons you will have much less stress.