Travel: Book of the week

Click to follow
The Independent Travel
Taking the Fear out of Flying (Updated edition, Robinson, pounds 6.99) by Maurice Yaffe

It turns out that 50 million people in Britain and America are afraid of flying. Worldwide, air traffic is about 10 per cent lower than it would be if fear of flying did not exist. Celebrities from Mohammed Ali to Evel Kineval have been terrified of flying (the latter claiming that he didn't want to give anyone the chance to kill him before he did it himself).

And all this in spite of the fact that you would need to take a scheduled flight every day for 2,500 years before it became likely that you would be involved in a plane crash - which, chances are, you would survive. Phrased another way, more people are kicked to death by donkeys each year than die in plane crashes.

Statistics, statistics. But will they make any difference to people who can't enjoy their holidays because of the flights beforehand and afterwards? That is the aim of this book, of which an updated edition has just been published.

The first challenge for any victim is to identify precisely what type of phobia they have. The next is to understand the principles of flight: if they understand all those strange noises, sensations and movements they will worry about them less (one useful thing to know: it is the wings that keep the plane in the air, not the engines).

There are also general sections on relaxation and worry-management. Finally - for the seriously phobic - there are sections on simulating flight conditions and on how to obtain professional help.

Comments