You must have heard about turbulence-related injuries at certain flights serious enough that brought passengers to hospital wards instead of their hotel rooms. But even without such news appearing in the papers, a typical air turbulence during a flight is enough to trigger panic among cabin guests.
Despite the discomfort — and fear — it induces, turbulence is relatively safe and very rarely cause airplanes to crash. It’s a rough patch along the flight path just as sudden potholes tremble cars along the highway. No wonder you’ll see cabin crew perfectly calm during such incidents.
But still an air turbulence can cause nervous smiles among strangers seated together as they clutch their armrests and bodies go stiff. So here are our tips to those who are dealing with air disturbance fears:
1. Don’t hide it. You can tell your fear to your seatmate, the flight attendant and be ready to receive encouragement instead of enduring your fear in silence.
2. Jiggle it. As mentioned above, we should consider air turbulence the same as speed bumps along the road. You just simply ride with it, and if it makes you more comfortable do it even more vigorously. You’ll barely be noticed as others are also dealing with such air disturbance as you jiggle playfully so there’s nothing to be ashamed of.
3. Learn from statistics. According to the Federal Aviation Administration, there are about 58 people on board injured by turbulence each year. Majority of those numbers are flight attendants or passengers who did not put on their seat belts. So that translates to about 20 people injured out of 800 million air passengers a year in the United States.
4. Get your mind involved. Instead of imagining morbid thoughts of the plane crashing and your family receiving a huge insurance payout, think of something else. Get that inflight movie entertain you. Or play crossword puzzle to distract your mind away from turbulence fears. But don’t ignore that seat belt sign if it’s on.
5. Avoid caffeine induced drinks. Coffee or carbonated drinks may trigger anxiety as you fly. But be sure to have liquid intake as dehydration helps develop the fear process.
So that’s it. Air turbulence can be a normal part of a flight but under no circumstances you should panic.