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How safe do you feel about flying?

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122 Reviews
  • so, how DO planes fly, anyway?
  • Crash? - highly unlikely
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      26.12.2012 10:47
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      my plane fears

      I never really feel safe when flying my nerves always take over and my ears always pop like crazy so flights are generally not always comfy trip but if the plane has a TV I am good to go.


      -------Space & Comfort----------
      When travelling on planes I think the amount of space and how comfy the seats are never really have been a problem to me even on some 6 hour plus flights that I have been on. I always travel with a few people and we always sit together so it never bothers me about space because we always just cosy up together and have a laugh.


      ---------Take off and Landing----------
      These are the moments when I feel the least safe on a plane because I always get anxious that the plane will not land or take off safely because it's just scary. It always makes me anxious because my ears pop really bad when taking off and landing and when landing my stomach always jumps. In landing it actually depends on the plane drive because some land faster than others but I tend to prefer when drivers take landing slow it feels much safer and more bearable landing for me.


      --------On the plane---------
      On the plane journey it tends to be OK for me and I feel safe if they have a TV because that takes my mind away from how many feet up in the air I am and all the possible dangers. I am a worry wart when it comes to flying. If the plane does not have a TV it tends to be a very fidgety flight for me because there is nothing else to distract me.
      On thing that annoys me about flying is the fact that numerous amount of time I have seen flight attendants ask people to turn their phones off during take off and people just don't listen It's on thing to put yourself in danger but to put the whole flight in danger is just selfish. Besides that as long as I have a TV on the plane I am distracted and feel better when flying.


      --------Toilets and standing up-----------
      Toilets for me on planes feel safe when using them and whilst walking back and forth to them it can be abit bumpy sometimes but generally the plane always feels stable. The only accident that I have had walking to the toilet is tripping over a childs toy that had fallen in the isle when on a flight to Rome. That was a one of though and I really probably should have been looking were I was going and then I would have saw it and picked it up.


      ----------Overall---------
      I think overall flights are pretty safe and it's just my nerves that get the better of me if I ever feel unsafe. The reason I will always get enough courage to keep flying planes and going on holidays is because Ii is very rare that they ever crash and the technology of planes is just getting better and better and will continue to grow and get safer.

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        25.05.2010 17:49
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        For fun i the sun, you just have to fly!

        I've never really thought about it really, but since you are asking, I have to say that I probably feel quite safe.

        I remember my first time on a plane very well. I was extremely excited but absolutely terrified. Not so much about crashing, but more about the taking off and landing. As the plane was fired up I was clinging onto the arm rests as if my life depended on it. Will Young's Evergreen was playing making it impossible for me to ever forget that dreadful song.

        I made sure I listened carefully to the cabin crew as they were explaining what to do if we ran into any trouble. I remember thinking that there was no way I'd be calm enough to do all of that in the case of an emergency, so now I just don't think about it at all.

        I have a little tradition now when I fly. When the crew come around with the trolley, I always have a can of tomato juice with a glass of ice. I don't even know why myself because this is the only time of year I drink it, but it really seems to do wonders in settling my stomach.

        I have flown a number of times now and it really doesn't bother me. After a while I even forget I am on a plane. I still hate taking off and landing. When the plane leaves the ground it always feels to me like it will just fall back down, like a car that doesn't have enough power to get up a steep hill.

        Once we are off though, I am fine. I love to sit by the window. Some of the views are absolutely wonderful. I love looking out at the clouds and the various mountains I am flying over.

        Landing for me is a nightmare though. Not only can I not hear anything at all, my ears actually hurt which causes me a lot of pain. Of course, there are upsides. The main one being that I have reached my destination and I can finally get off the plane and have a good walk about, not to mention a ciggy!

        My favourite time to land is when the sun is just going down and you can see the colourful lights reflecting in the sea. This part for me is so exciting, especially when visiting a place I have never been before.

        The only thing that really bothers me about flying is the chance of a terrorist attack. God forbid I see anyone with a backpack getting on the plane! I'm always scouting the airport too for backpack weilding maniacs, but so far, so good.

        I really can't understand the people who are that scared of flying that they just will not get on a plane. There is a whole world out there to be explored and once you have done it once, you can do it again and again.

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          19.04.2010 17:22
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          More fear mungering or has someone finally made a brave decision that doest involve money?

          Contrary to rumours the dust over the United Kingdom is not because Arsenal are spring cleaning their trophy cabinet but to do with a volcanic eruption in Iceland, grounding pretty much all commercial airliners in the Eurozone. NAT's, the National Air Traffic centre who made the brave and correct decision to originally close airspace are now under huge pressure to open it again as the airlines begin to haemorrhage serious money that could bankrupt them. It reminds me of poor old Chief Broody who wants to keep the holidaymakers out of the sea because of the shark threat where as the major of Amity Island wants them splashing around in the sea and sunshine to show the resort is open for business in the high season. right now The United Kingdom is very much closed.

          The problem, of course, is health & safety. If a plane goes down and NATS said it was ok to fly then all the bosses would all get fired (although they still all could get fired for making the decision the correct decision in the grubby world of the blame game). If an airline chose to fly and they lost a plane then the lawsuits would be huge. The airlines need someone to blame if a plane goes down and so now want to fly again but pass the legal buck. It's the first time airspace has been shutdown on this size and distance around a volcanic eruption and the decision was based on science, clear dangers if you fly through the thicker stuff. The cloud is spread all over the continent and flight plans have various density of dust on those routes although its rather ironic the shots of the erupting volcano's are taken by those very same planes that cant fly.

          There are clearly a lot of people stranded out there (mostly school teachers and the middle-class on their late skiing and city break holidays) and even the illegal immigrants union (the French government) are complaining that their members are not getting enough axel space during the crisis. Brown loves it in election month, a great distraction from the Nick Clegg factor, trying to look very presidential by ordering the navy to rescue Brits abroad. Dan Snow, the handsome young son of election specialist Peter Snow, tried hard to organise a flotilla of small boats to sail over the Channel and pick up the Brits, but, you guessed it, was turned down by health & safety people. So much for the Dunkirk spirit! The question now is can Brown keep the ban going for a political opportunity. Using the Ark Royal as a car ferry would suggest that is a possibility. I do not recall planes being grounded for long in America after Mount St Helens 5 megaton blast!

          The ferries and hire car guys are trebling their prices and taxis even more, supply and demand the order of the day, the conspiracy theorists even saying the Icelandic government 'switched on' the volcano at will to get revenge on Britain for calling in the debt. The last time this particularly and un-spellable icecano erupted was during the 'Cod War' (We went to war over fish. Don't ask). It could just be the Icelandic banks burning all the receipts.

          The climate scientists are loving it because with no planes up there in what looks like relatively clear air to me they can monitor how much pollution planes were actually making. When 911 shut American airspace down the ground temperature rose 2 degrees in 24 hours, this due to the lack of vapour trails over the country to reflect heat. Cloud is the biggest global coolant there is and those global warming heretics will be intrigued to see if planes are indeed polluting the skies as much as the eco warriors say they are. What will happen is because there are more people on the roads there will be more traffic fatalities than there ever would by from plane crashes sucking in this dust, the realities of eventuality and probability. Unless a jet or big prop plane flies directly through the smoke plume the threat is very small. The planes should be up now.

          Terrorism is the other big threat but of late the War on Terror seems to have fizzled out some. No airline terror plots have been discovered of late and the guys that do get on the planes with bombs seem to have got the chemistry wrong every time. In previous attacks the suicide bombers had worn five pairs of underpants to protect their genitals whereas this Nigerian lad had put the bomb in his pants, in the belief no one would put their hands down there, which they didn't. Religion is the greatest mind-bending drug of all folks is it can get guys to blow their knobs off.

          The airports have been asked to counter this worry by putting full body scanners in so to detect concealed explosives but, as expected, the Muslim groups say it's a breech of their human rights and will no doubt be exempt from going through them to avoid legal claims, making the system even more pointless. Previous security methods suffered similar 'issues' where staff didn't want to keep pulling Asians over to be searched more thoroughly, so chickened out and chose the least likely terrorists suspects like old grannies and stripped them of their lippy and nail clippers to meet passenger quotas, items that you could conveniently then buy in duty free airside. It has been proved all the ingredients to make an explosive device are available in those duty free stores. The checks on airside staff are pretty appalling to and anyone could get a job at an airport and find the time to get a bomb into the hold. It is still unclear why the 911 restraints have not been lessened in the U.K. for white passengers over 65. The terror threat seems to be Islamic and proven so. It's the extreme irony of human rights lawyers that are making us more vulnerable. Well that's lawyers for you!

          The biggest and real threat to airline safety is fatigue....that of the planes structure and of the pilots, both forced to fly longer and longer hours these days. Some American budget airlines pilots are on less than senior BA Cabin Crew, $50,000 a year there considered decent money. As with car accidents its driver error and not speed that causes crashes, usually at junctions and corners for cars and taking off and landing for planes. Once a car or a plane is at its cruise height going straight they tend to be ok and with cruise control and autopilot you can have a kip, unless the driver or pilot is taking medication for some condition and doses off accidentally at the wheel, the cause of a significant chunk or Motorway smashes around the world. Many plane crashes involve structural failure where the airlines have purchased cheaper counterfeit parts-knowingly or unknowingly-and they have eroded or failed in flight. Counterfeit parts can be considerably cheaper and with many airline close to bankruptcy they may be tempted to save money on maintenance, very common with third world airlines, 75% of all commercial airliner crashes non western, even though all the jets are made in just seven countries.

          So, I suspect big business will get their way and the planes will be flying very soon, pressure already put on Iceland to say the volcano has calmed down, which it hasn't, the scapegoats lined up and pilots making mistakes as they decompensate for the perceived dust threat. When someone sands up and makes the correct decision they are soon undermined when money is being lost, BA losing £1 million per hour! And let's not forget these guys haven't flown for a while and have to get back into a rhythm of a very stressful job. Already light aircraft accidents are up 40%, two coming down in cornfields near me, the pilots being plucked from the hedgerow, thankfully in one piece.

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            30.03.2010 00:53
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            I did enjoy holidaying aboard but I'm discovering more about my own country

            Flying never really used to bother me , I always used to board the plane, see if pilot was a hunk , and slap hubby if i thought he was eyeing stewerdesses, then do the arguing about the window seat, and sit back and relax till i arrived at my destination, but I guess that all changed for me on September the 11th.

            Some will argue that security measures have been stepped up and that it has according to statistics that it is safer to fly that cross the road,

            Personally, I would now since 9/11 risk crossing the road than get on a plane.l would have more chance of surviving a hit by a car than being completely blown to bits, and enduring a month in hospital where a doctor can cure me, This seems a lot easier to deal with than having my bits scattered everywhere, I think any doctor would have more chance of finding Wally than recovering my parts to put me back together again.

            Yes having this fear now has stopped me from doing a lot of things, but keeping my feet on the ground is a way i am prepared to live, Some may say i will never experience what the world has to offer and that I am missing out on different cultures, but i have to say it really has not effected my holidays at all,

            Since the UK became multi-cultural I have experienced lots, Why did I have to go aboard before my fear set in is beyond me, I have experienced China, in Manchester, Pakistan in Burnley and Poland in Blackpool I have eaten authentic food in Manchester without having to pay for a ticket to china and I have eaten some of the hottest curries in Burnley without the hassles of having to exchange money and mess about with the check in or deal with issues of lost luggage,

            And thinking about it I have not visited Wales, so I think i would like to experience Wales on my next trip, there is so much to do, learn and see in the UK and I think it makes perfect sense to learn all you can about your own country before going somewhere else.

            My fear set in not so long after my 2nd child was born and they have not been effected by my fear as they have enjoyed many holidays in the UK , and when they have mastered a few word in french I shall take them via ferry or the channel tunnel to France, and then maybe further a field , yes going by ferry will take time in arriving at some might see it as a draw back but i see it as more quality time with the family.

            I do hope to be able to conquer my fear in time and in a way of helping me do so i have avoided watching the news but it has not helped as when disaster strikes it is all anyone can talk about , it is true with the old saying of ignorance is bliss , and that is what i try to be "ignorant" to the crashes and terrorist threats, I just hope in time to be able to fly again .

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            23.02.2010 21:34
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            Think about that holiday in the sun!

            How safe do I feel about flying? Well that's a difficult question to answer and I really hadn't thought too much into it.

            I first flew at the age of about 1, going to Spain on a family holiday. Not that I remember anything about it, but i'm told I was very well behaved and they took me to see the pilot - how things have changed over the past few years!

            As a child we always went on family holidays, usually going abroad once per year so I grew up flying and didn't really think anything of it as i'd never really heard much about any disasters.

            However, the events of September 11th happened when I was a teenager and definately made me think twice about flying. Luckily I hadn't got any holidays booked near the time of the terrible terrorist attacks and it was definately a positive step to see the increased security at airports - i'd much rather spend a few hours extra at the airport to feel safe!

            I have fown several time since the increased security and haven't felt in any danger, although I'd think twice about visiting certain countries!

            Someone once told me that you are at more of a risk in the car going to the airport than actually flying - i'd never not get in my car to drive somewhere so I won't stop flying either!

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            23.02.2010 20:26
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            terrorism and crashing are the main worries

            I was ok till i started to get a bit older (into my teens) and the twin tower thing in america happened. Last year i went to india with girlguiding so i was without my family and during the months before hand I felt uneasy and i know it may be stupid but i felt like there were 'signs' symbolising something bad happening. In 2009, the months before august, there were constant happenings. I think there were two plane disappearances which where later found at the bottom of the sea and no survivors - the france one and I think an Atlantic one, there were several news reports of planes crashing into houses(!!!) and just after setting off, also the failed attempts of terrorist attacks. There were also films such as the snakes on the plane on a few months before and the attacks on that big hotel in Mumbai were in the early 2009 and as they were searching for british people, i was soooo scared. As you know India is a place based up of alot of muslims (i totally respect their beliefs btw im just showing that most terrorists are Muslims) and going to and from india on a several hour flight was pretty nerve racking. Once on the plane i was fine and i dont usually worry about crashing, just terrorism.

            Another time was simply flying to france and the turbalance was making the plane drop and drop and drop like going down a flight of stairs and the plane was basically going down and we were told to stay in our seats, seat belts on. It was fine but boy was i scared!

            this year i'm travelling twice on planes (4 if you include there AND back.) And i'm ok about it as these places are not known for terrorism. Just the crashing to worry about....:D

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              28.12.2009 20:21
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              A Great Fast Way To Travel.

              I've flown several times, the first time being when I was 10 years old.
              Most of the flights I have been on were generally 2 Hours + 45 minutes or under from England to places like mainland Spain, Majorca & Ibiza.
              I've been on a flew long haul flights 4 hours + 30 minutes to the Canaries and just over 7 hours to New York.

              I've always felt very safe while flying, even after all of the terror attacks that have happened.

              I flew twice before the terror attacks in America and when my family and I went through the security gates, I don't remember any of us getting frisked randomly. This has now changed. Since the attacks in 2001 I have found that security is alot more tighter! Which is a good thing!
              Every time I have been on a plane since, someone in my group has been frisked at random even when the gate hasn't buzzed.
              For a while you had to take your shoes off and they had to be scanned along with your hand luggage, this year (oct 09) I forgot to take my shoes off and nobody said anything to me.
              I know taking shoes off to be scanned can make the security thing alot longer, but, I'd rather be that bit safer! I think this should be stepped up again and that maybe shoes should be scanned.
              Other than that, I find the security very good in all airports I have been to, mainly Gatwick & Heathrow.

              When it comes to getting on the plane I still get a little nervous even though I love flying.

              Flying is much more safer than getting in your car and going for a drive. Car accidents happen everyday and you hear about fatal ones maybe, every week or so? But how often do you hear about plane crashes?
              Obviously they do happen, but very rarely.

              One thing that really scares me while flying is thunder and lightning! After watching something on TV years ago about a plane in a storm I have always been scared about it.
              This year (oct 09) I had my first encounter with thunder & lightning while flying! And to my surprise I felt nothing.
              We were flying at night and I saw a big flash, I stared out the window and saw some more lighting. I got scared and put my seat belt on, but we weren't flying in the storm just next to it.
              Flying while thunder is about isn't dangerous, it is a policy that aircrafts avoid storms by a 20 mile radius there is also technology to help stay away from it to.

              One health problem while flying is DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) which is when a clot develops in a deep vein usually in the leg.
              Taking a sleeping tablet / sedative can increase the chances of developing DVT. It usually occurs in long haul flights and so you are told to keep your feet moving.
              I've never suffered from this, even on a 7 hour + 30 minute trip to New York where I sat down watching the TV the whole time, except once for the toilet which was situated right behind my seat!
              Being a young person it shouldn't really effect me.. but it's always something to think about! I now make sure I give my feet a little wriggle every 30 minutes or so.

              - Some Facts -
              ____________

              * 706 million passengers travelled 7.15 million flights worldwide during a 10 year period on airlines registered in the UK without a fatality. According to Aviation Safety Review.

              * Turbulence in measured in G Force. Average turbulence is 0.3 - 0.4 G's an aircraft should be able to fly through 2 G's with no problem. They are built to withstand 6G's.

              * All pilots must be over 21 years old and have a commercial flying licence before an airline will hire them. They then go though more training.

              * Pilots will often go a full career without experiencing engine failure.

              * Planes can fly to a destination even if 1 engine fails.

              * Planes must have enough fuel to get to the destination, hold for 30 minutes, make a missed approach, be able to fly to the next nearest airport and still have 10% of fuel left.

              * If all engines fail a plane can glide for 30 minutes before it lands.

              * Backup systems have been provided for nearly every system on the plane.

              * Your more likely to die from a bee sting.


              - Overall -
              _________

              I think flying is one of the most safest ways to travel! I've never had a problem when flying and even flew just after the 7-7 attacks in London.
              It is noisy during take off and landing and sitting by the wing does not help as your sat near the engines.
              You do hear some strange noises but for first time flyers I wouldn't worry about it, it's normal and all part of the plane working!
              For me take off and landing is the most exciting part!

              Flying can take you to some amazing destinations and is much faster than driving or sailing.
              The only reason I give it 4 dooyoo stars is because, it's not 100% safe.. is anything though?
              And because of terrorist things that have happened in the past.
              Other than that brilliant!!


              - 4 *'s Highly recommend!
              December 2009.

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                16.12.2009 00:50
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                I feel safer on a plane than I do on the roads!

                I haven't flown many times in my life, and as much as I know that I am safer in a plane than walking across the road or driving in my car I still get really scared before flying! It's not that I don't feel safe, however.

                The health risks don't bother me too much as I am a young, healthy person. I know about DVT and ensure I get up and have a walk around and keep my legs and feet moving whilst flying. The worst thing is the ear popping as I tend to get bad sinus pain whilst flying, but some decongestant tablets before flying usually help prevent this being too bad.

                I'm also not really worried about terrorist attacks and such things. The security in all airports these days is exceptionally tight, and although there is a risk, I think it's quite slim. I feel that the airports/security do everything in their power to make this risk as slim as possible, and therefore I feel quite safe to fly regardless of this risk.

                The one thing that makes me scared of flying is the number of Airline/Airport films I watched in my youth. I used to love these films, until I went on my first long-haul flight. I realised that I had convinced myself that flying over the sea for a long period of time was a horrible, horrible idea. However, the chances of something like that happening in real life are very, very slim and when you think about the hundreds of thousands of successful flights there are everyday, I realise that maybe flying isn't unsafe, in fact it's probably safer than driving up the motorway!

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                  04.12.2009 18:13
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                  I don't really like flying, but I don't think we're going to die in a crash.

                  Do I feel safe flying? I don't think it's going to kill me any time soon. But just because I don't think it's going to kill me, doesn't mean that I like it and it doesn't mean that I think it's particularly safe. It's too easy to just look at the chances of dying and not consider also the broader concerns. In this review, I talk about some of the things that I think are important, worrying or just plain dangerous about flying, and they aren't all what the media would have us think!

                  ===What are the chances I'll die in an accident?===
                  It's all very well the government and safety authorities producing statistic after statistic on how safe it is to fly; if people don't have much in the way of a scientific or statistical training, how can they evaluate what is "spin" and whether or not it is actually safer to fly? After all, comparing a little plane for pleasure flights to a round the world trip on a jumbo jet is like comparing apples and oranges - they have some superficial similarities, but the differences are immense.

                  Good news, DETR, the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions have gathered statistics, which have been analysed to death by people capable of doing the analysis. It turns out that the numbers vary according to whether you are talking about distance, time or journeys. I'm using the statistics gathered by Informed Sources from October 2000. I've added a few twists of my own to help put them into perspective.

                  ===Fatalities per billion passenger journeys ===
                  This one is the easiest to think about. If a billion people make one journey, how many of them will die? The answer - 117 people when travelling by air compared with 40 people by car. So I would have to make over 8 million journeys for an even chance of me dying on the journey. That's sufficiently small that I won't care about it - I'm pretty sure I'd have died of old age first! I'm a bit worried about the cycling death statistics, which show it as much more dangerous.

                  ===Fatalities per billion passenger hours===
                  Because the air journeys are over much longer distances and times than other forms of transport, the "per journey" rates are disproportionately high in comparison. So the per billion hours rates are much lower - if 1 billion people travel for an hour, then an estimated 30.8 people will have died on planes and 130 by car. So I'd need to travel for about 32 million hours to expect to die on a plane that way. Given that I can only expect to live for about 0.7 million hours, I'll take my chances there!

                  ===Fatalities per billion passenger kilometres===
                  Similarly, air journeys are typically long - so this will skew the results too. If a billion people travelled for one kilometre, 0.05 of them will be expected to die by plane, vs 3.1 per car. So I'd have to travel 20 billion kilometres to expect to die in a plane. That's about five times the distance to Pluto. So, yes, I think I can cope with numbers like that!

                  ===How to be sure your airline is safe===
                  When I fly, I generally will research that particular airline to see how safe it is considered. If a company is allowed to operate in the UK, then that's good enough for me. There are a lot of airlines that have been deemed too dangerous to land here, so those are the ones that I steer clear of!

                  ===Pleasure flights===
                  For my birthday this year, I went with some friends on a trip to the Imperial War Museum, Duxford, where we went on a pleasure flight in a Dragon Rapide - a very old biplane. Right before we got on the plane, one of my pilot friends (who has an internet-capable phone) showed me an accident report for that very aircraft from a few years ago when it had crashed and mangled the plane quite badly. He said afterwards that I was very brave for getting on the plane after reading that. I disagreed and said that since he was a pilot and knew the risks much better than I did, if he was willing to get on the plane, then I was willing to get on it as well.

                  ===Terrorism===
                  Is seems impossible to get through a review of air safety without mentioning the T-word these days. Do I feel afraid of terrorists when flying? No. I think it is a great tragedy that lives are lost this way, and would dearly love to live in a world where people don't feel that terrorism is their only option. But giving in to fear is not the answer for me. In comparison with the huge number of flights that are made every day, there have been only a tiny number of terrorist incidents, so the risk of me being on a flight that is hijacked is minimal.

                  I don't mind it too much as a necessary evil if it helps other people feel safe, but I find that the current implementation of security screening is tedious and slow, and does seem a little bit like shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted. It's overly prescriptive and is done without apparent consideration of the real world.

                  A case in point: when I flew a couple of years ago, they were strictly enforcing "one bag per person". Which is fair enough. Except that I had just bought a sandwich and it obviously wouldn't fit into my tiny handbag and categorically wasn't allowed as a loose item, or so the security staff told me at great length. But fear not, it all became OK when I went back to the shop and begged a plastic carrier bag from them and put both the sandwich and the handbag into that plastic bag. The stupid part? My hair clip (a four inch metal spike) was entirely OK, though I did have to take it off so they could x-ray it. Let's see, a sandwich is dangerous and a spike isn't? Hmmm, if I have to fight for my life, would I rather defend myself with a)a sandwich or b)a four inch metal spike? As my friends pointed out afterwards, it's a good job I didn't tell them I do karate or they'd have to put me through the x-ray machine as well!

                  ===In-flight food===
                  As someone with allergic asthma, I suspect that one of my biggest risks when flying is actually the in-flight food, if indeed it could be termed food. A good 50% of in-flight meals make me wheeze or cause a "medical emergency" trip to the little girls' room - usually because the so-called "vegan" meal contains dairy. Plus they tend to taste awful as well! Always make sure you carry suitable medication when you are on a plane trip. Plus take your own food if at all possible if you are likely to have a problem.

                  ===The air quality===
                  The other asthma risk is from the terrible air quality and plenty of people I have travelled with who didn't think they had asthma suffered too. Some decades ago, when smoking was allowed, the air quality was actually higher than it is now -now, it just gets recycled because that is cheaper. So at best, we have to inhale stale sweat, other people's perfume, infections from other people etc. No wonder we all get so many colds after flying!

                  Personally, I find that I am OK for short flights, but I need to take my inhaler about twice as much on long haul flights, or else the low levels of oxygen make me feel like I have the world's worst hangover, migraine and tummy bug all rolled up into one! Not to be recommended!

                  ===Sinus pains===
                  Sinus problems aren't very likely to kill you on a flight. But they might make you wish you were dead, so I'll give you some tips and tricks on how to avoid them. In case you don't know, the sinuses are cavities above the nose and eyes whose sole purpose in existing is to torture you. Well, maybe not that last part, but that's what it feels like to people with sinus problems.

                  If you travel when you've got a blocked nose or inflamed sinuses, the difference in air pressure that you encounter on the plane when it changes altitude can cause the delicate membranes to get damaged, which is excruciatingly painful. But worse than that, because it's a strong nerve pain, it means that you feel the pain elsewhere as well. So, if you get extremely bad toothache, scalp pain or eye pain when you fly, particularly when the plane descends, it may well "just" be your sinuses playing up a bit. The first time this happened to me, I honestly thought that I might be dying it was that bad! In reality, though, the worst of the pain usually clears up within an hour or two, though a bad attack can take a couple of days.

                  Above all else, make sure you have a clear nose when you fly. This may mean a few days beforehand of decongestants, hot steamy baths and rinsing out your nose before you fly. On the flight, keep testing whether your nose is clear for both nostrils. Your nose is likely to get a bit bunged up, so you may not be able to breathe as well as normal through it, so do keep blowing your nose so you don't get any trapped bubbles of air in your sinuses. Keep a menthol stick or inhaler to hand, and inhale it as much as you can (without exceeding the stated dose, unless you've checked with a doctor first). When coming into land, I find it helps to take a painkiller an hour or so before the plane descends, but do see also my next point warning you about illegal drugs!

                  ===Accidental Illegal drugs===
                  No, I'm not talking about smuggling drugs that are illegal in the UK (though I strongly advise you never to do this!). I'm talking about useful everyday medicines that you wouldn't think twice about, but which are illegal in many countries, particularly ones that you may stop at en route. For instance, did you know that the codeine in that cough mixture or headache pill that you took in London may still be in your bloodstream and will get you a four year prison sentence in Dubai? For this reason, I always carry a letter from my GP explaining every medicine and over the counter remedy that I have with me. Fortunately, I've never yet had to use it.

                  ===Deep vein thrombosis===
                  After a bit of a DVT scare on a round the world flight a couple of years ago, I'm now always careful to do my exercises and wear the socks. It turned out that it was something entirely harmless, but it didn't half make it difficult to manage my overweight hand luggage on the fuelling stops! You have to weigh up the pros and cons of asking for help and getting caught with very obviously overweight luggage versus having to trek half way round an airport in pain. The moral of the story is that now I take much less hand luggage!

                  I find it important to check the amount of space that a particular airline will give you before I fly - this does vary a fair bit from carrier to carrier and from plane to plane. I'm only 1.65m tall, so if I struggle, then I hate to think how tall people manage! I often try to get a seat in the emergency exit row, so that I can have extra leg room. Be warned though, you have to be able bodied enough to help everyone else out of the plane first if there is a disaster, so you can't go in these seats if you break your leg snowboarding.

                  ===The impact on the environment===
                  One thing I can never completely justify to myself is the obvious harm to the environment that flying does. Every flight taken will potentially put future generations at risk through global warming and increased pollution. This one is one I don't yet have an answer to any more than anyone else does. In the meantime, I limit my journeys to no more than two trips by plane every year (although of course this is helped by the fact that I can't afford to go on expensive holidays very often anyway!).

                  ===Conclusion===
                  I hope that has given you some other ideas to think about other than a simple "will I die if I go on a plane?". At the end of the day, I'm not going to completely avoid travelling by plane, but it's rarely an experience that I enjoy.

                  Review may be cross-posted elsewhere

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                    02.12.2009 10:10

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                    Flying still safest form of travel

                    There are really two things that you have to consider when flying nowadays, which are how safe is it after the 911 attacks and also how do you cope with long haul flights safely. I travel alot on airlines to Ireland, America and also Australia in the last year and in addition travel with an infant who is still under 2 years of age. For me flying is the safest form of travel still, despite what happen a few years back now with the terrorist attack. I tend not to worry about this as I think flying is safer now with the amount of security surrounding you every time you get on a plane. When you read about the amount of plane crashes as opposed to the amount of car crashes etc. you have to remember how many flights take off every day from airports all over the world and it's thousands. When I prepare for a long haul flight like Australia I make sure I am well hydrated and also have tried flight socks which seem to help as they improve circulation. On long flights I take my shoes off and try to get up and walk about as much as possible in the cabin as the worst thing you can do is sit still while on a flight like that. I know it might sound strange but red wine has always been a favourite of mine to drink on board as this helps to de-clot the blood. I prefer the long flights to the ryanair flights to Ireland as they are more comfortable with more leg room. Airlines should perhaps expand their cabin space and reduce the amount of passengers on board if they want to make things even safer for travellers

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                    13.09.2009 17:38

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                    I must admit since the 911 attacks i have had more fears of flying im off to america in 2 wks wich takes 10hrs thoughts do go through my mind what if but what i do is i pretend im not up there when it reaches its height sit back pretend ya still on the ground works for me but in reality its very rare a plane crashes theres more car crashes than planes but its big news when it happens thats what fears people but it is the safest public transport sit back forget ya on it works 4 me

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                    05.09.2009 19:19
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                    I Feel 100% safe when flying

                    As trained crew (but not crew) I feel 100% safe about flying either short haul or long haul.

                    Staff are highly trained with these big airlines including British Airways, Thomson, Thomas Cook, Easyjet, Ryanair, Virgin, Qantas, Singapore Airlines, Air Berlin, TUIFly, Luthansa, Emirates etc etc they are all highly trained and use similar aircraft types, most popular being Boeing & Airbus, 10s of 1000's of flights operate every single day on these types of aircraft so they must be safe otherwise we'd hear of a lot more accidents.

                    Crew are highly trained and must pass vigorious safety checks, security checks & thorough training before being allowed to fly both flight deck crew & cabin crew.

                    Legal requirements monitor airlines and for example crew hours, there is a very strict limit on the amount of hours crew members can work before they have to be given a minimum rest period this is a safety precaution and is so that in the extremely unlikely event of an emergancy the crew are fully awake and prepared to ensure passenger safety. This is sometimes why flights can be delayed, if a plane goes tech, then sometimes it impacts on the crew operating hours so standby crew have to be found to take over.

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                      26.07.2009 21:13
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                      Relax ! you may be slightly tipsy but hopefully the pilot isnt!

                      I have been flying for the last 30 years mostly to places like Spain, Tenerife, and other sun filled holiday destinations. Over the years I have become almost a legend (well at least in my own mind) about my fear of flying. As I am fond of the odd alcoholic beverage (always my drug of choice) I have always had a couple of libations before take off. Nothing unusual in that you may say but this is regardless of whether its a dark o clock flight or an early bird flight. Whilst most of the other passengers are in line for teas and coffees I m ordering a large vodka and tonic! My friends and family - none of whom share my fears have poked fun at me for years - but as I have always sensibly pointed out if you want me to travel with you then humour me! By the time I get on board I am sufficiently mellow to be relaxed. As the years have gone by I have become less dependent on the alcohol - although to date no one else has noticed! I make sure that I pre book my seats on the basis of near a toilet - and also near the galley so that you are first in line for the drinks! I am doing a lot of long haul now to the states and as I am travelling coach its best to prebook as soon as possible and try and get a seat at the emergency exit which give you loads of leg room - next to toilets and not far from galley - bingo! However when travelling coach you are only offered 2 alcoholic drinks and to my great surprise I have discovered that even on a 9 hour flight I m ok with that. What comes with age - along with varicose veins and bladder problems (hence being near a toilet) comes a little bit of wisom. Why worry about something that will probably never happen - when you step on that plane trust that your pilot is sober and knows where he is going. Relax - make sure you are wearing your support socks - a must on long haul - do a few ankle exercises - maybe admiring your new shoes! - drink plenty of water possibly with a little alcohol added - but above all enjoy ! PS dont let on to any of my pals that I m now only drinking because I like the taste!

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                      15.02.2009 22:32
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                      Dont worry

                      Flying is one of the biggest fears that many people suffer from. When I was a child, I was really scared of flying, well that was until I got to the airport and actually saw the planes, and then my fear went away. But for some people, it isnt that easy. Flying seems to be such a dangerous thing these days, or so it may seem, but if you do your research, more people die when driving their car on a car, something millions of people do everyday, they you do when you fly in the air.

                      Of course 9/11 didnt help anyone. If anything, it just showed how unsafe it can be to fly. And I agree with anyone who thinks that, as after more than 80 years of flight, surely someone must have thought about the possiblity of a group of people hijacking a plane without having a bomb or a gun. I didnt fly for two years after 9/11, and I didnt travel outside of Europe. I was just so glad that I wasnt living in America at the time, as I dont think that I would have ever left on another plane. But since then, my fear of flying has gone, and just up until a couple of days ago when I heard of that plane that crashed in new york by accident, it just showed me that a lot of things can bring a down plane, things that you would never think of. It really isnt as bad as I am making it out to be.

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                      09.09.2008 18:16
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                      I got over my fear of flying!

                      As someone who hated flying, I feel I am quite qualified to talk about this!

                      The reason that I hated flying is because I felt like I was going to fall out of the sky, or, more specifically, that the plane was going to fall out of the sky! I used to look out of the aircraft and wonder what was holiding it up. How could something so heavy fly, I thought.

                      My fear was so bad that I had resolved never to fly again.

                      It wasnt until I was coaxed into taking a course for those who are afraid of flying that I understood how planes fly and started to get over my fear.

                      The key point is this- planes fly because of the shape that they are- the shape of the wings means that air travels faster over than under, because it has further to go. This creates lift and means that the plane stays in the air. So, even if the engines stop working, the plane will not just fall out of the sky. I found this knowledge very comforting, and whenever I fly now, I think about this.

                      I know there are plane crashes, but you have to look at the statistics- there are hardly any, and, as they say, flying is a lot safer than any other mode of transport.

                      Also, some airlines are better than others, and if you stick with those with the best statistics, there is a miniscule chance that something will go wrong. I think you are more likely to win the lottery than die in a plane crash, so there you go!

                      Obviously there are other things that we worry about nowadays as well, like terrorism and DVT.

                      Terrorism is not something that you, as a passenger, can really be prepared for, so there is no point worrying about it.

                      DVT, or deep vein thrombosis, can be avoided by using special exercies whilst in the air. There are also special products on sale but while these claim to help I am not sure if there is any evidence in support of them.

                      Dont worry about flying- its one of the safest things you can do!

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