Having a fear of flying is notoriously common, but it shouldn't get in the way of travel planning. During particularly bumpy flights, however, a book or relaxation playlist often just won't cut it when it comes to distractions.
Whether you're a full-out aviophobic or just prone to grabbing the stranger next to you during turbulence, these apps are here to help you cope better with flying.
If you need real-time assistance - SkyGuru
Skyguru makes you feel like you have a pilot sitting next to you in flight. That’s probably because the app was designed by an actual pilot, who discovered that one of the leading factors in a fear of flying was not knowing what every sight, sound and bump meant (hence why we panic at the first sign of turbulence). His solution? An app that tells you exactly what’s happening on your flight, in real time.
Combining advanced technology with an easy-to-use interface, the app predicts if, when, and for how long you’re going to have turbulence – as well as offering pop-up explanations for other minor developments in your flight. The app isn’t the cheapest, but if you haven’t slept on a flight in years, this might just be worth the splurge.
If you need positive energy - Happify
Happify brings its users a plethora of games, quizzes, tools and programs to help you deal with your anxiety or stress, and take control of your thoughts in that moment. With it’s scientific roots in cognitive behavioural therapy, the app is proven to insight happiness into your life, and counter any negativity with proactive techniques. This is your inflight guide for coping with fear-induced anxiety, and the games will provide a perfect little distraction during bumpy flights.
If you need to log your feelings - Pacifica
If you want a more long-term solution to your flying fears, Pacifica should be on your phone. Similar to Happify, the app uses Cognitive Behavioural Therapy techniques to combat feelings of fear, panic and anxiety – as well as a peer support group to chat with people who are no doubt going through the same thing. You can record your mood, set personal goals and follow relaxation and breathing techniques that will be more than useful during take-off and landing.
If you have a panic attack - SAM
Developed by psychologists, SAM seeks to help users control anxiety through self-help techniques including breathing, and a log of what exactly is causing you to feel anxious in that moment. The app has a built in anxiety tracker, anxiety toolkit, and social cloud to connect with other users for advice and tips. It’s perfect for keeping a log of what it is about flying that worries you – so you can start to feel more prepared and on top of your fear.
If you need reassurance that your flight is safe - SOAR
If you need step by step assurance to put your worries at ease, SOAR provides you with info from your arrival to the airport, to your landing. The brainchild of a captain, the app helps users understand the flying experience, providing explanations for turbulence and tips to stay relaxed in flight.
The app was derived from a program which helped nervous flyers overcome their fears, and it’s methods have proven successful for over 10,000 people. Thanks to the app’s built-in G-Force monitor, you can have your plane scientifically proven to be safe and secure, meaning you can focus on more important things, like what you’ll eat when you land in your new destination.
If you want an in-flight therapist - VALK
Serving as your personal in-flight therapist, Flight-App VALK acts as a coach through stressful moments on flights. It’s most notable feature is the ‘panic mode’, in which – when activated – a voice offers you advice, and talks you through helpful breathing and meditation exercises. It feels like you have your own meditation guide living in your mind – and that’s really all us nervous flyers want!
Do you have any tips for coping with in-flight anxiety? Leave them in the comments below!