Scared of flying? Every single one of these testimonials is written by a nervous flyer who has attended our fear of flying course:
It was lovely to meet you yesterday, thank you so much for fitting me onto the course at the last minute. It was an absolutely amazing day on so many levels. Not only was it very helpful but also fascinating and enjoyable. You were right; it is good to actually understand how the plane works.
Every single one of your team was incredibly encouraging and kind. I really can’t compliment you enough on that. Please could you pass my thanks on to all of them.
That is certainly the best I have ever felt on a plane. I have never dared look out of the window before and yesterday I couldn’t see enough ! I am still nervous about flying on my own, but I am confident it will be better now than it was before. I didn’t even need my gin !
Many thanks again
Kate - LHR Course 26 July
Melanie Ashworth - Heathrow 26 July 2015
Neil Robertson - Thank you
Yvette Scott - Belated thank you (May 2015)
Good morning to all the Flying with Confidence team,
I just wanted to write you an email to say a huge thank you! I attended the course on Saturday 14th September 2013 at London Gatwick. I drove from where I live in Munich, Germany to attend as my fear at that point was so great, I wouldn't get on a plane.
Thanks to the course and the tips and information, I have just returned from a fantastic holiday to Doha, Singapore and Bali taking 6 flights in all including my first long haul flights of 6 hours and 7 and a half hours respectively.
I never, ever thought I would visit these places nor be able to cope with being on a plane for so long yet the course gave me the chance to overcome my fear, face it and follow my dream of visiting Bali. I even coped with light turbulence and a bumpy approach into Singapore! I look at a world map now and find it incredible that I, with a complete phobia of flying, flew to the other side of the world, saw fantastic places and experienced new things, so thank you!
A whole world has now opened up to me, thanks to you, and my husband and I are now planning to fly to Vietnam next year to pursue our dream of doing a motorbike tour of the country and I am due to fly to New York in June on my own. These are places and things I never believed I could do and I am so grateful that the course allowed me to overcome my fear.
To anyone who has any doubts about the course - do it! I cannot recommend it highly enough. The staff are all excellent and really care about you. The information both on the technical and psychological side really do help you face your fear. Don't let the fear hold you back from seeing the places you want to and experiencing things with friends and family.
Thank you again, I really cannot say how much it meant to me to be able to fly to Bali. The honeymoon I thought wasn't possible, happened because of the course.
I wish all your future attendees success in their courses and look forward to flying to New York with yourselves in June.
Anna Rhodes - Big thank you sent April 2015
Mary S - Premium Course feedback 13th April
I know you probably get lots of emails such as this but I thought I would give you an update on how far I have come in the last 13 months since doing the course at LHR last November.
I did the course because I my new job required me to travel to Germany frequently and I would be expected to fly so as to minimise travelling time. I had not flown for 13 years prior to the course and had resigned myself to a lifetime of holidays within easy reach by road and rail. My fear of flying, although completely irrational, was very intense - so bad that it would cause me to suffer from anxiety attacks before even setting off for the airport.
On the two occasions I did try and fly over those years, I never got past the check in desk before bottling it and returning home - you can imagine how deflating that felt.
Then everything changed and I signed up to the course. Setting off to the venue, I remember thinking there was a 99% probability I would not board the plane at the end of the theory sessions. By lunchtime I was 50/50 and by the time we did board I knew I was going to get on (and stay on) the plane. I did suffer during the flight in terms of being highly anxious but Keith Stroll was very supportive and towards the end of the flight I had calmed down and, dare I say it, was actually enjoying the view out of the window! I was on a complete high when I got off the plane and it is a feeling that will stay with me forever.
Since that day, I have honestly lost count of how many times I have flown in the last year. The first few flights were uncomfortable for me, but the feelings of dread and anxiety have slowly but surely subsided after each flight - I even found myself comforting an anxious flyer recently! I would have laughed if someone had told me I would do that 2 years ago!
I would never be arrogant and say "flying doesn't bother me at all now", but to be able to sleep the night before, go through security and read a book whilst the plane is taking off without having anxiety is a lovely feeling. I have also learnt overt time that gripping the armrests as tightly as possible is not required in order for the aircraft to stay in the air!
Yesterday I flew home from Dusseldorf to London City and it was by far my most challenging flight - the journey home was normal until we started our approach into London City. You could feel that the conditions were fairly windy, and for a small aircraft like the Embraer perhaps more noticeable than for a larger aircraft. Then, as we approached City from the East, at around 1500 feet, the pilots initiated a 'go-around'. The weird thing was that it didn't fill me with the terror I though something like that would have done. I would go as far to say I was calmer than some of the other passengers around me, some of who looked quite distressed.
We did a second approach and this time landed (to a round of applause in the cabin). I imagine that some people went straight to the bar when they cleared customs looking at their faces. For me it has not put me off though, it's another experience to fall back on should it ever happen again - that it is safe and that the crew are trained for it.
So - what a difference a year makes. I wanted to share this with you because I would never had done it without doing the course last year.
I wish your team all the very best for 2015 and hope you all have a fabulous Christmas.
Jon Guaschi - 1 year on!
Just over two years ago, I attended the Flying with Confidence Course at Glasgow Airport. At that time, it was a handful of days away from twenty years since I had flown. As I sit here, now, at Terminal 5, Heathrow Airport, I am about to step onto what will be flight number 52 since that course, just over two years ago.
What it has done for me, is hard to put into words. However, I will try.
As a family, we have had two wonderful summer holidays. With my wife, I have been able to surprise her with two European city breaks for her birthdays. I have been on a few overseas trips with my bestest friends of 30 years+, and many more little jaunts. It has also rekindled, bizarrely, a long lost hobby of aircraft spotting. So much so, in fact, that my ten year old daughter is now so into aircraft, she is 100% determined that she will become an airline pilot. Her last two birthday presents have been a weekend at Heathrow, and one at Sciphol. Both of which, I was there for! "LHR to LAX, on the A380, will be my favourite route", she says.
Whilst everything I've already mentioned has enriched my life, so much, there is one more aspect which has been so fulfilling and rewarding. I live in Newcastle, and my HQ is in Twickenham. For years, I had battled getting home. Train, tube, tube, train, taxi, took me endless hours to get home. Rarely did I get home much before 11pm. By that time, all were in bed. But, since I've been able to fly home, I have benefitted from so much more. I can sit here now and distinctly remember the additional, interactive evenings I've had with the family. The times around the dinner table I was able to make. Picking the kids up from clubs and school when, normally, I would still be hundreds of miles away. Those extra evenings are priceless; my wife, I, and the kids, will always remember them.
To those who think they can never do it, I would say this. I was THE most petrified of flyers, and I had resigned myself to the fact that I would never fly again. If a colleague at work hadn't pushed in front of me a flier about the course, perhaps my life would've remained less enriched, and I would not have experienced all of the above. Even driving past an airport used to cause cause me great anxiety.
To conclude. If I can do it, anyone can do it. To those still remaining sceptical, go for it! I can tell you, hand on heart, it will change and enhance yours and your family's life, forever.
All the best to you and all who run the courses, and the many, like me, you will cure.
Have a great Christmas. I'll be home in about 90 minutes; just in time to pick up my kids from school, on their last day of term.
Matthew Bryan - Flying with Confidence Graduate...
Dear Flying with Confidence Team,Thank you so much! Having never flown before because of fear of flying, I went on the Gatwick workshop in August. The workshop was absolutely brilliant, great concept combining the technical and psychological aspects and also to actually finish the day with a real flight. It helped me a lot and I ended up really enjoying the flight and taking pictures of the amazing view of the clouds. The in-flight commentary was most helpful and also taking the flight together with all the workshop participants was a great experience that made it easy to make the last step.Now, I have just come back from holiday. I took flights from Manchester to Lisbon and back all on my own and with a lot of confidence. I was still a bit nervous but everything went very well and even a little bit of a shaky landing on the way back didn't shake me all that much :)Again, I cannot thank you enough, it's such a revelation and positive change for my life.All the best,Susanne
|Thank you to all the organisers of this course which I took today
Was a very nervous day but well worth it
Loved the flight !!!
Start of holidays abroad :)
Some recent feedback from our Heathrow course in June 2014:
"Being 70 and having never flown (a lifetime fear) I decided this fear of flying course was the only way to get me in the air. I found the whole package absolutely brilliant, and to actually finish with a flight full of like minded people really boosted my confidence. I would recommend this course to anyone with a similar problem, and I would now be happy to get on a plane and fly anywhere. Many thanks"
"The commentary (on the flight) gave me something to focus on and put me at ease. I was surprised not to feel nervous at all in the air. I also walked around the cabin freely which I would never normally do and this was my first flight solo and I actually enjoyed it and could easily have stayed on longer. You are miracle workers! Thank you so much." Kim Hemmings
And another interesting comment from the same course...
"Looked out of the window the whole journey - never done that before. Thank you - so glad I did it will recommend."
Ray Pollock - Heathrow Coursse feedback 28 June 2014
Corinna Hobbs - Heathrow 17 May
"In future I will be far more relaxed on take off as that was my main concern. Understanding the noises in the plane and how the wing flaps work was very useful to know. The pilots and crew were extremely helpful and professional. Thank you very much."
Susan Young - LHR Course 17 May
Dominic Castello - LHR course 1 Feb 2014
The flight to St Lucia was very good! I felt very confident from the outset, and had been actually looking forward to it!. Our Captain told us that it would probably be quite bumpy for the first hour as weather bad. Normally this would have sent me in to a"mild panic", but I calmly started breathing, and switched on your "clip" on the My Journey" thingy, and more than anything remembered your confident voice saying "leave it to the experts" and "turbulence is uncomfortable but never dangerous". It worked.! So I am thrilled, and what's more Hugh is REALLY thrilled.
I met someone else at a lunch party last Sunday, who wants me to email her as soon as we are back. After a bumpy flight in to Bristol at Christmas, she has sworn never to fly again. Such a pity, as here we are in lovely St Lucia. And now seriously thinking of Australia and NZ next year (in hops, rather than one Long flight!)
Nony Buchanan - Premium Course
HAYLEY STEPHENS - JANUARY 2014 - 5 YEARS ON
I would never have believed that I could be writing this whilst staying in Wellington New Zealand, where our daughter moved to 11 years ago. Until the 'Flying with confidence' course on 14 September at Gatwick, I had not flown for about 30 years following a difficult (for me) flight back from Guernsey to Southampton. I had felt so unwell.
I can now proudly say that I have managed 2 long flights - Heathrow to Hong Kong and then to Auckland, and then one short one arriving in windy Wellington with strong cross winds and a short runway. If the pilot missed we would be in the harbour!
The course was invaluable as I understood exactly what the planes were doing, understood the turbulence, and did my breathing exercises if needed. Also helped by a trip to the GP who offered Valium or anti-sickness tablets. I didn't need Valium if I was 'flying with confidence' but the strong anti-sickness medication was well worth having. Turbulence - bring it on!
Thank you so much for the most valuable course I have ever undertaken - well worth every pound. We have several more flights scheduled whilst in NZ including a short bumpy one in an 8 seater to Stewart Island right at the southern tip of South Island. I'm working on the basis that if I can get half way round the world, 30 mins on that trip will be a doddle!
Thank you again - I cannot manage to post anything on Facebook but wanted you to receive positive feedback.
Jackie Last - Wellington, New Zealand
Katy Samuels - Saturday 9 November 2013
Ronald Rengifo Pezo - Heathrow Course 9th November 2014
I would like to say an extremely big "Thank-you" to the British airways staff at the Flying with Confidence course I attended at Gatwick airport on September 14th this year. They were superb. So patient and understanding and very willing to listen and help with all questions. Their explanations of how a plane functions, pilot and cabin staff training were extremely helpful. Patricia Furness-Smith's afternoon session was revelatory and calming it was so interesting to hear why people react to flying badly and why. Learning to breathe to prevent a panic attack has been life-changing for me!
I had only flown four times in over 20 years prior to the course and each time had to take Valium to help me through the ordeal. Prior to that i had flown to New York and Europe with no problems. On the day of the course I started as I meant to go on, by using the lift at Gatwick Airport station (I have additional fears of lifts as well as underground trains). As the afternoon flight drew closer I got extremely nervous and on take off I had so much adrenaline in my body I sort of froze and couldn't move or speak properly. However a stewardess was extremely calming and held my hand for while until it passed and then I never looked back! I remained a bit nervous but it was fine and I talked to other passengers which helped re-focus me into a calm state. After the flight I felt almost euphoric.
As suggested by BA I took my courage in both hands and I booked a return flight the following Saturday to Glasgow with my husband. Even as I was booking online, my heart was pounding and I felt nervous and I immediately regretted making the booking. Next week the flight out to Glasgow was nerve-wracking. I realised the take-off is the worst bit for me, it's very, very scary! However I didn't freeze up as I had the week before and I breathed for England and it was all OK and I even enjoyed the delicious breakfast a bit later. I had told the cabin staff that I had done the course and was very nervous and they were just lovely and kind and so helpful. The flight back in the evening was such a contrast, I almost felt normal.
The next day was Sunday and I decided that I was going to use the London Underground again. I haven't been on it for 18 years. I decided to start small with one stop and back from Victoria to Sloane Square. As I stepped off the train at Sloane Square I burst into tears, it was that emotional!
Since then I have been focussing on using the District line every week and building up the number of stations I use each time. I now know that i will not have a panic attack as I just need to do the correct breathing - this knowledge is life-changing.
I flew to Munich and back last weekend to visit my daughter. This was the first time I had flown on my own and without Valium for over 20 years. I was extremely nervous at Heathrow airport and told the staff that I had attended the course and was very scared. On the flight Steve and Lucy, two of the cabin staff, were amazingly helpful and SO kind to me. They deserve medals! Without their help I would have become very upset indeed. Instead (after take-off) I actually began to enjoy the flight and was transformed. Whilst in Munich I used the U-Bahn network which I would never have done if I hadn't done the course. Amazing.The flight back from Munich a few days later was much better for me despite it being the Monday of the St Jude storm and flights having been disrupted and this making me feel extremely uneasy. With the kindness of the cabin staff I was able to overcome my reservations and feel calm and secure.
To end this rather long email I would like to say how wonderful the British Airways staff were on my recent flights and how grateful I am to them for all their help and patience. They are a real credit to the company. It is due to going on the Flying with Confidence course that i am now able to fly, use most lifts and parts of the London Underground. This has transformed my life.
Kind regards and many, many thanks
Tania - Gatwick Course September 2013
Please Please would you say a very big thank you to everyone connected with the course yesterday. I am 55 years old and flew for the very first time yesterday, amazing ,I am so proud to say I have flown !!! Even the thoughts of booking the course made my stomach churn so yesterday was going to be an enormous challenge . Everyone was fantastic and I can honestly say I enjoyed the whole course. The info from the pilots was excellent and answered a lot of my fears and with Patricia's session on the afternoon I was so relaxed on the flight I could not believe it.. Everyone on the flight was so caring and constantly making sure we were all ok..
My daughter is now planning a mini break for us and I can honestly say I cannot wait to fly again although I know I will probably still be a little bit nervous, I won't be terrified at the mere thought of flying ..This course has now made me want to do something I never thought I would be able to do Thank you so so much
Kathryn Reid - Glasgow Course 28 Sept 2013
Daniel Wetmore - LGW course 14 Sept 2013
Firstly a very big thank you to everyone involved in the Flying with Confidence Course that took place at Gatwick/Sofitel on Saturday just gone.
My daughter attended and I came along to join her on the flight and I was so impressed by how smoothly everything went and how incredibly helpful everyone was who I spoke to and took the time to speak to my daughter and also myself. I spoke at length to Maggie (I’m sorry I don’t recall her surname) and she was so helpful and reassuring and my daughter finally realised that she’s not alone in her fears linked to flying.
My daughter still has a way to go to completely conquer her psychological problems linked to flying and travel but the Course has helped her immensely and the fact that she spent 45 minutes on a plane ride, walked around and even ate some crisps without being sick is a huge step! She spent a long time talking to others and discussing their various fears and I know this too helped her a great deal – especially as there were so many people not that much older than her!
I will certainly recommend your course to anyone I come across who has a flying fear/phobia, it was an incredible day.
Huge thanks again to all concerned and congratulations on running such a fantastic course.
- Gatwick Course 14th September 2013
Louise - Gatwick Course 14 Sep 2013
Hi,can I just say a big thank you to all involved in your course especially the cabin crew lady Kathryn adams if it wasn't for her I would never of stepped on that plane!!! also want to thank steve im totally recommending you fantastic course to anyone who will listen and im so over my fear of flying in fact so over it ive been applying to various airlines (including BA) to be cabin crew!so a massive thank you to all involved!!!Cheryl Leanaghan
Cheryl Leanaghan - Heathrow 6th July 2013
Sue Arr Woodward - Thanks
Campbell Lang - Teenage Course 11th May 2013
Hi Everyone,I wanted to send a note to all of you to thank you for the great energy and kindness you all brought to this experience. I felt so lucky to have been able to attend this program, and to go through it with such a great group of intelligent, brave and interesting people. The support of the whole group was so important in making it such a wonderful experience for me, and I hope you all felt the same. I am also grateful that it was a small group so we could all ask anything and everything and get tons of support from the AWESOME BA team.I hope everyone has some exciting plans for future adventures. I haven't planned my next flight yet, but my husband and I have been kicking around different ideas. I never thought I'd do that.I hope all of you feel proud - You should! All the best and please keep in touch.Suzanne
Suzanne Lorio - BA Flying with Confidence Course New York May 2013
Life changing day for me too. Can't recommend this course enough I had a severe phobia of airplanes that even made me feel ill seeing them fly overhead. Not only don't I mind seeing them now I'm even looking forward to flying somewhere something that I really didn't think was possible for me. A big thank you to all the staff and particularly Jane one of the cabin crew that day, I would love to get a message to her x
Nicole Williams - Heathrow May 2013
Great day! First time in about 16 years I've flown without drink and diazepam! Have a flight in four weeks and although I feel a bit panicky I can explain to myself why! I'm hoping I can carry this onto my flight.
Hayley Frapwell Bowden - Heathrow Course May 2013
Dear Steve, Patricia and the teamJust wanted to say a big thank you following Saturday’s course in Edinburgh.I learned so much on the day and have taken a great deal away.I am no longer dreading my upcoming flights and feel far more positive about flying in general.I could go on and on but just really wanted to express my gratitude for such a positive and well thought-out day.It was lovely to meet you all and I appreciated the constant moral support.With best wishesVictoria
Victoria Mitchell - Edinburgh March 2013
Since attending the "fly with confidence" course i truly believe i have overcome my fear of flying
Prior to attending the course i had become increasingly anxious & nervous with each flight, as a frequent flyer clearly this was not a good thing
I 1st found out about your course whilst reading the BA in flight magazine on a flight back from las vegas in January 2012 and attended the next available date
I have since flown countless times on long haul (Beijing, phuket) and many short haul trips including 2 round trips on small twin prop aircrafts and i SURVIVED!
I cannot recommend this course strongly enough
First of all a huge thank you to all of your staff for an absolutely brilliant course yesterday. I hadn’t flown for 28 years following a bad flight and, after yesterday, am now looking forward to flying on holiday in 3 weeks time.
MAUREEN BAKER - GATWICK COURSE 16TH MARCH 2013
I attended your fear of flying course on Saturday 16th andI would just like to say what a wonderful experience it was. I am 63 and have never even been on an aircraft in my life i am claustrophobic and have a fear of heights!! so it was now or never.Your team of pilots, cabin crew and Patricia were fantastic. If not for them i would never have got on a plane. The way it was all explained and Patricia's help were second to none. I am planning a trip to Spain and would never fly with anyone but B A. From the bottom of my heart a big thank you to you all.Kindest RegardsLena
LENA ROLLINS - GATWICK COURSE 16TH MARCH 2013
Can I just say what a brilliant course yesterday at Gatwick was (16th March)After Virtually crying all the way to Gatwick thinking what have I done........I was just so pleased I did it I feel so good and am going to book a flight shortly all the people were just brilliant it made the day go quickly and Patricias voice was so calming and I loved the humour everyone put into itIf Anyone is ever thinking about doing this I would say just do it .I had a real fear but somehow understanding and just being talked through various things was just brillaint I am on such a highThanksLorraine
LORRAINE GAMBLING - GATWICK COURSE MARCH 2013
I wanted to send you a quick message to say how thankful I was to find you and your on board film clip on a very bumpy flight to Washington a few months ago. I did the course a couple of years ago and have been flying all over the world ever since. However, there are moments when you hit bad turbulence when all those silly fears come back. Thank goodness I found you on the in flight entertainment system, otherwise I would have been back to square one. I’ve been on other flights very recently where the turbulence was so bad cabin crew service had to be shut down, nonetheless, all the techniques learned on the course came flooding back to me and we soon passed through it. What you’re doing for us fear of flying people is wonderful, and finding that clip was a godsend. Please ensure that BA don’t ever take it off the system!! Thanks!
Tamsyn Keen - Flying with Confidence Video on BA Flights
Dear Captain Steve Allright and the rest of the team at flying with confidence,
I completed the Heathrow course back in May last year and wanted to drop you a line to let you know of the progress I have made, or rather over 35 thousand miles now travelled as a result of your excellent course! I returned to the UK on Christmas Eve after completing a four month around the world trip to India, Hong Kong, Borneo, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the USA - taking a total of 21 flights, including the mammoth 13 hours from Sydney to LA!The breathing exercises taught on the course have helped me enormously and the knowledge gained in terms of what all the noises means has also helped to make the whole thing much less scary, and has also meant that my frequent flyer husband gets to enjoy his flight a lot more without me having to squeeze his hand so tightly! Whilst I haven't yet reached the stage of 'loving' flying, I can now look out of the window during takeoff (impossible before the course as my eyes were always firmly shut) , visit the toilet and have even fallen asleep on a number of the flights including London-Delhi, Hong Kong - Melbourne and Sydney to LA! 747-400's are now my favourite plane and I seem to have become a bit of a plane spotter as a result!During some of our 21 flights I still became a little anxious when actually up in the air, which I am now working on - but I found that reading the 'golden rules for taking the fear out of flying' which we were given during the course really helped. These rules became known on our trip as 'Tony Brown's Tips', after he looked after me on the course flight.So I just wanted to say a big 'thank you' for all the techniques and information given on the course as it as helped me to really enjoy the absolute trip of a lifetime rather than worrying about which was the next flight we had to take. Also if it is possible to pass on thanks to the cabin crew team on BA flight 112 which left New York on the 23rd Dec to take us on the last leg home, as they really looked after me when they knew I was a nervous flyer and had completed the course - we even got upgraded to first class, which was the most amazing end to our trip!Next week I am starting a new job and will be taking my first flight on my own, so I am excited to be able to continue flying and making progress.Thank you againSusannah McClymont
Susannah McClymont - Around the World Trip Completed...
I attended your Flying with Confidence course at Heathrow yesterday and just wanted to email my thanks.
I wasn't expecting a miracle cure – I'm not sure what I was expecting, really – but I travelled to Heathrow with barely any commitment that I would get on the plane. During the day, I experienced internal turbulence, one moment convinced I'd go home after the seminar, the next steeling myself to go through with it.
In the end, I got on, I felt calmer than I've felt in an airport for 10 years (even dropping off or picking up friends or family causes dark thoughts normally) and I did it.
I'll fill out the feedback forms and send them because I could go on and on about the things I learned yesterday. Suffice to say, I feel better equipped to control my own fears and thoughts and more able to take a trip to New York with my partner and her family in 10 days. Before yesterday, I was concocting a get out and preparing to write off £1,000. Now, I am determined to put into practice what I learned and take it step by step.
Anyway, Steve and the other excellent staff suggested I drop you a line and mention to BA which flights I'll be on in the near future because the crew would prefer to know they've got a wobbler in seat 20A or whatever! For some reason it feels reassuring to be able to tell the staff that I don't like flying.
For the first time I won't feel foolish saying to a crew member: "I'm nervous about flying." That alone is a relief but until yesterday it had never occurred to me to even say that.
Thanks for the course. I'm determined to try to make it work for me.
Follow up email 29th November 2012
Just to let you know, I got on my flight to New York, and came back again.
The journey to Heathrow was a bit stressful but I fell back on the techniques and thought-processes and felt strangely calm in the airport and on the plane. I can't say there weren't anxious moments but as Dr Keith said, the trick is to recognise it and deal with it rather than think you can ignore it. The staff on board were very kind and understanding.
On the way back, I felt much less anxious in the build-up to the flight. I wasn't 'cured' but I had everything in far better perspective and the thought of booking another flight to go somewhere doesn't fill me with dread the way it did.
Thanks again for the course. It's really has helped me enormously.
- Heathrow Course 10th November 2012
Just a brief email to thank you for the Heathrow course on Sat.10th November. I really enjoyed it and the flight was much better than I thought it would be. The technical information helped the most and your commentary really worked for me-Hard to worry about the noises and sensations when I know what they are from.
Had a very odd experience the following day, back on M25 in heavy traffic and looked up and saw a plane and thought "I wish I was up there it would be safer than down here" and I never expected to hear that thought pop into my head!
- 10th November 2012
Dear Captains Peter Hughes and Steve Allright,
Eight years ago when flying to Germany for my aunt's funeral I developed a phobia and couldn't fly anymore even though I had flown to many different countries before.
My family recommended that I go on a course to get rid of this dreadful fear but I declined as I was worried that I would only waste my money and still not fly afterwards.
This year I finally had enough of this limitation and decided to take part in the Fly with confidence course on 15th September 2012 at Heathrow airport. It was a very good day and coming back from the short flight at the end my family greeted me with a huge bouquet of flowers.
This is just to let you know that since then I have flown (on my own!) to Germany and back and it was so much easier than I had expected.Yes, I was still a little nervous waiting to get on the plane but as soon as I was in my seat I was fine, actually enjoying the take off , chatting to people next to me, eating, reading and relaxing, all things I could never have done before. Thankfully we hardly had any turbulence but I am confident that I will now also be able to handle this.
So thank you very much for opening the world up to me again!
WOW! Went on your course in Glasgow on 29 September 12 and thoroughly enjoyed it. Captain Steve said so many things that could just have been me! The "bing bong" that I thought was secret code for the air stewards to get ready for disaster... it was so informative and done with a touch of humour...fab!
In the afternoon one of the team said that Patricia would have us so relaxed that we'd be sleeping! "Aye, right! " I thought. I've been to yoga and never been able to get in that state so Patricia would have no chance. How wrong can you be?! I was just about asleep... I couldn't believe it!
However, I decided not to comment until I'd been on my first flight after the initial euphoria of the day had worn off. Two weeks later I flew to Rome to go on a cruise and back again a week later.
All the confidence came right back. "Right engine on...left engine on...Noisy is good!" Fantastic! I didn't take any pills and was completely relaxed about the whole experience.Even turbulence over the Alps was absolutely fine.I couldn't wait for the seat belt sign to go off. Not, as previously, thinking this was a signal that the plane was not going to have engine failure for at least the next short while, but so I could go down and tell my sister that I really was fine! I was actually quite looking forward to the flight home!
I've travelled thousands of miles. America, Australia....and people couldn't understand that I could do that and still be frightened, but I was. I laterally took pills to get through the whole experience. But not any more! I took pills with me just in case but I didn't need them Thanks to your fabulous staff on your course!
My husband had always tried to talk me through things..."that's just the landing gear" etc but it had little effect. But your team have done the trick and now I feel "cured". My son feels the same way as I did and I will definitely treat him to your course so he doesn't have the years of self inflicted misery of flying that I had.
What a fabulous, life changing experience. I hope the other people that were on the course with me that day have found it as successful as I have. Thank you !
Lynn Chambers - WOW! Glasgow Course September 2012
I am going away on holiday (Monday 26th August). I do feel just a little nervous but I know I will be just fine. My family cannot belive that this course has helped me. Thank you to everyone who put this course together - worth every single penny.
Mandy Bonthrone - Heathrow course May 2012
I cannot say enough about the course. 22 years of not flying and now I feel the fear has gone. I am excited and really "enjoyed" the flight. Can't wait to fly again and feel I can now go and see the world. The day was such fun and I met some lovely people - staff and participants. Well worth the money. I felt the content was just right - especially the funny side, I will not forget this for a long time and will transfer skills learned to other situations.
A special thank you to Jane, an air stewardess, who was so kind, supportive, natural and down to earth.
Please use my comments if they are useful.
Julie Appleton - Gatwick 30th June 2012
I can only agree with all the positive feedback illustrated in your testimonials.
I have refused to fly for nearly 20 years because of my extreme fear of flying. I had tried medication and hypnotherapy but to no avail.
I attended your course at Gatwick on June 30th and found the whole day to be informative, interesting and empowering. All staff involved were genuinely caring and really wanted to see us all succeed. Although even up to the point of reaching the departure lounge I was in two minds, the techniques introduced to us were a great help. The flight was awesome, enhanced by the detailed commentary given by the pilot. I was actually disappointed when we had to turn around and go back. I had to take photos with my camera to prove that I had taken the flight because my family would not believe it.
Two months ago, I would go pale and sweaty just seeing the inside of a plane on television. In two weeks time, I will be flying to Fuerta Ventura for my first holiday abroad in nearly 20 years. It will also be the first time my children have flown. But not to worry, I can explain every noise and movement to them if they get worried.
I would recommend this course to anyone. IT WORKS. My fear of flying was overpowering and life limiting. This course has been life changing for me and my family. We are already looking for a another little winter holiday abroad. There is no stopping us now.
Thank you all very much.
P.S. Thanks again for the day. It has really changed my life. And as we say in Wales, the world is my cockle now.
Gatwick Course, June 30th 2012
Vince B - The World is my Cockle!
You may not remember me but we spoke on the phone when I only wanted to do the flight part of your course. Eventually you persuaded me to do the full course which I did in May this year at Heathrow (I think it was May). The course was excellent, very friendly and professionally run with a fantastic venue. Well after 18 years of not having flown (with the exception of the course flight), I am writing to thank you and your team from a beach in puerto Pollensa Mallorca. Although I was a little nervous, the course has given me new confidence that will enable my wife and I to visit the places we have always wanted to go to but thought we never would. (my wife loves to fly)
Hi to you all at BA - fly with confidence unit,
I just want to put on record my thanks to you all for a most illuminating day, despite my worst fears I returned home to tell the tale.
I really was unsure that I would !!
I will have no qualms whatever in promoting your team to any others with fears like mine, despite all of my demons for more years than I care to remember, the way that fears were handled was first class.
I know there were failures which is a shame & others that looked as if they might be, I am most happy that I personally lasted the distance and earnestly hope that when I do decide to fly next that I can bring all of the memories & information gained into use.
My thanks & best wishes to you all,
Mike Chapple - Gatwick Course 30th June 2012
I attended your course at Heathrow 26th May 2012
I had flown before but over the years had become more and more terrified. I had a panic attack on a return flight and was certain I would never fly again. I was so terrified that I couldn’t speak about or watch videos of aircraft without getting the sweats and shaking. I kept putting off the course and making excuses until my partner decided that enough is enough…I’m going to sort out this irrational fear!!
On the day I soaked up all the information given to me about the mechanics of the aircraft, which is so safe, and it was my irrational fear telling me otherwise. My personal fear was being claustrophobic and having no control. I listened to Dr Keith Stoll who explained why we panic, get anxiety and ways to help overcome this. During takeoff I felt panic coming on, but using the techniques given to us and with the help of your air stewardess I overcame this. I believe Angela was her name; she was brilliant, calmed me down and was with me every step of the way. I would really appreciate it if you could pass on my special thanks to her and let her know that I did fly to Cyprus, 4 flights in total, and had it not been for her helping me on the plane and through-out this wouldn’t have been possible.
Dr Keith Stoll spoke to me during the flight which was really helped and Captain Steve Allrights daughter kept looking back to see if I was ok as she noticed I was anxious at the doors of the aircraft.
I have never seen so many people standing up on an aircraft smiling and chatting than on that flight. It amazed me how everyone’s attitudes had change since the morning. When we landed back at Heathrow and I was so overwhelmed that I had done this that I had tears in my eyes!!
I would like to say thank you to everybody at Flying with Confidence because I believe you have truly changed my life.
I have recommended your course to a lot of friends and family and urge anyone who is in two minds to do it as it is a life changing experience
thank you all so much
Mike Williams - Heathrow 26th May 2012
I'd like to thank the team for an excellent day. For me the morning session was the most valuable and reassuring. All of your speakers were extremely informative and I learnt so much on the day. The flight was great, and I was so relaxed I wanted it to last even longer! I plan to remember how I felt on the flight and keep it with me when I fly to the US in the summer.
Thanks again for a great day.
Suzie Horne - Heathrow Flying with Confidence on 26th May 2012.
I attended your course at Heathrow on Saturday which was amazing!
Also I would like to say a huge huge huge thank you everyone on the day, especially Gordon who sat with me during take off and landing and let me sit at front when I was getting nervous. There was also one of the cabin crew who came and got me after I got off of the flight and calmed me down so I got back on. I am so glad I did because the flight was amazing and unlike any flight I have ever been on and I guess, unlike any flight I will go on in the future. I never thought I would say this at the start of the day but I really wish I could take that flight again!
I thank you all so much!
Danielle Garvey - Heathrow Course 26th May 2012
I woke up this morning and realised that I haven't worried once about having to fly from Heathrow to Toronto on Thursday (with BA of course). Normally with five days to go I would be a nervous wreck but thanks to the course I attended at Gatwick I haven't worried once!
Thank you again for providing such a great service, I'd recommend it to anyone.
Katie Tulloch (21st May 2012)
Hi, I would just like to double my thanks to Cpn Gordon Black and Patricia Furness Smith from the Aviatours 16/10/2010.
I now have done 2 return trips to both ATL and Geneva, and just about to go to the Caribbean in 2 weeks time.
Both ATL and GND will be done on the 777, in my opinion the best and safest aircraft in the world, and I fly Business, so get treated like a Royal. The Geneva one was done on a 767 on the way out and a A319 on the way back, and to my surprise, on the A319 I started to get claustrophobia, but just did what Mrs Smith said for 2 minutes and have now flown on the A319 with ease on both BA and Easyjet.
Many Thanks again.
There is a world out there and I aim to see all of it.
I hope at some point I will see Cpn Black just to say thanks.
Dylan Wyatt - Received 10th April 2012
"A huge thank you to all, the course has by far exceeded my expectations, I have come away with so much knowledge about flying that I am now teaching friends and family! On a serious note though, the course has and will truly change my life, not only as a flyer but as a person in general. I particularly enjoyed the wise words from Dr Keith Stoll, they were both reassuring and inspiring!"
Scott Cridland Smith
I chose the Flying With confidence Course at the end of last year after having turbulent flights coming back from Philadelphia seeing family. Since these flights I have become more anxious about turbulence on business trips I now go on.
There were many British Airways staff available to talk to on this day so I can mention only a few names but to those I didn’t get the chance to speak to thank you for your time, support and professionalism on Saturday.
I felt a little anxious on the day and arriving at the hotel I had warm welcome by Tony Brown who directed me to the coffee area. It was great to talk to different passengers about experiences and fears of flying.
I know some people are not confident flyers and looking around when I am on a business flight everyone looks calm and collected. You cannot see they may also nervous.
The hotel facilities were exceptional and Steve Allright kept the level of discussion about different subjects at a good level with lots of humour which I think really helps people relax. The other presenters also did a great job with good explanation to questions. Keith Stoll’s talk was also at a good level about anxiety and made me and hopefully others feel more comfortable with the flying experience.
When we left the hotel to walk over to terminal 5 I know at this point this was a big step for most of the passengers on the day. I felt quite relaxed but was impressed to see one of the Captains walk all the way to the plane with a very nervous passenger constantly comforting and supporting which was great to see. The organisation by the team was excellent.
On the plane It was good to hear Steve keeping the humour up and by talking through the noises during the take off and cruising I now know more what is going on.
On all flights I have ever been on you may see 1 or 2 passengers in the aisle but to see half the plane standing and chatting it was something I had never seen before. Brilliant !
I also had the chance to sit in the pilot seat and knew I would probably not get the chance again photo attached. Thank you for talking the photo.
It was a pleasure to meet Carol who worked on Concorde. My late friend Dave was a Flight Engineer on Concorde before she stopped flying. It was good to talk to Carol about her experiences and about her celebrity passengers.
Thank you again for all of your efforts and this has made me more relaxed and comfortable when thinking about and flying itself.
Thank you again for all your hard work and providing this course.
Shaun Keeling - London Heathrow 11th February 2012
Dear Peter and team,
I attended your course yesterday 11th February 2012, I would like to thank all of you for your wonderful patience, endless good humour and attentiveness especially during the flight. I know that I was particularly distressed on the flight but I now understand why this was. The fact that I had made the flight on my own for the first time in 20 years was actually a major achievement for me and I now know the reason for my fear was to do with flying without my husband and not the flight. The explanation of why people may have fears about flying given by Keith has made me realise the last two flights I made alone were to return back to the UK from abroad for my parents funerals. I believe this was the problem and after I had calmed down realised that I could actually, with practise come to enjoy flying so much so that I am looking forward to testing my theory on Monday night with a flight with BA to Australia. The all too familiar feeling in the pit of my stomach seems to have disappeared. So I’ll be doing all my breathing exercises and moving around the plane and I owe it all to your team. I will update you all upon my return in a months time.
With my sincere thanks to you all
I just wanted to drop you and your team a little note to say a great thanks for the course on Saturday.
As you may remember, I attended this course 11yrs ago and that was the last time I flew!
I was in a different frame of mind this time round and listened carefully to all the fantastic presentations and advice throughout the day.
This allowed me to go into the flight very relaxed and (dare I say it!) I actually enjoyed it!
My wife and I are hoping to book a flight to Nice very soon (I normally Eurostar it and meet her there!) but hopefully this time we can both travel together on the plane!!
Thanks again to you and your fabulous team!
Stuart Channon - Heathrow 11th February 2012
I firstly must apologise for not writing sooner.
I would like to pass on my huge gratitude to all involved with the
fear of flying courses. I took part in one at Heathrow, I believe it
was November 2010, or Feb 2011, sorry I cannot remember when. However,
I have gone from a shaking wreck who would fly with a blanket over my
head, gripping on for dear life crying, I would avoid flying given
half a chance. To someone who loves to fly. I had to do the course
as we relocated to the USA and the only way to see my family was to
get on a plane. I had imagined arriving in the USA and being stuck here as I could just
about cope with the flight over, but not back again!! Since taking park I have flown across
the Atlantic 4 times in a year, even on my own with the kids, and
amazingly, I can read, sleep and even enjoy the meal. I am also going
to fly across America to Seattle on my own shortly, and again i am looking forward to it.
Just incredible that I now, and I am not exaggerating, love to fly and
look forward to it. My son is a little nervous, but the fact that I
am able to explain all the bumps, noises etc helps him a great deal.
I have even managed to help calm a nervous flyer who sat next to me on
a recent short flight.
So thank you all, it has changed my life. I just hope that many more
people who were like me have the courage to take the course, it is so worth it.
Please pass on my huge gratitude to all.
I have just been on my first flight since doing your Flying with Confidence course & i didn't cry !, i even quite enjoyed it. I'm amazed at how different i felt having learnt to have trust in the Plane & Pilot. A very big thank you to you all.
I took the BA Fly With Confidence course in September and have just returned from a weekend away in Portugal. To my amazement I found myself relaxed for the duration of the flight. Knowing more about how things worked was a great comfort and having techniques to cope with the odd wobble meant that the flight passed without incident. I am so grateful to the team on the course for making this possible. I enjoyed reading the interview with Captain Allright that was in this month's in flight magazine and his enthusiasm on the course was fantastic. The friendliness of the stewardesses and their obvious love of their job was inspiring. Thank-you so much for making it possible for me to fly at ease. Only 3 weeks now until I go to Australia - a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that just a few weeks ago I was strongly considering cancelling because of my fear.
Catriona - Gatwick Course in September 2011
Please could you pass on my huge thanks to Captain Steve Allright and his fantastic team. Yesterday (Saturday 10th September 2011) I was at Gatwick dealing with my long time fear of flying. I had given myself permission 7 years ago not to fly. I had enough of putting myself through the stress and distress of flying. Even looking at a holiday brochure would give me palpitations, I would feel sick approaching the departure lounge and as for being on the flight !!! even my family did not want to sit with me. Come to think of it, I did not want to sit with me.
But yesterday, oh what joy and bliss. Captain Allrights presentations just made sense, his comments that a plane is just so happy in the air made me feel so much more confident. The statistics were helpfull, but obviously I feel a bit worried at the moment, as I am at home and I know its not the safest place to be.
Meeting the pilots was lovely, what great people, would and did trust them with my life. And the girls, were so upbeat and informed. Watching them on the plane with other passengers who were finding it more difficult than myself, was amazing, they were so in tune with what people needed, having them there made me feel so safe, thank you girls.
And as for Patricia, what a star. Her virtual tour of the airport will be replayed in my mind for a very long time. Can't tell you how relaxed I felt walking through the airport.
Great team, great day, thank you, thank you
Hello to you all,
I have already called and have spoken with Celestine about my experiences on your course, which I attended at Gatwick on Saturday 10 Sept 2011. I am in awe of every single one of you who helped me so much so that things have changed for good.
From the pilot Steve, whose address to the nervous audience was simply outstanding. You do not know how much of a difference you have made to my life. You made a very difficult topic enjoyable and on many occasions humorous. If you ever stop flying planes, take up stand up about flying with confidence. You will go far my friend!!
My first fear was claustrophobia, from planes to tubes to buses and lifts. In fact, anything I felt was an enclosed space that I could not get out of when and if I wanted to. Control was the second issue directly linked in with the first. I have not been on a tube or bus for so long and lifts filled me with fear and if I am being honest, I didn't ever think I would be comfortable in one, but there are always stairs.
However, the techniques we were given to understand and confront out fears and anxiety will remain with me evermore. If I ever have any doubts, then I will return to another course, just to refresh my memory.
The explanation of how a plane works, the weight, the noises, the 'imminent disaster' that we all hold dear when we hear a bing bong noise in the plane, were put into simple, no nonsense terms and I realised that this is something that makes me feel safe and secure and normal.
Patricia, the physcologist, was equally amazing and her experiences of having feelings like I have, was a tonic and she gave relaxation techniques, which I have already stamped on my memory, and have practiced and utilised on my flight last Friday and Sunday
(HOOORAY!!) when I went to Krakow, Poland for a friends wedding. I had a wonderful time and enjoyed my flights, although I was a little nervous before take off, sitting in the seat, wondering if I should panic, so I could put my new found knowledge to the test. I did use the breathing techniques, which worked like a dream and I sat back and enjoyed the time I had.
I must have bored my lovely wife to death explaining about all the noises and how to breath to control my anxiety.
My fears were coming between us and were having an adverse effect on our relationship and I was literally at my wits end. I had to do something about it and fast. I did not want to go to Poland, I was scared and I was feeling quite wretched every day, thinking about it and about how I could not travel by anything other than a car driven by me!! I wonder how many others feel this way.
Anyway, you guys have absolutely changed that. I went on two coach trips, a bus and a train in Poland. Wow!!.
I thank you ALL from the bottom of my heart for your help and understanding. As a 48 year old copper, whose supposed to be rough and tough, I can assure anyone else who feels like I did to confront your demons, enlist on the course and you WILL NOT REGRET IT.
I will always remember the course with great affection and all the staff who were there, I thank you so much.
Last Saturday (10th September) I attended your Fear of Flying course in Gatwick, and even though I really wanted it too be successful never thought I would actually get in a plane.
Well, it's unbelievable to me, but at the end of the day, I was in the air and even though I went through a rollercoaster of emotions, from being petrified to euphoria, it was brilliant. I'm still on cloud nine and it feels so good to have faced this fear that has controlled my life for so long.
I would love you to pass on my gratitude and thanks to all the team involved but a few people in particular were very special on the day. Without Lois I don't think I would have seen it through. Lois sat in between me and another girl and literally held my hand and talked me through on the way up and coming down, she was just lovely. Thanks so much Lois. x The Purser on the plane ( I'm sorry I can't remember his name) but he helped me when I was, let's say, a tad emotional and couldn't even see my way to my seat, he was very kind and funny and kept coming back to check on me. Thanks so much. Another air stewardess, who works with Lois and is blonde and very tall, was just great to me and again sat and talked to me during the day, when I became upset by something someone said about a difficult flight. She comforted me and eased my mind about flying with her experience.
Finally, Steve who talked about airplane safety and stats. Took time out to explain some things to me, and most of all make me laugh with his cheeky humour which lightened the mood. Also for sending my jacket back by post with a thoughtful note inside.
It sounds a cliche, but it really was a day I will never forget and I am so happy that I attended. I have been looking up holidays and I know now that I will be able to go on a plane and take my adopted son on his first trip abroad.
Thank you again and best of wishes to everyone involved.
Jenny Russe - Thank You
I write to send you and your wonderful colleagues some positive feedback. I took part in last Saturday’s Fear of Flying course (9 July 2011 at Heathrow) which was extremely helpful.
I thought the technical and psychological presentations were well put together and extremely informative, as well as entertaining due to the sense of humour and enthusiastic attitude of those presenting. It was lovely getting to know the Black family! I was very impressed with Dr Keith Stoll, I learned a lot from him. Having so many staff there to talk to over lunch and in the breaks was a huge help – they were all so helpful, not at all patronising, even at the most ridiculous of our fears.
I felt strongly that I wanted to forward praise for the way things were handled. Kindness, patience, understanding and professionalism were the qualities that shone through.
I for one am very pleased that I did the course – I thought it was excellent. I’ll have a chance to put my newfound coping strategies to the test with a flight to Vancouver next week and then another to Washington to see my children who are starting university there (one of my silly fears is (or rather, was) flying across the Atlantic). But no sleepless nights for me, with my notes from the course and a rubber band for my wrist at the ready, I’m looking forward to it all! So, thank you to British Airways for setting me on the right path.
I would like to thank everyone for getting me flying again. I had flown all over the world with my job up to 3 years ago, when I started having panic attacks and could not go in lifts, car washes or aeroplanes. I had started to suffer from claustrophobia for no reason at all.
In those 3 years I lost out on work in Mexico, USA and Saudi. I tried to go out to Dubai but could not board the plane. I thought I would never fly again.
But going on one of your courses has got me back flying again. I would recommend your course to anybody.
My partner and I had a brilliant day at Manchester Airport and I would like to thank you all for your hospitality on that day.
Thank you all very much.
I am just writing to say a big thank you for all that you did for me on the 15th October at Gatwick Airport to get me flying again.
Every aspect of the course was excellent, from the presentations to the general support given throughout the day. Everyone's positive attitude and understanding made me feel like a ‘normal’ person again who just disliked flying.
I have been trying to board planes for the last 8 years, and each time I got to the departure gate or beyond, I have fainted and been unable to board. My husband has had to go on holidays alone.
At the start of the course my goal was to at least get on the plane, so to actually fly was a big achievement. Although I found it difficult inhaling once I was in the sky (!) I thoroughly enjoyed it - even the landing.
Would you please pass on my thanks to Patricia Furness-Smith, (the phobia therapist) who sat next to me on take-off. I would never have done it without her. Her words of wisdom about flying and relaxation will always stay in my mind. There was also a guy from Air Traffic Control who sat next to us and was really supportive throughout the rest of the flight.
I know the next few flights will remain difficult, but I know I can do it now and will persist. Failing that I will do the course again! Or be in touch for some words of wisdom!
Once again, many thanks for opening up a world of travel.
Mrs Rachael Collins and Dr Anthony Collins
get in touch at any time on
In a couple of months I’m heading to South-East Asia to work with schoolchildren on my gap year. But before that there were some people I needed to visit above all else – Flying with Confidence. For me, they’ve literally made it all possible.