Fear of flying affects one in three Portuguese

Fear of flying affects one in three Portuguese

It’s considered to be one of the safest ways to travel but one in three Portuguese think it is “dangerous” and have “an unhealthy” fear of flying. So says a recent study conducted by the Portuguese Order of Psychologists.
Besides over 30% of those saying they think flying is dangerous, 71.2% also said they tried to avoid long journeys on planes, with many saying they took drugs or alcohol to get through flights. Some admitted to over-indulging to such an extent that they were unable to board the plane.
Analysing the answers, psychologist Cristina Albuquerque said most of people’s fears came from “misconceptions”. “People think every accident is deadly. It’s a distorted reality,” she said.
Although data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) shows that there was one accident per 2.4 million flights in 2013, Albuquerque stressed not all of them were fatal.
Accidents are in fact “so rare” that the fear in most cases isn’t fuelled by previous “bad flying experiences” but the “loss of control”, she said.
“Once we enter the airport, it’s all out of our control. We don’t know if the plane will leave in time or who’s in the cockpit and we have to submit ourselves to a number of procedures and people – this creates a lot of anxiety in some people,” she explained.
Albuquerque’s study is remarkable in that it comes in a year that many will consider the very worst for airline accidents: in March we were all gripped to our television screens as the world searched in vain for flight MH370 (still missing with 238 people on board), a few months later another Malaysia Airlines plane was blown out of the sky over the Ukraine, killing 283 people, and a week later Air Algérie crashed in Mali – again leaving no survivors.
Just a quick Google search of “aviation accidents in 2014” could well give Ms Albuquerque another reason why Portuguese and many other nationalities have “an unhealthy” fear of flying.