Is the business of flying adding to your stress?

Image of nervous and looking at phone in airport

Virgin Australia launches Nervous Flyer Program

Do you ever get that nervous feeling as you head to the airport? For some business travellers it’s a fear of missing their flight, or anxiety about the presentation they have to give or the meeting they’re due to attend - while for others it’s the thought of flying itself that puts them on edge.

For those who experience nervousness, mild anxiety can start long before they get to the airport. However the reason for the nerves can vary - from a dislike of being in an enclosed space to the fear of heights, turbulence, being motion sick or aircraft safety. Fortunately only around 6 per cent of all people have aviophobia, a very real fear that prevents them from flying.

The good news is that flying is very safe and airlines are increasingly training staff to recognise nervous flyers, while also introducing in-flight meditation videos and audio programs to smooth the mind.

Virgin Australia (VA) has just gone one step further by launching a new program to identify and support nervous flyers. After discovering that more than 10 per cent of their guests experience high levels of nervousness when travelling, VA decide to do something to help travellers enjoy flying as much as they do.

The airline has spent the past year designing a program to assist these flyers on their journey. The program provides information and tools for travellers in the lead-up to travel, reassuring interactions on the day of travel and steps to reduce unnecessary stress.

From 9 September 2019 passengers on any VA operated flight can identify themselves as a nervous traveller when their booking is made – either through their travel manager or directly online. Travel bookers can then have the special code ‘LOVE’ added to the booking to flag these travellers to the airline. A week before travelling VA will provide nervous travellers with useful and encouraging information to help alleviate common concerns. Travellers will also receive an SMS message from the airline on the day of their travel for additional reassurance.

Once on board the aircraft, the VA cabin crew will know to keep an eye out for the nervous flyers and may touch base with them before or during the flight. The traveller can also access ‘Smiling Mind’ meditations on the VA Entertainment App along with some behind the scenes videos.

So if travel nerves get the better of you, ask your Corporate Traveller travel manager to identify you for some special reassurance to make your next Virgin Australia flight as stress free as possible.

Naturally travellers need to consent to being identified as a nervous flyer and to disclosing their personal information and contact details. This program is for guests who are already flying and would benefit from some support, it is not designed for those unable to travel due to a fear of flying.