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Want To Fly But Fear

Old 8th Jun 2011, 01:04
  #1 (permalink)  
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Want To Fly But Fear


I am 50 and have never flown overseas. I live in Sydney & would really love to see London & Rome.

I have the opportunity to fly Virgin Atlantic but they only fly a340-600. Here's where my fear sets in because I know airbus have had issues eg the tragic Air France crash, the Qantas issue over Perth etc. Seems this fly by wire technology is an issue & that's what worries me about the A340.

My neaurotic condition continues. Who are the VA pilots are they as well trained as British or Qantas ? I'm a hopeless case. I know the stats re flying but still this fearful brain of mine wont get it.

Another option would be Qantas, but too many issues. I would trust the Qantas 747 in premium but the cost is too high.

I would go British but the wife doesnt like them. So VA was an alternative. I suppose the A340 is safe, except that it shares so much of the troubled A330.

Thanks all for reading.
Frightened Flyer is offline  
Old 8th Jun 2011, 16:07
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The answers you will get are very subjective so here is my view. On average I will take 50-60 flights per year, given the choice I personally will pick a flight on Airbus rather than Boeing aircraft.

Virgin have a good safety record, their aircraft are well maintained and there flight crew well trained.

Think of it this way, how many flights a year do Virgin undertake solely on the Australian route and how man issues are you aware of, the odd one you mention!

Bite the bullet get on the plane and enjoy yourself, more importantly enjoy 2 wonderful cities in London and Rome.
pwalhx is offline  
Old 8th Jun 2011, 16:48
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What pwalhx Said, Look how many flights per incident, thats on any of the above mentioned airlines.

You've got a better chance of being knocked down by a car travelling to the airport than your flight crashing..
FlyingEagle21 is offline  
Old 8th Jun 2011, 18:41
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Try the search function for other threads on this topic - there's a particularly good one started by 'fearfull flyer' called 'looking for answers please'. One really good reply from 'Sloppy Joe' is well worthwhile.

Those of us who fly for a living would not do it if we really thought that we wouldn't get home for tea and biscuits - the most dangerous thing I do at work is get into a taxi twice a day. Ultimately it's your choice - how important is that trip to Europe?

Good luck
deltahotel is offline  
Old 8th Jun 2011, 19:59
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I was 35 years in the airline business ( management not a pilot) and flew regularly without incident.I leased and sold Boeings, Airbus's and just about everything else. I introduced my daughter to the business and she flew as cabin crew for many years and would have become a commercial pilot had motherhood not come along sooner! WOULD I PUT THE LIFE OF MY OWN DAUGHTER AT RISK IF I THOUGHT FLYING WAS DANGEROUS?

My son, who has no fear in many ways, like you just hated the thought of flying even though he understood it technically, so eventually we convinced him to take a short domestic flight and then a slightly longer one within Europe.

Two years later and we have all just returned from meeting up in Barbados, a 9 hour flight, ironically on Virgin Atlantic, we had a great holiday and whilst flying will never be his favourite pastime he is so glad he took that first little step. He has flown several times now and is ready for the next one!

Industry experts can try to convince you Virgin and Airbus are great and as safe as it gets, that is just stating a simple fact, you have to build your own confidence and a small step is the best way to start.

Do it, just do it and welcome to the World.
GROUNDHOG is offline  
Old 8th Jun 2011, 20:08
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[/ I would trust the Qantas 747 in premium but the cost is too high.
Is pemium somehow safer than economy?
ZeBedie is offline  
Old 8th Jun 2011, 22:56
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Yes of course - when one of these new fangled 'planes plummets the call goes out 'First class, Business Class, Premier Economy & Children first...'. If you are in a tour group you have to wait and take your chances.
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Old 9th Jun 2011, 00:48
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I help people with a fear of flying and the subject is too complicated to be fully covered on this forum, however, the basic beliefs you have to work on adopting are:
  1. There's nothing wrong in having a fear of flying ... get rid of any "fear of the fear of flying"
  2. Sometimes, very rarely, things do go pear shaped on an aircraft ... just as sometimes, not so rarely, things go pear shaped on the highway. That's reality ... accept it.
  3. You might get anxious on a flight ... but, also understand that you will deal with it and ... you won't die from it.

If you can do this, you're half way there.
peuce is offline  
Old 9th Jun 2011, 01:44
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Thanks guys for your responses, I read them all with great interest.

Why Premium ? Well its just that the cabin doesnt have as many people and I would personally feel better.

I would have loved to try the A380 but recent events (AvHerald) concern me. My rationale is that the 747, though older is well proven and the pilots know it so well and maybe a lot of the bugs have been ironed out.

Last year I flew Syd to Melb on the way down, a very cramped 737-400, which reminded me of a bus inside. I hated that flight.

On the return, I flew to Syd with a Qantas A330-200, with a configuration of 2-4-2. My daughter and I sat in the two seats near the window. A bigger plane and much better (for me relaxed) flight. Dont know if I could stay there for 12 hours but the 90 minute flight was good.
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Old 9th Jun 2011, 05:11
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I fly the A340-600 a couple of times every year with Lufthansa. It has a light airy cabin and interestingly..downstairs toilets! Generally its quiet and comfortable.

Fly Virgin - you will be fine. To get really comfortable note that the head rest moves up and down and the 'wings' move inward so you can sleep without your head lolling off to the side and giving you neck ache.
Espada III is offline  
Old 9th Jun 2011, 06:11
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I'm a private pilot but fly long haul for business at least once a month between Europe and the US. The Virgin 340-600 is a wonderful aircraft and I much prefer it to the 747. Much more quiet, well thought out and modern and never any of that bleed air jet fuel smell you always get on 747's.

The 747 is getting a bit old and it's starting to show. You have nothing to worry about.
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Old 9th Jun 2011, 06:48
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Frightened Flyer
Take heart in the stats.
Airbus A340 - First flew in 1991, 377 built, not one fatality.
Virgin - Operating since 1984, not one fatality.

You are in good company. Many years ago, an 18 year-old American lad had a dream. In order to fulfil his dream, he had to fly to Europe, but he was petrified at the thought of getting into an aircraft. His family and friends rallied round and so he flew and realised his dream.

He won the Olympic Gold Medal for boxing (heavyweight class) at the Rome Olympics.

His name was Cassius Clay.
Neptunus Rex is offline  
Old 9th Jun 2011, 08:27
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Cheers Neptunus, what an inspiring story.

I have narrowed my choices as Qantas here in Aust have dropped their premium economy fares, thats flying an A380.

So the choice is Virgin A340 or Qantas A380, both from Airbus, both with that Fly by Wire. Anyway, I might go A380, just need to do some research re the events that happened with SIA and Qantas in that plane.
Frightened Flyer is offline  
Old 9th Jun 2011, 08:50
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No you don't have to do any research!

What happened, happened. What will reading about it tell you? Lessons will have been learnt and your flight will be a tad safer as a result.

As others have said, watch out for that trip to the airport, it's a lot more dangerous.
angels is offline  
Old 9th Jun 2011, 08:57
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And don't slip on the soap in the shower, far more dangerous!
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Old 9th Jun 2011, 09:27
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Is premium somehow safer than economy?

ChicoG is offline  
Old 9th Jun 2011, 11:38
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Why doesn't your wife like BA?
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Old 9th Jun 2011, 12:08
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Wife flew to London in 2010 with Qantas 747, said it was decent & prefers Qantas.

I think I research too much and as a result get really worked up about what might happen.

To me this is going into the unknown like flying at night across lots of ocean and I suppose fearing the fear.

Its just that you can read so much stuff and think OK this happened or that so how do I make the right decision. Boeing Airbus which is better, how are the pilots trained .......stupid stuff like that.

I know its stupid, I know that millions do it every year and are better for experiencing different cultures. Deep down I know this, but when you are anxiety pone like me sometimes the logic gets messed up with the fear.

I can tell you I really, really want to see London, and I'll need to fly to do that.
Frightened Flyer is offline  
Old 9th Jun 2011, 13:28
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Xanax, wine.

Job done.
Load Toad is offline  
Old 9th Jun 2011, 14:13
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Thought I'd drop my .02 Aussie pennies in here as well. I'm not employed by the airlines, but I fly every week for work (the movie "Up in the Air" could be my Bio). I've flown on almost every type of passenger aircraft, and have exceeded 1 million miles as a pax.

I grew up outside Seattle, with friends whose families worked at Boeing (and some who followed on to work there themselves), so I am a "Boeing Boy" at heart. I can say, though, that Airbus makes some solid aircraft. And from a passenger standpoint, they are often a more comfortable ride in my experience. I've done the A330 on long journeys (and about to do the 340 in a couple weeks to Rome), and can say the ride is worthwhile.

It often helps to bring diversions. I have a few different media players at the ready, loaded with games and movies to pass the time. My girlfriend loves her crosswords, so she usually will have 2 or 3 books handy for long trips. You'll also be able to get some sleep, which will seem to make the time pass more quickly.

Hope you get to enjoy Europe soon!
Romeo Delta is offline  

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