What are your courses like?
There is a clip on our You Tube channel and home page that will give you a bit of a flavour of what we do on our larger, adult group courses
Can I get some help right now?
1. Have a look through the testimonials on our ‘message board’
2. There is a 12 minute clip that you can watch as many times as you like posted onto our You Tube channel. Here is the clip. This is a good way to desensitize yourself to what happens onboard the aircraft and provides some reassuring answers to some of the common questions that nervous flyers have.
Can I bring someone with me for support?
Yes of course. Please call the office on 01423 714900 and this will cost £100+VAT for someone to join you for the flight only. It is also worth considering whether you actually need to bring a companion. Sometimes, our well meaning relatives, will make it too easy to back out if we crumble…Only bring a companion if you genuinely know that they are definitely needed.
How successful are your courses?
We measure the success on random courses in two ways.
Measure 1: We do a simple count of how many take the flight. This only gives us one measure, as it doesn’t show how many of those would have flown anyway regardless of our course – which is why measure 2 is even more important.
Measure 2: On random courses, we ask people to rate at the beginning and end of the day how they feel about flying on a scale of 1-10. On the random course we have chosen to evaluate, this is asked of all the people that attend regardless of whether they have flown before, currently fly or have never flown. (Out of interest, the general percentage for most courses is roughly: 10% never flown; 40% have flown at some point (even regularly) but have now stopped for various reasons; Lastly, about 50% still fly and their fear is to varying degrees.) We then use that difference to give us a measure of the how the course has improved their feelings towards flying. Some people make significant movement, others, it is more incremental but there is always improvement provided the delegates give themselves permission not to be perfect straight away! The last course that we measured, the success rate was 98.6%.
We also get lots of postcards every week from graduates of our course and also feedback is regularly left on our ‘Message Board’.
I suffer from claustrophobia and panic attacks, how can you really help me?
We use a range of psychological techniques during our courses. The mixture of different tools gives you the best possible chance of beating your fears. Your reason for getting your fears is unique to you. However, the way that the brain learns fear and repeats it can be helpfully put into clusters so that you can understand how you maintain the fear cycle. We cover this on all of our courses.
Where are the courses held?
Every course is held near to the local airport. The full course details will be either:
· sent out to you in the post if you pay over the phone or
· down-loadable if you book online.
We don’t reveal exact location of our courses until you have booked with us and this is for security reasons.
What are the course timings?
Start and finish times vary on every course. However, the basic structure on the adult premium course remains roughly the same. Please note that some courses start as early as 0700 in the morning. On some occasions, our courses start after lunch which means a late finish. If you would like to know the timings for your particular course, please email us firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 01423 714900.
- Arrivals and registration
- Introductions from course founders
- Pilot section
- Cabin crew section
- Psychology section
- Accompanied and narrated flight
- Optional question and answer session back in hotel
Please note, we are subject to the control of airport authorities. We often finish the course up to 15-30 mins later than advertised. On occasion, (thankfully rare) we have some air traffic control delays up to a couple of hours. Like we say, very very rare but please bear that in mind if booking onward travel after our course. We are not liable for any extra costs incurred due to delays out of our control. Hopefully that sounds reasonable to you.
I have lost my joining letter, what do I do?
If you lose your joining instructions, please email us and we will send a new letter out to you. Also, it is worth checking spam folders as confirmation letters often disappear into there too! On the weekend of your course, you can reach one of the team by emailing email@example.com which we check regularly.
My fear only came on after I had children – have you heard of this before?
It is quite common for adults to develop the fear later on in life. It can affect people who regularly take business or leisure travel, despite the fact that you may have travelled quite happily for years. You too can be helped. Often, people become more aware of their mortality as their responsibility increases i.e. Children, partners, etc. We regularly talk about this phenomenon on our courses as it’s so common.
Do you run courses for children?
We do run experience sessions specifically for children. When we first started running the adult courses, parents would contact about help for their children too. As most of the team are parents or have been children, we wanted to do something to help. We thought how hard it would be for parents of children with a fear of flying to get proper help. We wanted to do something proactive about it and started to accept accompanied young people onto our adult courses. However, we didn’t do this for long as we noticed how tiring it was for young people to be stuck with a roomful of adults all day! Plus, it would cost two full places on our course (£534) So, we have put on something special just for children that is more affordable. The courses are a half day session held at an aircraft mock up at the Virgin Atlantic training centre followed by an optional flight when we join the adult flying without fear course being run in different location. Current cost is £375 which covers one child and one fear free adult companion. The age group is 6 – 12 years only. If your young person is older than that, they can still join us but we have aimed the course at the younger audience. From 16, you can join unaccompanied on adult course if you wish.
Do you run courses for people with special needs?
Our help is open to anyone. We would be happy to discuss this with you to find the right way for you. Please email us and we will be delighted to help in any way that we can.
I am the most scared person that you could ever imagine – how can you help me?
We started our courses in 1997 and we have helped thousands of people just like you. Our experience has shown us what an amazing difference people feel about flying by the end of their day with us. Please do visit our website ‘Message Board’ to see what those who’ve attended say.
I feel really silly having this fear as I am so competent in every other aspect of my life – can you assure me I won’t be ridiculed in any way?
Many people feel the same way. Our empathic team know what it takes to help you beat your fears and some of them have even suffered from them in the past too. In the UK alone, we estimate that there are over 12 million sufferers.
What if I have a panic attack on the course?
In reality, it’s extremely unlikely that this would happen, as we give you the tools to overcome your fears before the flight, however, if it did happen, we are trained to help.
I notice that other people run courses – what makes your course so different?
Please do take a look in the ‘Why Choose us’ section of the website to see exactly why we’re so different. We also feel it’s vital to feature independent feedback directly from past attendees, which is why we invested in our website ‘Message Board’ system. We are constantly tweaking and improving the course. We want each course to be even better than the last and we don’t ever take it for granted the privilege of helping people like you to beat their fears.
Where do we fly to on the day?
This very much depends on air traffic control on the day. Wherever we go, you will have a full commentary from one of the pilots throughout the flight.
What if I don’t want to fly on the day?
There is no pressure from us to do anything at all that you don’t want to do. We’ll support and encourage you all day and give you the tools that you’ll need. On the very rare occasion that someone chooses not to fly, one of our team will look after you and personally escort you back through the airport. Our support does not end there either but we’ll tell you about that on the day of your course. You will not be entitled to any form of refund if you decide not to fly on the day of your course.
I notice that you say, ‘We don’t use props’. Are they unsafe?
We don’t use ‘Propeller’ aircraft on our courses because feedback has always told us that people prefer ‘Jet’ engines that are on the large modern commercial aircraft that we use. This does not mean that ‘Props’ are unsafe. We simply give you what you tell us you want and need to overcome your fears. By the way, props are safe. We know that our customers prefer engines with covers around the blades.
What aircraft types do you use?
We use either Virgin branded aircraft or local trusted aviation partners to provide our specially chartered flight. We know that the safety standards for anyone that flies in UK airspace is the same at mandated by Civil Aviation Authority and Joint Aviation Authority. Therefore, we use the type of aircraft and airlines that you are most likely to fly with from your local airport. We want you to know how safe all commercial aviation is in the developed world and for you to fly with ease from wherever you choose to fly.
What forms of photo I.D. do we need to bring along to the courses?
Please bring along either your passport or photo driving licence.
How do I claim my flying club miles?
When you attend our adult group course with a flight or the children’s course with a flight, 2,000 flying club miles per person are awarded. These need to be claimed within 6 months of attending our course. This can be done two ways. 1. If you are already a member, simply send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org stating when you attended, name on the membership card and the membership number. We will then action that request same day. 2. If you are not a member yet, please go to www.virginatlantic.com/flyingwithoutfear to join.
What if I change my mind before the course and want my money back?
Our terms and conditions are very clear. If you cancel with more than 4 week’s notice, you can have a refund minus the admin charge. Less than 4 weeks, you will lose 100% of your fee. It is not something we like to enforce but, like any business, we have high costs to cover.
How do we get the best from your course?
Based on our experience of helping thousands of people since November 1997, our attendees tell us that the most success they have had is by taking the following steps:
Before the course:
Complete the online booking form and arrange your course ideally up to six months before your intended flight date. (This is not set in stone, just a guideline)
Stop watching any of those programmes that cover air incidents – this only feeds the fear plus, it is not always 100% accurate.
- Please consider these questions: Why are you attending this course? What do you stand to gain by getting rid of the fear? What do you stand to lose by getting rid of the fear? Who are you doing the course for – yourself/others? Why is it so important to face your fears right now?
- Think about all the possible questions and fears that you have and, if you like, list them.
During the course:
Attend our Flying Without Fear course. Make sure you commit yourself to the day. If there is lots of stress at work or home, for example, then maybe you are not in the right frame of mind to attend.
Ask whatever you want during the day. Please make your own notes as there is so much content we want to share with you when we see you.
At the end of the course, you have the option to take an accompanied flight with our dedicated team of professionals. This is fully narrated which gives you a chance to practice the techniques and update yourself in actual time. The pilot will narrate every movement and noise throughout your flight. You can then decide whether you believe what the professional pilot is telling you or the bizarre feelings in your stomach and ears.
Please remember that you were not born with this fear of flying; you learned it. It is entirely possible to learn something new.
After the course:
- If you intend to fly with Virgin Atlantic, phone Special Assistance on 0844 412 4455, so that we may let the airport staff and cabin crew know that you are onboard. Other airlines often have similar type departments that you can call.
- Play the complementary relaxation CD, ideally every night, for two weeks before your flight.
- Re-read the materials that we gave you at your course.
- Help prepare yourself for the experience of flying comfortably by watching this clip and imagining yourself flying quite happily.
- Take another flight within six months of attending our course. (ideally, although some people have literally flown the same day as our course. Others have flown a year later!)
- If you hear or watch any media reports that worry you, then ask us a question on the ‘message board.’ We will answer it for you but it will also help others that regularly read the messages.
How much does the 1-1 course cost?
This course is completely tailored to what you need and is written around you and what you want. You will have, as a minimum, a pilot, psychologist, cabin crew trainer with you for the whole day. This bespoke course has been run internationally and due to the set up and organisation, is by far the most expensive option. If you are completely serious about pursuing this option, we would be delighted to talk to you. Please drop us an email on email@example.com and we’ll get straight back to you.
What is the difference between the group course and the ground only seminar*?
The two options are best explained in the table below:
|Features||Ground – £180 including VAT||Premium – £267 including VAT|
|Cabin Crew Safety Talk||No||Yes|
|Duration||3.5 Hours||Full day course|
|Staff Ratio||1 – 10||1 – 9 (1 team leader per table)|
|Food||No||Yes – hot meal|
|Flying Club Miles||Nil||2000|
|Relaxation CD||Available to buy on the day||Free included|
|Booklet||Workbooks with space to write in||Specially prepared booklet free|
|Our book 101 fear of flying questions answered||Available to buy||Available to buy|
* No flight on this seminar