The unnatural habit to fly
For those who have some experience in the sky, I can bet you have seen many situation where your customers were in fear of flying.
Well, this is very common and it makes sense: the human body is not designed to fly either to dive.
How can we help people when they are stressing out for the landing or the turbulence?
It happened to me recently, I had a lady on board, she had a real terror for turbulence and any unusual movement. We were passing by an area with some cloud and the aircraft was moving just a little bit.
Believe me, it was nothing to worry about.
She grabbed the armrest and she started to be very nervous. Her fascial expression became as hard as marble and she wasn’t able to do anything else rather than keep the armrest tight. Her whole body became stiff.
She didn’t listen to my questions, not because she was impolite but because she couldn’t take away any of her five senses from the turbulence. Her instinct was telling her to stay focus in order to save her life.
And all of a sudden….
…..She started crying.
Tears were rolling down her cheeks while she was still keeping that marble face, eyes were wide open, looking out the window. After a while, her forehead started to move, her eyes started to blink and the whole face became the picture of pain. Then, she cried even more.
Human reaction to fear is different from individual to individual and our interaction with them in those situation has to be appropriate.
To help us, the best tool we can use is our empathy and our situation awareness.
When the sky is bumpy leave your galley mess to a later stage, get out and look closely and constantly at your cabin. Read body language and facial expression. Listen to the tone of the voices.
It’s all about details: we communicate constantly, even when we don’t want to communicate.
Then, do exactly what they are silently or clearly asking you to do, that can also be nothing. Give them the time to get in control of their fear, or take their hands and talk to them.
Did you ever experience situation of fear of flying? How did you handle it?