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High-flying course helps cure flight phobia

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A woman’s fear of flying quadrupled the cost of her holiday.

The 32-year-old had a fear of flying but had just about managed to conquer it enough to get on a flight to Tunisia recently. She was given medication to help but still suffered a mid-air panic attack.

When the week-long break came to an end she was so terrified she couldn’t make the flight and she and her fiance ended up spending a further month in Tunisia.

By the time £100-a-night hotel bills, overland and ferry bills and the travel costs of her mum who flew out to try to help were paid, £5,000 had been added to the original £1,600 cost.

She’s far from the only one for whom happy holidays become anything but as a result of flying fear.

British Airways reckon that about a quarter of people have some degree of a fear of flying while one in 10 suffer from a real phobia.

They are one of the major carriers who run courses to help nervous flyers take to the skies.

More than 45,000 have booked a Flying With Confidence course over the past 20 years and they claim a 98% success rate.

The day-long course, which costs £195, covers a range of relaxation techniques and exercises to help you get airborne.

It culminates in a flight with the next Scots date being held on September 27.

EasyJet are another airline offering courses with one being held at Edinburgh Airport on November 2. Virgin also have a similar offering.

Experts say there are a number of things those with anxieties can do to make the prospect of getting airborne less stressful.

Learning a bit about flying in general and the plane in particular can alleviate irrational fears. And one of the most important tips is to manage your breathing, taking long, deep breaths to help keep you calm.