It's my first time to ride an airplane

Travel Forums General Talk It's my first time to ride an airplane

1. Posted by sunshinesheryl (First Time Poster 1 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

I’m going to the states and visit my boyfriend I met in a foreign dating event last year. But, I’m quite nervous, it’s my first time to ride an airplane. They say it’s good inside the plane but still, you cannot deny the uneasiness a first timer will feel. Tell me, what preparations should be done (if there be any). Call me ignorant but I just want to let you know how I feel about this. Should I take some kind of pill to lessen the fright regarding my first flight? Thanks!

2. Posted by ToonSarah (Travel Guru 1374 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

If you are nervous it would be worth telling one of the cabin crew, as the staff looking after passengers are called. They could reassure you if anything seems a bit scary to you.

It helps to know what to expect. For instance, soon after take-off you will hear a rattling noise, which is simply the noise of the wheels being retracted into the plane. Before landing you may hear them coming out again in preparation. Also, it's important to know that there are likely to be periods during the flight when it gets quite bumpy. This is known as turbulence and is due to weather conditions. It can seem scary but is perfectly normal. When it happens passengers are asked to return to their seats and fasten their seatbelts. This doesn't mean that there is any problem with the plane, just that it is safer for you not to be walking around at that time in case you fall.

On a long flight like that you need to occupy yourself. There will be films you can watch and/or a selection of music to listen to, but I would also recommend taking a good book, if you're a reader, or some other occupation depending on your interests (puzzles, games on a phone or tablet, knitting etc.) Just try to relax, keep occupied, and don't be afraid to ask the cabin crew or a fellow passenger if something seems strange to you.

You might also want to think about where to sit. Personally I love to be by a window so I can look out and down at the views, but if you are nervous about being so high you might prefer to sit somewhere in the middle where it's less obvious that you are in a plane so high above the ground!

3. Posted by Stefmuts (Respected Member 187 posts) 2y 1 Star this if you like it!

Most has been said by Sarah, I just like to add the pressure on your ears you might feel at landing, you might have to clear your ears like divers do (works best for me - press your nose closed and blow ) or make sure you have some gum to chew

And don't worry too much, just relax and enjoy the flight!
Window seat is the best spot, even people who are afraid of hights (like my mom) enjoy the view from above so try to get it (just ask for it on checking in)

4. Posted by ToonSarah (Travel Guru 1374 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

Quoting Stefmuts

Most has been said by Sarah, I just like to add the pressure on your ears you might feel at landing, you might have to clear your ears like divers do (works best for me - press your nose closed and blow ) or make sure you have some gum to chew

Good point Stefanie, I forgot about the ears! I find holding my nose and blowing works better than chewing gum or sucking sweets, for me at least

5. Posted by westwind57 (Full Member 77 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

When you want to have a choice where to sit, then it is best to check in online. That is usually open from 30 or 24 hours (depends) ahead of the departure time. You just follow the instructions (you will need your e-ticket number or booking code, and possibly passport number). While doing that, there will probably be an option to choose or change seats. Sometimes they charge something for it sometimes not, that depends on the airline and the fare type of your booking. When you click it, you will see which seat has been assigned and which options you have to change seats. When you're all done you print out your boarding pass or (if that is possible) have it on your smartphone.

Oh, and not knowing from which country you are, but you may need to buy a so-called ESTA for the states. That is sort of a pre-clearance for immigration. They will still ask you questions at the immigration desk, but if your country is part of the ESTA program, then you will either need to have done this, or have a visa in order to board. Just as a wild guess... UK is one of the countries in that program. Here is the link.

6. Posted by anniesweetiepie (Full Member 23 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

I hear you... I've been having panic attacks for the last 8 years and I am always scared of getting into airplanes. You have to test you breathing speed. The fear is in the mind. Last time I went for skiing I felt as if I was going to have a heart attack while getting up with the cable car. The view was amazing but suddenly I started sweating. The breathing technique helped me get over it. The attack lasted only for 1-2 minutes but felt like a lot more. Try not to overthink about it... To slow things down, you should breath using your abdomen. It is the most relaxing breathing technique. Try your best to reduce any discomforts, talk to a friend (if you have a companion travelling with you) or try to make a conversation with the passenger next to you to avoid tension. The best thing you can do is to keep your mind as active as possible: play a game, read a book... etc There are some anti-anxiety medications that provide quick relief but you'll have to talk to a doctor before deciding to take that road. The doctor might also be able to give you some anti anxiety exercises ;)