Air Europa Blog

The AirEuropa Blog

29 January 2020

“Losing your fear of flying” course, 10 years running

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To commemorate the 10th Anniversary of “Losing your fear of flying” course, ATC Magazine has published an article on how this project was developed by Commander Alfonso de Bertodano.

Fear of flying is a real fear and can physically affect us: Increased pulse, hyperventilation, alert attitude, anxiety, etc. and all of this occurs even when there is no real danger. Fear generates high levels of stress to thosesuffering from it, some even get to the point of phobia. These feelings can occur various days before flying and can produce anxiety, insomnia, lack of concentration, etc. Let’s see now why these courses have been so successful.

Air Europa’s Commander, Alfonso de Bertodano Guillén, has more than 10.000 flight hours and has a bachelor in Psychology at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. He is also a member of the European Association for Aviation Psychology (EAAP). During the past 10 years, he has combined his work as a pilot with courses to overcome the fear of flying, in collaboration with Air Europa.

The Commander comments, in an article published by ATC Magazine, that in 2003 he assisted a congress on phobias and anxiety issues and that this triggered off an idea: what would come out of combining my experience as a pilot with my knowledge in psychology? That was the moment the project started to be developed, to help people overcome their fear of flying.

Does flying phobia really exist?

Yes, it exists. Comes from fear as an emotion and how emotions can be unbalanced to produce extreme anxiety. But what is fear? As such, it is an aversive or disagreeable feeling that you get when you feel there is a serious threat, either physical o psychological, perceived by hearing or eyesight and which is acknowledged according to past experiences or beliefs.

Normally, this phobia comes from previous bad experiences, such as airplane turbulences. It can also result from a bad takeoff or landing, triggering off fear which increases due to the lack of knowledge of what is really happening.

The courses: the stimulus, the individual and the response.

These are the three key areas covered in the “Losing your fear of flying” course. The objective is to be able to fly in airplanes so the team running the courses concentrates on reinforcing knowledge and offers additional information like what is received from the air traffic controllers. Their collaboration is key to explain flight safety measures from outside the plane.

The content of the course is carefully studied and adapted. Hypothetical situations are shown and participants receive guidance to help them manage the anxiety. All of this is reinforced with the opinions and knowledge of the air traffic controllers, maintenance technicians, flight attendants, pilots and psychologists.

Additionally, as Air Europa actively collaborates with the courses, participants go on two of their flights. On both these flights there are two psychologists, one being Commander Alfonso de Bertodano, who guides the participants through the knowledge already acquired and guides them on how to manage their anxiety which is normally present during this practical test.

What’s the secret of their success?

After 10 years of running this course and seeing its progression, it is impressive that nearly 98% of the 500 people who have taken the “Losing your fear of flying” course have succeeded not only to fly but some have even made themselves private pilots, flight attendants or have travelled around the world. Also, some have tattooed an airplane on themselves as a symbol of their personal achievement.

The effective psychological guidance given on phobias and that the course is not only given by pilots but also psychologists, maintenance technicians, flight attendants and air traffic controllers, a first class multi-disciplinary group, guarantees the success of the “Losing your fear of flying” course.

The results achieved to-date are very motivating for all those participating in its development and generates great satisfaction. “Every month we give people the possibility to fly, travel and live fully”, commented Commander Alfonso de Bertodano in an article the ATC Magazine published to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the “Losing your fear of flying” course.

If you are interested, you can find more information in The next courses will be held in February, March and May, 2020 in Madrid, Barcelona and Mallorca, respectively. Check the dates and make your reservation! The world is waiting for you! Let’s Fly!

También disponible en / Also available in: Español (Spanish) Nederlands (Dutch) Français (French) Português (Portuguese (Portugal)) Italiano (Italian) Deutsch (German)

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