Coping with a fear of flying

Air France offers two solutions to help you overcome your fear of flying.

  • A 30-day virtual reality program, which includes educational content on aeronautics and step-by-step simulations, which you can do independently at home and at your own pace.
  • A 1-day Stress-Free Flying course held in person at Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport (CDG), with presentations by aeronautics professionals followed by a cockpit simulation.

Course held at the technical training center for pilots

A preliminary interview with a psychologist When you sign up for the workshop, you will receive a questionnaire about how your fear manifests, its nature, and its intensity. A month before the workshop, a psychologist from the Anti-Stress Center will contact you for a one-on-one confidential interview. During this conversation, you will have the opportunity to reflect on your answers in the questionnaire and focus on how your fear impacts you personally. These preparatory steps will help you better approach the educational content of the workshop. The interview is a prerequisite for the workshop.

Info sessions: get familiar with the aircraft Start the workshop by learning from experienced professionals:

  • An aeronautical stress expert reviews the physiological and psychological causes of stress. They will share and guide you through breathing, muscular, and mental relaxation exercises. 
  • A flight attendant explains their job, training, and the role they play in making sure the flight is safe and secure.
  • A pilot goes over the basic principles of aerodynamics and introduces you to aeronautics to help you understand air pockets, turbulence, how airplanes fly, and more.

All speakers are available to answer any questions you may have. Please note that participants are all active Air France employees.

photo of instructor

Flight simulation workshop After reviewing the theory, you will board a 3 axes flight simulator. This is an exact replica of a plane's cockpit and is installed at the Air France training center at Paris-Charles de Gaulle. You will experiment with:

  • The different movements of a plane in ordinary flight conditions.
  • Different meteorological conditions and emergency situations.

Through this simulation, you will see how the crew operates and experience a realistic flight. This can help you identify and let go of any apprehensions you may have. When you leave the simulator, you will debrief with the crew and sophrologist.

photo of simulator

Personalized follow-up At the end of the workshop, the Center will still be here for you. We invite you to stay in touch and let us know how your next flights go. For 12 months after the workshop, you can make a request via email for a recommendation for any of your flights with Air France, hop, or Transavia. This recommendation will let the crew know that you have participated in our workshop. They will be able to identify you easily on the plane and can offer support so you have a pleasant flight.

personal attention

Registration

The workshop is open to anyone hoping to fly without fear, be it for professional or personal reasons. Workshops are scheduled on Mondays and Fridays at Paris-Charles de Gaulle  airport in an Air France technical pilot training center. Workshops are generally conducted in French, though English language workshops are available upon request. ​ Workshop cost: €750 We also offer a session tailored to passengers between 8 and 15 years old in an A320 cabin simulator. These sessions are usually scheduled a few days before the French school holidays. ​ Session cost: €500 For information and to register, email: mail.antistress@airfrance.fr

Passenger testimonials

Many participants have shared feedback on their experience following the workshop or a flight. Below are a few excerpts from their letters or e-mails. "I’d like to thank you for the attention and care you showed me during the workshop. At no time did I feel judged for my fear. Instead I received understanding and help in resolving the vicious circle of my fear of flying." "To my great surprise, my first flight after the workshop went just fine. This is because I now understand everything that’s happening during a flight, all thanks to your workshop." "This workshop really delivers as promised! My subsequent flight was really enjoyable. Although I felt very stressed at first, I quickly grew confident. The progress I’ve felt is really amazing." "I’m no longer worried about the idea of going abroad to sign a contract. This is bliss! … The flight went perfectly, as I put into practice the techniques you taught me during the stress-free flying workshop." "I took part in the stress-free flying workshop and we spoke on the phone to prepare for my trip to Amsterdam. The trip went great thanks to your advice. I was ecstatic when I arrived in Amsterdam, because it was really a miracle for me to be so relaxed during a flight." "I traveled to New York with no stress and I was very relaxed during the flight. Everything went great and I owe it all to your team. Now I’ll never be afraid to fly again: it’s a miracle!" "I was skeptical at first. Being on a plane for more than two hours was impossible for me. Fifteen days after completing the workshop, I took a 4-hour flight and everything went well—I even enjoyed it. The workshop crew addresses your specific needs, guaranteeing personalized results. Thank you so much!" "Thank you to the amazing workshop crew. My flight from Nice to San Francisco went rather smoothly. While I did experience some stress at the beginning of the flight, I was able to control my anxiety thanks to the techniques the relaxation therapist taught me during the workshop. I was also less sensitive to the plane's motion. I wouldn't say I was completely relaxed, but given how long my flight was, I definitely saw improvement in my peace of mind that I will carry with me on future flights. Thank you!" ​

unstressed passengers

Customer Feedback

We recommend taking the course as close to a scheduled flight as possible. Our workshops typically fill up three months in advance, but we offer a waiting list to best accommodate your planned air travel. Here are some insights from a survey we conducted with attendees in 2019 and 2020. Upon registering to the workshop, attendees expected to:

  • Gain peace of mind (32%)
  • Feel comfortable getting on or off the aircraft (26%)
  • Understand in-flight safety measures (23%)
  • Understand how airplanes fly, what turbulence is, etc. (17%)
  • Be able to fly without the help of medication, alcohol, etc. (16%)(*)

After the workshop, most attendees:

  • Felt that their expectations were met (91%)
  • Would recommend the workshop to friends and family (96%)
  • Believed the workshop had significantly improved their relationship to flying (80%)
  • Took at least one flight since their course (83%), with a very balanced distribution between :
    • short-haul (34%),
    • medium-haul (31%),
    • and long-haul (34%)(**)

(*) Several answers possible. (**) In 2020, lockdowns prevented some customers from carrying out their travel plans.​