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Virgin Australia’s new plan to calm flying jitters

Are you a nervous flyer? Images: Getty

For some people, air travel is one of life’s most awe inspiring experiences. But for others, the mere thought of taking to the skies can trigger a cold sweat and nausea.

It’s something Virgin Australia plans to address with a new program aimed at helping nervous flyers.

“Our research tells us more than 11 per cent of our guests experience high levels of nervousness about travelling, and that they want information and support to help them through their next flight,” Virgin Australia acting chief operations officer, Stuart Aggs said on Wednesday.

“The Nervous Flyers program allows us to connect with our passengers throughout a number of touchpoints during their journey.”

This could be using breathing techniques or videos designed to keep passengers calm during turbulence.

Passengers will be able to self-identify as a nervous flyer prior to the flight, and will then receive a personalised email a week before the flight with wellness research from expert health and wellness practitioners, as well as a look at how some of Virgin Australia’s technical operations work.

Additionally, passengers will receive a reassuring text message from the airline the day that they fly and dedicated inflight meditation and wellness services in their entertainment modules.

Cabin crew will also be informed and will keep an eye out for any challenges.

The program comes after Virgin founder Richard Branson hosted the world’s first meditation flight in partnership with meditation leader Smiling Mind.

Passengers can request the service by selecting Specific Assistance/Request ‘Nervous Flyer’ when booking, or afterwards through Manage Your Booking as long as they have at least seven days before they travel.

Earlier this year Qantas revealed that among its list of most desired inflight features, virtual reality relaxation zones and mindfulness programs ranked highly.

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