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Fearful Flyer

Beachflier1
Active Member

Hi Everyone-

 

I haven't flown in years (my last flight predates TSA) and I'll be flying from LAX to OMA in a couple of weeks. I'm a nervous flyer. I booked on SW because a friend of mine works for them out of SNA and because they don't code-share (they use their own planes and crews...not a subcontractor). I've also heard the flight crews do their best to make flying as pleasant as possible given the circumstances.

 

Any thoughtful advice? I've heard great things about SW cabin crews, and I'd like to meet the pilots, but from what I understand boarding can be chaotic as they want to push back ASAP; I don't want to get underfoot.

 

Any thoughtful advice? Take off and climb to altitude are especially nerve-wracking for me. I'm also not looking forward to the more cramped seating configuration Smiley Sad

 

Thanks!

19 REPLIES 19

Re: Fearful Flyer

dfwskier
Rising Star

Hello.

 

I'm anthing but an anxious flier, but I can assure you that Southwest is full of  compassionate caring people. It really is. They'll be supportive. Also, remember that Southwest has one of the best safety records in the industry,

 

You might want to let the gate agent know of your anxiety. Perhaps he/she can offer some suggetions. E ngaging the flight attendant you meet as you enter the plane in conversation would be a good idea. You could ask if it would be possible to meet the pilot. Southwest employees frequently make time for passengers.

 

As for crowded conditions on board, you might be surprised. The amount of seat room is not a whole lot different than it was for my first Southwest flight 40 years ago.

 

Hope it all goes well. Have a good flight and enjoy yourself!

Re: Fearful Flyer

Beachflier1
Active Member

Thanks for the tips! If the gate agents aren't too busy, I'll let them know. A friend of mine is a gate agent at SNA, and the pace can get frantic, so I feel their pain.

 

And yes, I have to admit I do like SWA's safety record Smiley Happy

Re: Fearful Flyer

Passenger1C
Active Member

@Beachflier1 I do not work for SWA, but I do fly often. Just keep in mind that you are surrounded by trained professionals who want to take care of you. People joke that flying is safer than being in a car... but it’s actually true. 

 

My advice is to try and meet other nice passengers and engage in a conversation. Time “flies” when you are engaged and listening to what is being said. Before no time, you will be landing. A book is also a good distraction. Also, not sure if you indulge in alcoholic beverages, but one drink will also keep your nerves calm. 

 

Have a great flight, and report back how your trip was. 

 

Have fun! 

 


SWA Passenger, Community Champion

Re: Fearful Flyer

Beachflier1
Active Member

Thanks for the great advice! Hoping I get some really cool seat mates. I think a screaming baby would set my nerves even more on edge LOL

No alcohol for this girl; heading to OMA for the USARS National Championships so I need a clear head. Smiley Happy

I will report back on my flight.

Re: Fearful Flyer

bec102896
Rising Star

@Beachflier1

 

First I would recommend arriving early be sure you don't have more than the allowed liquid in your carry on and security should be easy but by arriving early you help guarantee that you won't be rushing and freaking out. it's better to have to wait a little longer before the flight then risk missing it. 

 

At some airports the pilot or FAs may be waiting to board the flight so if you see the crew maybe you could try to talk to them before boarding most are very nice and will chat with you. If there is no crew in your gate area maybe try to meet someone at the gate and you could try to be seat mates if your boarding passes are good (not late B or C group where you could be in middle seats)

 

bring a book or have some music to listen to just in case you don't find someone to talk with or if your shy to talk to the seat mate which I understand not everyone wants to talk nothing wrong with that but best to have something to keep your mind off of the flying and next thing you know you will be landing. Snacks (pretzels) should be served and drinks so be sure to grab one of those as well. 

 

be sure if you didn't buy Early Bird check in that you check in at the 24 hour mark so you can get a good boarding position this should eliminate you getting a middle seat and help with ahh I will be more comfortable in the window or the aisle and you will have a better chance of the seat you want compared to if you wait until you arrive at the airport to check in.

 

feel free to write back after the trip to let us know how it went!

 

hope it goes smoothly!

Blake 

Re: Fearful Flyer

dfwskier
Rising Star

@bec102896 wrote:

 

@

 

be sure if you didn't buy Early Bird check in that you check in at the 24 hour mark so you can get a good boarding position this should eliminate you getting a middle seat and help with ahh I will be more comfortable in the window or the aisle and you will have a better chance of the seat you want compared to if you wait until you arrive at the airport to check in.

 

 

Hi again.

 

I'll echo what blake said as it was a part of his long response because it is important.

 

Southwest boards it's passengers by boarding position.  Southwest does not reserve seats. Southwest assigns boarding position dependent on when you get checked in. You can check in starting exactly 24 hours before your scheduled departure time. 

People that check in first get the best boarding positions and board first and get the best choice of seats.

 

Southwests automatically checks in it's  A-List passsengers (it;s most frequent fliers) first.  Those people get the best boarding positions. People that buy early bird check in get checked in (next) automatically 36 hours before flight time. They get the next best boarding positions.

 

Every one else can check in starting exctly 24 hours before the scheduled departure time. And people DO start checking in EXACTLY (to the minute) at 24 hours before scheduled departure. Normally people that check in within a few minutes of 24 hours before departure get good enough boarding positions that they get a choice of aisle, window, or middle seats  (not always, but normally).

People that delay check in in normally get the worst boarding positions, and, upon boarding,  find only middle seats available.

 

The moral of the story is that I think both blake and I recommend that you do one of two things: either buy early bird check in or try to check in as close as possible to exactly to 24 hours before your scheduled departure time . Either normally allow you a pretty good choice of seats when you board.

Re: Fearful Flyer

Beachflier1
Active Member

I added EBCI when I booked the flight, thankfully. The last thing I'd need is to be in the middle seat in the back of the plane. Smiley Very Happy

 

 

Re: Fearful Flyer

Beachflier1
Active Member

Hi Blake-

Thankfully I grabbed EBCI at the time I booked my flight. The last thing I'd want is  to be stuck in a middle seat at the back of the plane. Hoping to grab an aisle seat on or near the wing for the most stable ride.

 

I have a playlist set up on my phone and I hope the onboard wifi is working so I can distract myself with a movie. I'll see how it goes re: seatmate. It's an early flight so I imagine some people will want to sleep. Smiley Happy

 

I'll report back on how the trip went! Smiley Happy

Re: Fearful Flyer

dfwskier
Rising Star

@Beachflier1 wrote:

Hoping to grab an aisle seat on or near the wing for the most stable ride.

 

 

Well that tells me that although you are a fearful flier, you do know about flying and where to get the smoothest ride.

 

Have a great time!