aisle inside a passenger jet. Image is blurred representing motion. Turbulence concept
Leah Berenson
Leah Berenson
May 25, 2024 ·  3 min read

Woman Explains Turbulence to Help People Get Over Their Fear of Flying

A fear of flying is one of the most common and understandable fears. People are putting their lives into the hands of engineers, mechanics, pilots, and flight attendants. Moreover, weather conditions can cause turbulence, a major contributor to anxiety when it comes to travel. However, a young woman recently shared something she learned from a “real pilot” that may help people overcome their fear of flying.

Side by side pictures of a woman with a piece of paper and red Jello cup.
“Photo Credit: Anna Paull | TikTok

Turbulence is, at the very least, unsettling. For many, it can add to the fear of flying, or create it altogether. Fortunately, Anna Paull shared a TikTok video, offering a simple hack to travelers afraid of turbulence or flying. “Pretend this is the air that you’re flying in – this jelly right here. And this napkin is the airplane.” She said.

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Explaining the Turbulence Hack

A woman holding a red Jello cup. Windows in the background.
“Photo Credit: Anna Paull | TikTok

She then took a cup of red jello and placed the piece of the napkin in the jello. She explains, like the jello padding the napkin creates a barrier, that being in the air creates pressure from all angles and a barrier of protection from the dangers of turbulence. “You feel the plane shaking but this is not just going to fall down you know? It’s stuck in there because there’s pressure coming from the bottom and the sides,” she said.

Turbulence is Rarely Fatal

A woman pointing to a red Jello cup. Windows in the background.
“Photo Credit: Anna Paull | TikTok

If you’re still unconvinced, she shares another helpful tidbit to stave off anxiety while flying. She notes, that there has “never been a plane crash from turbulence.” Therefore, while turbulence might seem dangerous, the effects of weather are far more fatal on the ground or in a car.

Read More: How to Counteract the Fight-or-Flight Response

Airline ticket, credit card, and calendars against a white background.
“Photo Credit: StefanCoders | Pixabay

Turbulence-related anxiety isn’t only uncommon, but it’s also seemingly justified. Purportedly, between 1979 and 2020, reports of severe turbulence increased by more than 50%, and there may be an alarming explanation.

Climate Change Correlations

An airplane flying toward the sun.
“Photo Credit: garten-gg | Pixabay

Reading University’s research team shared some data that reflects a possible correlation between the increase in turbulence and climate change. “Following a decade of research showing that climate change will increase clear-air turbulence in the future, we now have evidence suggesting that the increase has already begun.” said Professor and co-author Paul Williams.

Williams notes “We should be investing in improved turbulence forecasting and detection systems, to prevent the rougher air from translating into bumpier flights in the coming decades.”

Alternative Travel Concerns

An airplane in the clouds with a blue sky in the background.
“Photo Credit: Anestiev | Pixabay

Alternately, turbulence isn’t the only concern for those traveling by flight. Many travelers have experienced a lack of concern for customer service, including non-reimbursement for canceled or delayed flights, fewer flights, and more stops for a higher cost. Meanwhile, some airlines have removed complimentary items such as a free carry-on. Additionally, there have been reports of airplane malfunctions, such as the door flying open mid-flight.

Dangerous Turbulence

Exhausted Man Sitting Inside the Ambulance
Photos Credit: Pexels

While there haven’t been any turbulence-related plane crashes, there have been other complications. For example, recently a flight from London was forced to make an emergency stop due to severe turbulence. The plane took off on May 20th with 211 passengers and 18 crew members. However, the plane never made it to its final destination. Instead, the plane touched down in Bangkok, Thailand where ambulances were reportedly seen driving to the tarmac. Sadly, a passenger, 73-year-old Geoff Kitchen, passed away from a suspected heart attack during the chaos.

Anna’s message comes in a time of uncertainty for travelers. So, it offers a small consolation to travelers amid possible pandemonium. However, it’s also an interesting perspective, reinforced by a pilot’s take so it’s worth keeping in mind when travelers face turbulence-related flight anxiety.

H/t: Ladbible

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