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How to Stay Calm During Turbulence

by | Aug 27, 2021 | Tips

If you’ve ever flown before, you understand how the bumpiness and sudden drops of a flight can take your breath away.

Allow Valley International Airport to give you several tips to help you stay calm during turbulence.

Understanding What Causes Turbulence

There are three main categories that can contribute to turbulence:

  • Mechanical: this happens when a mountain or larger man-made structure interferes with the flow of the air.
  • Thermal: this occurs during a thunderstorm or other storm front. It is caused by two different air masses meeting together at different speeds.
  • Ocean Waves: the waves have the power to change the speed and direction of the wind, along with causing the plane to rise and fall.

How To Prepare for Turbulence Before a Flight

1. Find a seat you are comfortable in: If your assigned seat is in a spot that you are not comfortable with, ask the flight attendant if there are any other open seats. Many people feel at ease sitting closer to the wing. This helps them visualize the plane being held steady in the air.

2. Use the restroom before the flight: The worst place to be during turbulence is in the tiny airplane restroom. It is always best to take care of business before your flight, that way you can stay safely in your seat during any possible bumps.

3. Understand what could cause turbulence: Getting all the facts and information on turbulence can make it less frightening because you are aware of what is causing it. There are many YouTube videos, blogs, and articles that can help you prepare for your flight.

How To Prepare for Turbulence During a Flight

1. Keep your seatbelt fastened when told: Your pilot and flight attendant will tell you when it is safe to unbuckle and when to stay fastened in your seat. Most pilots will use a light above your seat to signify when to buck and unbuckle, as well as make announcements directly to the cabin.

2. Safely store any loose items: Anything that isn’t safely stored can fall and hurt you or the person next to you during times of turbulence. It is recommended that all loose items stay stored in your carry-on under your seat or safely in the overhead bin.

3. Stay hydrated: The cabin air is often dry in aircraft, causing passengers to become dehydrated. Dehydration can often cause headaches and nausea, which will just add to your flight stress and anxiety.

What To Do During Turbulence

1. Focus on your breathing: In moments of stress, it can be easy to hold your breath or accelerate your breathing. This will only make you more anxious, so it is important that you take slow and controlled breaths. 

Watch the flight attendants during turbulence; if they remain calm, it is a good sign that there is nothing to worry about.

2. Find a distraction: If it is difficult for you to stay calm during a time of turbulence, the best thing to do is distract yourself. Here are a couple of suggestions of how to do so:

  • Listen to an interesting podcast
  • Listen to your favorite music playlist
  • Read an interesting book
  • Watch a movie or favorite tv series
  • Strike up a conversation with the person next to you
  • Close your eyes and picture a smooth landing at your destination

3. Write your name using your non-dominant hand: This trick is recommended by Captain Ron Nielsen, who runs a Fearless Flight program for anxious flyers. According to Nielsen, writing your name with your non-dominant hand takes your mind off of the turbulence and engages motor function on the opposite side of your brain from what you would normally do. 

Use These Many Tips To Stay Calm During Turbulence When You Fly With Valley International Airport

Turbulence can make anyone anxious, but knowing what causes it and how to deal with it will make your flight far more enjoyable!

At Valley International Airport, our team is committed to ensuring the safety of our passengers and travelers. 

Reminder: face masks are mandatory while boarding the plane.

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