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Flying Without Fear March Blog

Greetings and welcome to the flying without fear blog

In the news

The recent Ethiopian Airlines crash was a real tragedy and we send our sincere sympathies to all the families and friends of those lost.  Please don't watch all the video clips etc. as they will only feed your own fear. This is a delicate time to say this, but if you are reading this blog you might need some encouraging thoughts too.  Some key messages to remember if we may suggest:
  • This accident, like all accidents, will be thoroughly investigated and learned from. 
  • When the results are known, they are published and every airline around the world will be informed of any changes needed to procedures or equipment or any other lessons that come from this tragedy.
  • Western World Commercial Aviation is incredibly safe and accidents like this are extremely rare.
Also in the news

Did you see this in the news a couple of weeks ago?  A Virgin Dreamliner hit 801 MPH apparently.  How amazing is that?!  Without meaning to do an unashamed advert, the dreamliners are just amazing to fly in. So quiet and smooth - it is definitely a different experience to how most of us take flights.   Here is the link and as we always say, be careful of what you believe in the media.


Thank you by email

I would like to share my experience with you. In 2012 at Southampton I attended one of your 'fear of flying courses', since then I have flown without anxiety to Canada, New York, Dominion Republic, Grenada, Italy, and Greece with my husband;  last year I flew to Geneva on my own, which I never thought in my wildest dreams I would ever do,
 and this year I am flying to Edinburgh on my own, as I turn 70 this year I feel the world has opened up for me. Thank you Virginia Fear of Flying.
Rowena B

CEO Qantas Letter

This was on LinkedIn which is normally pretty good for things ...most of the time.  A 10 year old with aspirations to set up own airline, wrote to the CEO of Qantas. Here is the alleged reply...Hope it is true.

Take care
Paul & Richard
Virgin Atlantic's flying without fear programme

Flying Without Fear January Blog

Hello and welcome to 2019! We hope that you were able to take a restful break?   We are still here, helping people as much as we can despite not having course dates to offer currently.  We are still working on getting some dates for future courses. In the meantime, if you want some free help, you can look on our YouTube channel 'Virgin flying without fear.'  There are various clips there we have amassed over the years to help you.  If you are looking for something good value to help you, please have a look at our book on Amazon, 'Flying Without Fear, 101 fear of flying questions answered.'   We really hope to have some news for you soon regarding dates. Here is a nice email that came in just before 2018 ended... Thanks Phil.

Sent: 30 December 2018 21:23
Subject: Thank you so much!

I completed the Flying without fear course about 10 years ago in Birmingham at the age of 56 having never flown before.

It opened up a whole new world, literally! I've flown many times since, including trips to Scotland, Ireland, Spain, Portugal, Holland, Italy, Turkey, Russia and have just come back from an amazing holiday in India (with Virgin Atlantic of course!), something that I could have only dreamed about before the course. 

I loved the Dreamliner experience, especially the Premium Economy on the way home, very welcome after an exciting but tiring holiday.
 I just wanted to reiterate my huge thanks to your amazing team for the excellent course. I never fail to recommend it to anyone I meet who is at all apprehensive about flying and there are quite a lot of them! Thanks again and keep up the good work.Best wishes
Phil B


Take care,

The flying without fear team

Flying Without Fear December Blog

Welcome to the December blog....
Last month, we were 21!  

Paul Tizzard wrote to Richard Branson in October 1996 with the idea of fear of flying courses to help the public.  Sir Richard immediately loved the idea and with the support of Steve Ridgway (CEO Virgin Atlantic) gave the go ahead.

Here is a picture from September 1997 at the official launch of the programme with the key people at the time.
From left to right:

Capt. Norman Lees, Freda Angus (General Manager), Steve Ridgeway (CEO), David Landau (Psychotherapist), Lois Diplock (Ground Staff), Dawn Dart (Aviation Medicine), Paul Tizzard (Programme Creator), Ruth Davies (Customer Service Manager)

Our mission, from the outset was as Capt. Normal Lees put it, 'Let's get people flying!'  His passion was to help people to get flying - no matter what airline. 

We started our courses with some simple ideas which have remained in place ever since - no matter how big the courses have got.  The first five years, we ran courses without flights despite being offered them by Steve Ridgeway at the beginning - we wanted to keep the courses small and friendly.  Of course, over the years, the courses have evolved but the DNA remains the same.

1st November 1997, the first official courses ran.  we set up our courses with a few simple aims that we have stuck with ever since – no matter how big or small the course is.
Our Aims

  • To give you back control of how you travel
  • To keep the staff ratio high so that our courses feel as friendly and as welcoming as when we started with just 8 delegates on 1st  Nov 1997
  • To treat you as adults who are professional, capable people that just happen to have fears/phobias
  • To give you honest facts about flying safety
  • To give you tried and tested psychological techniques and approaches
  • To pamper you while you are with us – hence, we give you proper food and refreshments all day included in the price
  • To make your day fun as well as informative
  • To make sure speakers are carefully vetted so they are not just knowledgeable but also empathic
  • To after you in the way you would expect from a Virgin offering
We have continued to improve and innovate along the way but you can still see the thread of the courses has not changed.

We are really sorry that we do not have any courses to offer you at the moment but we are working on it...

Take care

Paul Tizzard
Virgin Flying Without Fear Creator