PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Days after Southwest Airlines Flight 1380 made an emergency landing at Philadelphia International Airport, many travelers are still uneasy.
“That definitely scared me. It scared me a little bit,” expressed Dorian Dean who just landed in Philadelphia from Nashville. “I’m a nervous flyer for sure. It heightens it,” said Debby Katersky who just flew with her husband and two small children from Denver. “We had just spoke to Southwest flight the day before. She wanted me to cancel,” said Debby’s husband Jeff Katersky.
“It’s purely psychological. So it’s very important, keep perspective which is that airline travel is extremely safe,” explained Temple University Psychologist and former president of the American Psychological Association Dr. Frank Farley.
According to Dr. Farley, unlike driving a car, the fear of flying comes from lack of control. “In a plane, you have very little control.” Married mother of two and Wells Fargo Executive Jennifer Riordan was killed Tuesday after an engine failure caused shrapnel to bust the window.
Dean, who flew for the first time had a window seat. “I was scared about it. I actually have anxiety medicine so I took some medicine before the flight and I was fine after that,” said Dean. “An aisle seat sounds like a small but psychologically satisfying piece of behavior,” explained Dr. Frank Farley.
Social media posts from flight 1380 show passengers wearing their oxygen masks wrong after losing cabin pressure at 30,000 feet in the air. People are visible not putting their noses inside their mask despite instructions given by flight attendants before takeoff.
Eyewitness News shadowed a flight attendant training session with Frontier Airlines in Denver, Colorado in 2017. Trainers said something as simple as reading the safety card placed in front of your seat before takeoff can save a life.
According Dr. Farley, other ways to decrease fear of flying is to check the safety record of your airline before flying, travel with loved ones, and to think positively.