One in three Latvians is afraid of flying, says survey

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A survey conducted by SmartLynx Airlines suggests that more than a third of Latvians (35%) admit to being afraid of flying.

"The most frequently mentioned reasons are fear of plane crashes (11%) and heights (10%), while 6% of respondents indicate that they are afraid of turbulence or air pockets during the flight," SmartLynx said.

Fear of flying is more common in women (44%) and less common in men (24%).

“People who are afraid of flying are most often rationally aware that flying is one of the safest ways to travel,” said Antra Angena, a security analyst at SmartLynx Airlines and a graduate student in clinical and health psychology.

“For many of these people, the fear is rooted in losing control of what is going on around them and their body. Before the flight, the fear of the danger to life seems real and justified, but later, when analyzing his/her behaviour, a person often realizes that the reaction and fear were exaggerated and did not correspond to reality.”

According to Angena, when anxiety and fear worsen, severe panic symptoms occur, such as excessive sweating, suffocation, increased breathing and heart rates, confusion, and disorientation. Anxiety can often lead to forgetting to pick up something important – a passport, flight tickets, or the intrusive thoughts that cause a person to repeat compulsive actions countless times. Many people who have experienced increased symptoms of stress or panic attacks once then avoid further flights.

The survey of the population’s fear of flying was conducted in April 2022, by surveying 1,000 Latvians aged 18 to 74 online.


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