Aerophobia is not necessarily brought on as a result of a bad experience, as it may be an indirect combination of one or more other phobias related to flying. These phobias can include obvious ones such as a fear of heights or a lack of control, claustrophobia or social phobia to a fear of germs, a fear of terrorism or even a lack of perceived understanding and acceptance of the mechanics of how an aircraft can stay in the air.
Some suggest that the media are also a major factor behind fear of flying, and claim that the media sensationalise airline crashes and as the total number of flights in the world rises, the absolute number of crashes rises as well, even though the overall safety of air travel continues to improve and statistics on various forms of travel show that aeroplanes are safer than any other common form of transport per mile travelled..
The fear receives more attention than most other phobias because air travel is often difficult for people to avoid, especially in professional context, and because the fear is widespread, affecting 20% of the population. A fear of flying may prevent a person from going on vacations or visiting family and friends, and it can cripple the career of a business person by preventing them from travelling on work-related business.
Like many, Carl, wanted to be able to travel for the sake of his children and for his partner Beth who was desperate for a holiday following a traumatic miscarriage. Despite being given tranquillisers by his GP and consuming a large quantity of alcohol at the airport, Carl a lifelong anxiety sufferer still hysterically ran down the aeroplane as it was taxing for take-off causing mass hysteria amongst his fellow passengers and huge embarrassment to Carl and his family. Having flown to Spain under these desperate circumstances he flatly refused to fly back and got the bus back to the UK from Spain.
Carl was convinced that he had no idea how this fear had manifested, but he desperately needed help and he felt that The Speakman’s were his last & only hope.