Just as flight crews meticulously prepare for every phase of a flight, you too can prepare for every phase of your upcoming flight: pre-flight, in-flight and post-flight.

Flight crews use checklists to check and cross check every procedure and sequence throughout the flight, and you will have the same opportunity to be in command of your own flight by following the suggestions below to create your own flight checklists.

Pre-Flight Checklist

FearlessFlight™Harmonizer (Make sure you use a headset and turn the volume up as loud as you can stand it!) 

  1. Practice whenever you have anxious thoughts about flying.
  2. Use it to calm your dog!  Seriously, listen to it at bedtime
  3. Educate yourself about flying – learn as much as you can!
  4. Attend a class
  5. Take a webinar
  6. Take a course on flying – LEARN TO FLY!
  7. Learn to Monitor and Control Your Breathing
  8. Use a drinking straw to regulate breathing
  9. Timed breathing to control rate and depth: holding your breath; be aware of hyperventilation

At Home

  1. Practice breathing
  2. When anxious thoughts arise, review information and strategies for coping—reframe old thoughts
  3. Make a plan(your own flight plan)
  4. Find a support partner(your co-pilot)
  5. Focus only on “present moment”—not on future.  Be mindful

Use Distraction Strategies

  1. Rubber band & sour candies (things that shock your senses to distract you)
  2. Tootsie Pops/Gummi Bears (things that require “chewing”)
  3. Audio books or music (Make sure it is something with which you are unfamiliar)

Flight Day/In-Flight Checklist

  1. Take your FearlessFlight™Harmonizer
  2. Arrive early at the airport (1½ to 2 hours prior to departure, 3 or more hours for international flights)
  3. Advise gate agent of your fear and ask for special needs (eg, seating, pre-board, etc)
  4. Practice breathing in the boarding area
  5. Advise Flight Attendants that you are a fearful flyer
  6. Ask to meet pilots
  7. “Create” your “comfort” zone as soon as you take your seat (relaxing, breathing through a straw, sharing with seat-mates, put on personal electronic device)
  8. Focus only on the “present moment”—not on the future.  Be mindful
  9. Remember to BREATHE!

A Word About Medication and Alcohol…

  • Prescription drugs – ONLY  WITH YOUR DOCTOR’S APPROVAL
  • Alcohol/non-prescription drugs – NOT RECOMMENDED: Dehydration increases alcohol’s effect on the body. Since airline cabins tend to have very dry air, it would stand to reason you would feel the 1-2 punch of alcohol and over the counter meds much more intensely than in a less dry climate.


Don’t forget to celebrate your accomplishment, even if you feel your flight wasn’t “perfect” in every way. The key is you did it! Thank the flight crew on your way off the aircraft, high-five the pilot if possible, and enjoy your newfound sense of accomplishment.

There you have it. Your own set of checklists to use as often as you feel you need to. Just as your flight crew is in charge of every aspect of your flight, you can also take command of every phase of your own unique flight experience.

Need a little extra help with your flight prep? Contact Capt. Ron for a free 15-minute coaching call.



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