Virgin Australia is making travel easier for passengers afraid of flying

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A fear of flying prevents around one in every six people from getting on a plane.

And while the majority of air travels in Australia go ahead without incident, the idea of travelling in the air is simply too much for some people.

To combat these jitters, Richard Branson’s airline Virgin Australia has partnered with meditation app Smiling Mind to create a new flight program specifically designed to calm anxious flyers.

From early next year, passengers will be able to identify themselves as having feelings of travel-related anxiety when they book their ticket, which will lead to personalised communications in the lead up to their journey, and face-to-face interactions with trained staff while onboard the aircraft.

All Virgin Australia guests will also have access to the Smiling Mind app guided meditations via the Inflight Entertainment System, enabling the reduction of stress and anxiety during the flight.

“Integrating mindfulness into our everyday lives is just as important as eating well and exercising regularly, and I am so excited to see Virgin Australia deeply embedding mindfulness into the workplace and onboard flights,” Branson said.

The program follows a move either this year by Townsville Airport, in far north Queensland, to provide emotional support dogs for nervous travellers.

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