Why do Australians fear flying?

A survey of 1000 travellers who have flown in the past year has revealed how many Australians fear flying – and the number is probably higher than you’d think.

Nearly two in five (37 per cent) Australians have aviophobia – a dreadful fear of flying. The survey revealed that the younger the traveller, the more likely they are to fear flying, with 17 per cent of under-30s declaring a fear, followed by 17 per cent of 30-somethings, nine per cent of 40-49 year olds, six per cent of those aged 50-59 and only four per cent of over 60s. The fear was most felt during take-off and landings, and in turbulence.

In 2018, there was one fatal accident per 2.52 million flights. However, despite this staggering statistic, Aussies’ fear of flying is steadily increasing. Nearly three in five (56 per cent) aviophobes say their fear of flying had increased over the past five years.

According to the study, media reports of plane crashes have contributed to this heightened fear, and the younger generations are most influenced by the media. More than half (56 per cent) of under-30s said such news affected them compared to just 34 per cent and 27 per cent of 50-somethings and over 70s, respectively.

“While the findings reveal a large proportion of Aussies, particularly young people, fear flying, flight-related accidents are a rare occurrence,” said InsureandGo spokesperson Jonathan Etkind.

“When accidents do occur, however, they are widely reported and gain a great deal of media attention, which can contribute to travellers’ heightened fear.

“Instead, travellers should be warier of on-ground incidents that are more likely to happen, such as overseas medical expenses, theft and lost luggage.

“Since travel always has some element of risk, it’s essential that travellers purchase an appropriate level of travel insurance cover.” 

Are you afraid of flying?

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Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca has worked in publishing and media in one form or another for around 25 years. He's a voracious reader, word spinner and art, writing, design, painting, drawing, travel and photography enthusiast. You'll often find him roaming through galleries or exploring the streets of his beloved Melbourne and surrounding suburbs, sketchpad or notebook in hand, smiling.
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