Jetstar the worst airline in the world? I think not, and here’s why

The local Australian newspapers and websites are somewhat awash today (April 28, 2017) with news of a consumer advocacy publication, Choice, and its selection of the low cost carrier as Australia’s worst airline. Here’s a screenshot of some of the article linked to, above:

Not surprisingly, there have been many comments,

“I feel so much safer when I drive my car than when I fly”


i wish i had a dollar for each time i was told this by a client…. it speaks of the “illusion of control” we possess when we drive our cars.


(I initially wrote this post in April,

Flight Attendants and Vigilance

One of the guidances I offer to patients is how to board their flight. Not just what to take for entertainment, or temperature regulation, but how to prepare for the boarding process.

For many fearful flyers (and others who anxiously await confronting a fearful event), the leadup to their flight can be critical to success.

Exposure to stationary aircraft – methods and issues

There’s an 8-part television show, Ready for Take-off,  which has just finished its season in Australia which gives us a behind-the scenes look at the operation of Qantas Airways across many of its airports internationally, including Heathrow, Dubai, Sydney and Melbourne.

(Please note: It’s Qantas not Quantas,

The Flight from Hell


Some of the details in this post might frighten some readers who are “early” in their work on their fear of flying. It’s OK, it’s just a truthful story of someone else’s experience. It could be your’s or mine one day, so I think it’s useful to know how to understand it and not let stories like this negatively affect your fears.

Safety Behaviours

Most patients who see me will eventually be introduced to the practice of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), the intervention that has the most publications in evidence-based journals for the effective treatment of anxiety disorders.

There are of course other approaches, many of which grew from the original psychoanalytic approaches pioneered by Freud more than a hundred years ago,

Sir Simon Rattle and Anxiety

One of the tasks of a psychologist when guiding patients to better manage, if not overcome their anxiety problems, is how to best educate them about the biology of anxiety and fear.

There is evidence that patients who can better understand the meaning of their signs and symptoms of anxiety do better, and this is called the psycho-education phase of treatment.

Aviation Safety

Should I watch shows like Air Crash Investigation?

Many people, including patients, journalists, and those who work for airlines, often ask me if fearful flyers should be watching or avoiding TV shows like Air Crash Investigator, or indeed TV news bulletins featuring headline stories about aviation incidents.

It’s very hard to avoid the latter,

Visualisation and mental rehearsal

Visualisation and mental rehearsal

Nowadays, less than 20% of my patients cite air safety as their major concern which brings them to see me. Most airline-based courses, and certainly most books and websites spend a lot of time repeating the statistics about flight safety. This is necessary, but for many insufficient to help them fly better.

Exposure Therapy

What is Exposure Therapy for Anxiety (and why is it so effective when used according to the evidence)?

Most of us are aware of the expression, “hopping back on the horse”.

It refers to being thrown from a horse, and the need to get back on and ride again immediately otherwise you’ll build up a fear response.