Scared of flying? Press the fear iButton

Tue Nov 3, 2009 5:29am EST
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SYDNEY (Reuters Life!) - People scared of flying can now press a button on their iPhone to help them deal with their panic.

Long-haul airline Virgin Atlantic Airways has launched an application, or app, for its Flying Without Fear course which boasts a success rate of over 98 percent. Apps are a source of information, games and other novelty ideas for users of Apple's iPhone and iPod Touch devices.

The airline said in a statement that this app was designed to help people overcome fear, be it of the unfamiliar aircraft, the strange noises a plane makes, or of losing control.

"Our first iPhone app will bring the benefits of our successful Flying Without Fear course to millions of people around the world who are now using mobile technology to make their lives better," Richard Branson, president of Virgin Atlantic, said in a statement.

"The app will put many travelers at ease and enable them to prepare for their first Virgin Atlantic flight."

The airline developed the app with Mental Workout, a company developing software to help people resolve issues and increase mental performance. A spokesman from Mental Workout said an estimated one in every three adults were scared of flying.

The Flying Without Fear app has an introduction by Branson, a video-based in-flight explanation of a flight, frequently asked questions, relaxation exercises and a fear attack button for emergencies with breathing exercises.

(Writing by Belinda Goldsmith, Editing by Miral Fahmy)

<p>A passenger jet flies past the moon over Shanghai in this October 6, 2009 file photo. REUTERS/Aly Song</p>