Nervous flier? This airline will offer in-flight meditation

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Are you one of those people who tightly grips the arms of the seat when your plane takes off, lands and hits any bump in the sky?

One airline understands the reality that flying can make many people nervous.

Virgin Australia announced it will begin assisting anxious fliers by offering in-flight meditation and dedicated onboard assistance.

The airline partnered with Smiling Mind, a nonprofit that offers meditation programs created by psychologists and educators, to provide travelers a tool to help with their anxiety and focus on their well-being.

“Virgin Australia is very focused on supporting the mental health of its passengers and team members, and there are very few of us who haven’t been directly or indirectly impacted by anxiety,” Virgin founder Sir Richard Branson said in a statement.

Virgin Australia officials said they hope to enable the reduction of stress and anxiety during air travel, so much so that they will also begin implementing the new program for staff outside flights.

“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 airline announced that, in addition to offering guided meditations, early next year, passengers will also be able to have personalized communications with airline staff in the lead-up to their trip, and face-to-face interactions while onboard the plane to help combat travel-related anxiety before their journey.

Dr. Addie Wootten, CEO of Smiling Mind, said the company would love to see every passenger use air travel to give their mind time to thrive.

"As little as a couple of minutes of meditation can improve our overall sense of calm and well-being during a flight. And what better time than in air to meditate?" she said.

Airlines like United, JetBlue and American have recently begun implementing relaxation apps into their entertainment programming.


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