Virgin Atlantic has put an application onto the iPhone App store that it claims calms nervous fliers 98 per cent of the time.
The Flying Without Fear application contains relaxation techniques and a video of explanation of the flight process, along with a personal intro from Sir Richard Branson, for $4.99.
Other features include a panic button that triggers breathing exercises and additional information intended to calm the user. Virgin claims the software is effective in 98 per cent of cases and cites Whoopi Goldberg as a convert.
"The program works, I was a skeptic. I hadn't flown in 13 years but after doing their program, I understood that while my fear was real, there were many things I didn't know or had misinformation about, which they were able to clear up. So what happened? I now fly. It's that simple."
Fear of flying is a problem effecting up to one in three of the population so there's a big market to be had, but whether or not people are willing to pay $4.99 for it is another matter. Maybe Virgin is banking on the increasing presence of in-flight Wi-Fi and the power of the panic buy.
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