For British folk struck with the same phobia as Whoopi, however, the perks of the course actually go literally far above and beyond a simple simulation; the final step of the program is boarding an actual flight on a commercial-size aircraft. After a Q-and-A course with a VA pilot, a safety course with flight crew, and a psychology course with therapist, you'd better be ready to seal the deal.
Although the reward of happily surviving your first flight may be a reward enough, the "Fear of Flying" program doesn't let you leave empty-handed. Check out the goody bag contents:
· A certificate of course completion signed by Richard Branson
· Free insurance, and a free CD and booklet that "previous clients have been known to take on all future flights with them."
· 2,000 Virgin Air miles (keeps 'em loyal)
· Lots of refreshments! According to their website: "We always serve a hot meal and frequent refreshment breaks because we know it is important that your needs are catered for whilst in our care."
They even offer corporate and children's courses! We, however, will opt for the Whoopi special: a debonaire pilot transplanted to US soil and a flight attendant handing us a full bottle of Vodka, thank you very much.
To find out more or to book a Virgin Atlantic "Fear of Flying" course, check out their website here.
· Virgin Atlantic's Flying Without Fear Course [Official Site]
· Whoopi Conquers Fear of Flying Courtesy of Sir Richard Branson and Thought Field Therapy [Bio-Medicine]
· Travel News Coverage [Jaunted]