CoM: Can you use the app during take off and landing?
MBC: Unfortunately, passengers cannot use any electronic device – including the iPhone in airplane mode – during take-off and landing but the app is developed to prepare users for flight whereby making the brief “no electronics” period at the beginning and end of the flight more manageable.
The panic button is intended to be used during the flight when turbulence is encountered or other events occur which make the user uncomfortable.
CoM: So how are people supposed to use it?
MBC: Users of the app will have access to a customized program preparing them for their future flight which includes fear therapy for take-off and landing if they have specified this as a fear.
They can watch a video-based in-flight explanation of things that occur during flight, listen to FAQs, practice relaxation exercises, and learn how to breathe correctly when they are about to have an anxiety attack.
Virgin’s mobile panic app may be the shape of things to come — we also heard from Lisa Hauptner, VP of Fear of Flying, which already offers help for flight panic via phone, live chat, DVD and MP3. Hauptner told us that her company is considering adding an app, but will wait to see how Virgin’s program fares.
While we’re still not sure the app would be much help for serious flight phobias, there’s only one way to find out.
If you’d like to try the app — and let us know whether it alleviated any fears or left you spinning in your plane seat — we have a promo code.
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