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Almost half of Gen Z are afraid to fly after Boeing safety issues

by Staff

Gen Z’s flight phobia is sky-high.

New research has uncovered that almost half of all Zoomers are afraid to fly in the wake of safety issues plaguing Boeing’s 737 aircraft.

JW Surety Bonds surveyed 1,000 Americans about air travel including 230 members of Gen Z, a staggering 49% of whom are now terrified to board a plane.

“Flying fears appear to be especially heightened among Gen Z,” Merritt Ryan from JW Surety Bonds told The Post, noting that these youngsters feel more flight fright than members of any other generation.

New York City therapist Lesley Koeppel says the COVID-19 pandemic has heightened anxieties among Zoomers as they lost the ability to trust both loved ones and societal institutions at a crucial time in their development.

“People trust their parents growing up, but they [Gen Z] reached an age where Covid happened, and there were all sorts of inconsistencies that made these kids wonder: ‘Are these societal institutions to be trusted?’” Koeppel declared.

New research has uncovered that almost half of all Zoomers are afraid to fly in the wake of safety issues plaguing Boeing’s 737 aircraft. REUTERS

She said parents — many of whom were themselves worried during the pandemic — were passing along their own anxieties. At the same time, outside sources were conveying conflicting messages on a day-to-day basis as information evolved.

“[Gen Z were told] Wear a mask, don’t wear a mask, get vaxxed, don’t get vaxxed, don’t touch a package that comes to the house, now you can touch the package,” Koeppel explained. “There was so much misinformation and inconsistency.”

“I really think that put that generation on shaky ground, when they were supposed to be able to be branching away from their parents and learning to trust these sources that could not be trusted. When you don’t trust, you develop anxiety and can go backward,” she added.

New York City therapist Lesley Koeppel says the Covid pandemic has heightened anxieties among Zoomers as they lost the ability to trust both loved ones and societal institutions at a crucial time in their development. Getty Images

As a result, Koeppel says, many Zoomers struggle with severe trust issues and may be unwilling to place faith in anything Boeing, the airlines, and even the Federal Aviation Authority tell them.

The Boeing 737 MAX 9 is currently under federal investigation after a cabin panel blew off an Alaska Airlines flight mid-air in January, forcing an emergency landing.

Additionally, lockdown orders gave many members of Gen Z an excuse to retreat into the comfort and safety of their homes as the innumerable dangers lurked outside — and now they’re scared to face their fears.

“If you have anxiety, one of the ways to treat it is exposure therapy, so it doesn’t get a chance to get a hold of you,” Koeppel explained. “When the world was shut down and people weren’t traveling that was at least a year of people not being exposed to what they might be afraid of.”

The Boeing 737 MAX 9 is currently under federal investigation after a cabin panel blew off an Alaska Airlines flight mid-air in January, forcing an emergency landing. AP

However, it’s not just Gen Z who are concerned about taking to the skies amidst the FAA’s ongoing investigation of Boeing.

JW Surety Bonds survey also found that 40% of Baby Boomers and 39% of Millennials were also worried about flying.

Gen X was the least bothered by Boeing’s problems, with 38% saying they’re now afraid to take to the skies.




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