Thomas Cook uses hypnosis to get jaded Brits to fall back in love with flying

New research finds that 35 per cent of Brits have fallen out of love with air travel. One in five say their first flight experience is one of their top…


New research finds that 35 per cent of Brits have fallen out of love with air travel. One in five say their first flight experience is one of their top ten life experiences – Thomas Cook Airlines is trying to help them recapture that feeling with hypnosis.

Of those surveyed by Thomas Cook Airlines,  over half (55%) also said that they see flying a means to an end. Over a quarter (28%) said they wish they could experience the first flight feeling again.

Thomas Cook Airlines collaborated with TV hypnotist and mind-reader, Aaron Calvert, to do just that.  Calvert spent 20 minutes putting five adults under hypnosis. Each person was told they were being filmed for a documentary on being a first-time flyer before being taken through the airport and onto the plane – where they believed they were boarding an A321 for the very first time.

Going under

The participants spent eight hours under hypnosis and experienced every element of air travel as if for the first time. Each person was filmed as they waited expectantly in the departure lounge, watching the planes take off, before excitedly boarding.

Manchester-based TV hypnotist Aaron, 27, said during the day: “It’s been really eye-opening. These guys absolutely believe this is their first flight. And what’s amazing is the simplest things are bringing such joy. They looked out of a window, saw a plane and couldn’t believe the size of it or that it could actually take off. There was an almost childlike excitement to their constant questions!”

Jo Cattini from Hemel Hempstead, 47, estimated she’s been on more than 30 flights, taking a couple of family holidays a year. Married couple Lee and Jade Evans, 30 and 29, from Bristol, are also regulars on planes – with Lee’s job as a project planner taking him on monthly flights to Scotland and Europe. The duo flew long haul for their honeymoon just four years ago. Also put into a trance were James Jebson, a 36-year-old photographer from Blackpool, and chef Murray Tweddle, 32, of Kinross.

James said: “I have a massive range of emotions. It’s made me realise how incredible flying is. If I hadn’t been hypnotised myself, I’d be the guy saying, ‘that’s fake’. But I can guarantee, it’s the most strange, bizarre and beautiful experience. If you haven’t flown before, just do it.”

Millions yet to fly

Maggie Kennedy, Director of Group Cabin Crew Management at Thomas Cook Airlines, said: “We think that your holiday should start as you arrive at the airport and board the aircraft, which is why we want to show the fun of flying through this experiment. Flying with us allows you to sit back, relax and disconnect from the everyday before reaching a fantastic holiday destination. What can be better?”

5.9 million Brits are still yet to fly for the first time.

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