Fretful Travelers on This Airline Get a Major Assist

In-flight meditation sessions will be offered to American Airlines passengers who crave 'serenity now' in the air

Many people have a fear of flying, some to an extreme level.

American Airlines now has partnered with Calm, a meditation app, in an effort to ease passengers’ anxiety and offer a more “serene” flying environment.

During the onboard process, nature videos will be shown to help reduce the commotion of finding seats, storing one’s luggage and getting settled before the plane takes off.

Once on the flight, passengers will have a variety of meditation selections to choose from through the app.

Calm was named Apple’s 2017 App of the Year.

Sunny Rodriguez, a spokesperson for American Airlines, said on Tuesday, “As we continue to enhance the onboard experience, we wanted to find a way to deliver something that would be unique to American and give our customers more variety.”

She added, “Our team explored the opportunity with Calm and worked one-on-one with the Calm team to develop a variety of relaxation-focused guided mediations specific to fliers.”

Meditation has been in existence for over 5,000 years, across multiple religious disciplines.

One custom option includes breathing exercises. A second, named “Relax and Release,” distracts the flier by focusing on sensations in the hands and feet, aiding in alleviating stress.

Another is a guided meditation to help relieve the trauma and tension of flying. Some of the app’s traditional features, such as “Sleep Stories,” will also be available.

The service will be offered on all international and domestic flights with streaming entertainment or seatback entertainment, Rodriguez explained.

Streaming entertainment is accessible through a passenger’s personal device.

Meditation has been in existence for over 5,000 years, across multiple religious disciplines. There are numerous scientific studies on the effectiveness of reducing stress, blood pressure, and other conditions.

In the quest to improve flier experience and further integrate wellness, Rodriguez said of American Airlines, “Last year we partnered with sleep expert Casper to design bedding that gives our customers the best rest possible in our premium cabins.”

The addition of Calm is another wellness building block for the airline.

The company also has a new partnership with Zoes Kitchen.

“Zoes Kitchen is designing a new food-for-sale menu for our main cabin customers that will feature lighter, healthier options,” according to Rodriguez.

Based in Boynton Beach, Florida, Christine King is founder and CEO of Your Best Fit, a health and wellness company that provides fitness, nutrition, and design and management services.