In-flight meals can help passengers who are afraid of flying relax, new research suggests.

The Alpha Airports Group carried out an investigation which found that three-quarters of people said that they were at least slightly scared of flying.

Around one in ten people (eight per cent) revealed that they were so terrified that they never even set foot on a plane.

However, the research found that the in-flight meal helped worried passengers forget about their fear. In addition, foods such as cheese and yoghourt were found to create biochemical changes which help people relax.

Psychologist Corinne Sweet explained: "Eating the in-flight meal provides a great way for you to relax and forget about any fears of flying.

"Being served food in-flight stirs up nourishing, comforting memories of meals surrounded by family and friends. This satisfying ritual is often associated with happy, carefree times, so can help you relax."

Other things that British holidaymakers do to relieve their flight fear include reading a book, doing crosswords, listening to music and drinking alcohol.

Virgin Atlantic currently runs courses at airports in the UK to help people deal with their fear of flying.

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Tony Hill Helen Gillilan

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(Tony Hill and Helen Gillilan)

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Food 'helps With Fear Of Flying'