• Christopher Babayode

Why Being Fit to Fly is Important Right Now


Fit to Fly

Being fit to fly is a term I learnt at British Airways, an organisation that knows a thing or two about transporting people around the world. What has it got to do with you? As the world comes out of the global pandemic, are you and your people ready for the new future of travel? If you are embedded in an organisation are you ready to hit the road if asked to? If you are a solo frequent traveller are you ready to get back on the road to resurrect your connections and business deals as needed? As an organisation or individual what is the cost to your corporate wellness programs / people or personal health?  What is the overall impact on your business in the new future of travel that is fast upon us?


Lest we forget, the experts that warned about this pandemic are also saying that there will be more to come, how are you prepared? Being fit to fly or having your people be fit to fly is one way to approach these challenges and emerge with positive outcomes.


What does being fit to fly mean?


Having a healthy disposition to weather the challenges of a life of frequent travel with its unpredictability, and still be able to deliver on your travel objectives, while maintaining a healthy work life balance in the process. It comes from possessing physical health, positive mental health, the ability to compartmentalise life, and  having routines and habits that allow for productivity, relaxation and renewal.


Work wellness programs often have duty of care and remedial measures in place for the welfare of their travellers, the question you have to ask yourself is is this enough in the current climate? Being fit to fly is a granular approach that involves the flyers in your organisation. As a solo frequent traveller it allows you to be mindful of your health in the context of your personal life and your business, providing benefits in both areas.


The best time to implement this concept is now. On the day I started at British Airways we were taken into a conference room for a lecture. The lesson was simple, do all you can to make sure you are fit to fly. The instrument used to explain this to us was what affectionately came to be known as the capacity bucket,  but that's a story for another time.


What was embedded in the procedure of all flying staff was that every time you signed in to report for duty, you had to tick a box that said you were fit to fly. It  meant being physically mentally and emotionally ready for the trip ahead. If you weren't fit to fly it was your duty to inform the on duty manager to see what could be done to help you.


Right now there is a lot of pandemic fatigue going around, you may have been working from home or working remotely, or have other priorities that meant you've been unable to look after your personal health.  When it's time to get back to travel this could be a disadvantage, and when it comes to a post-pandemic travel landscape it's definitely not the way to show up.


The hardest hit during this pandemic have been people with compromised immunity. In the face of a mutating virus and all the uncertainty it brings looking inwards for things you can do for yourself should not be discounted. Protecting and balancing your immunity should be an important priority,  and part of your plan to be fit to fly.


To be successful in the future of travel we need to adopt understand the principle of travelling well to arrive well based on building sustainable well-being. The link between good sleep and strong immunity is firmly established. The low hanging fruit is to encourage all travellers to look after their sleep. Yes, I know it's not sexy or revolutionary but it will pay dividends in the area of physical mental and emotional well-being, upon which all else can be built for success in the post pandemic world.


If you would like a more in-depth discussion about being fit to fly contact me at info@nojetstress.com with subject: Fit to Fly.