Last summer I went to Europe with a group of people. My friend Kate had never flown before (oh how lucky she was that her first flight was on an LX
A332!). Her mother has a fear of flying so great that she refuses to get onto an airplane, thus they drive EVERYWHERE. So natually, she was kind of apprehensive herself about the whole experience. I just explained the flight regime to her, and to aid in what I was talking about I actually used a.net to show her some pictures of what things were. Of course we get on the plane and she's sitting there and her chest was pounding as we were lining up for departure, and she closed her eyes tight as we started rolling but once we got into the air and she was fine. She enjoyed the flights, except for the turbulence (which was insignificant in my opinion, but it obviously wasnt to her). In my opinion, if you know what to expect it makes the situation a little less nerve wracking. There is really nothing to be afraid of, and the statistics only support that notion. It's one of those things that once you've gone through it, it's fine. Just encourage your friend to stick with it.
I've also helped a friend through her first flight a few years back on a school trip to Mexico. This time it was in a Conti 733 from PHL
(and then on to Merida, Mexico). She was sitting infront of me. It was a particularly rainy day, so we start to roll down the runway and she's going: "Oh my God, Oh my God, Oh my God" and slams down the window shade. Next she reaches back towards me and goes: "Painter hold my hand" (I actually have a picture that a friend took of this that's quite hilarious). Once again, though, she was okay with it when everything was said and done, and the next 3 legs of our trip she made it through like a champ.
Too often we ... enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought. - John Fitzgerald Kennedy