I have an intense fear of flying. I used to take Xanax before a flight, but I could never get the timing right. The drug would kick in heavily after I got OFF the plane and I'd be a drugged out wreck for the rest of the day. But I discovered recently that plain old whiskey works even better. I don't usually drink hard liquor and sometimes I feel a little alcoholic when I order a Jack and Coke at the airport bar at 8 am before a flight, but I don't care... it works for me.
I also try to use Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. One mental tactic: I make mental lists of all the flights that have taken off from my airport just today and think of all the flights that have landed. I think about all the flights that have taken off and landed at JFK airport, London, Paris, Tokyo, Sydney, Miami, Bogota, Johannesburg, Stockholm, etc... I think about how many safe flights are going on RIGHT NOW. It helps me put everything in perspective.
I am afraid of an airplane disaster. There are other awful disasters and situations I am NOT afraid of and I contemplate these things. The chances of getting into a major airline wreck are very, very low. But there is a chance. Similarly, there is a chance I could get kidnapped while waiting for a taxi at the airport and sold into sex slavery... albeit a VERY small chance. I don't fear this situation so why do I fear the very small chance of getting into an airplane wreck? Reminding myself of the irrationality of my phobia helps me out a lot.
And audio books help too. I can't concentrate of doing anything in planes too, so having an audio book for the flight helps keep my mind occupied.