This might be my great age speaking, but I really cannot stand flying any more. I hate every part of it. The security lines, the hideous air-pressure and air-quality onboard, the constant background noise on board, the mind-numbing tedium of an nine hour flight, being stuck in one “room” for all that time. The horrifying jet-lag when you arrive. And then again back home.
And I was in business class with loads of room and endless food and drink being offered constantly. And a lay-flat bed with a duvet. And fast track security.
Honestly, it’s definitely a factor in the decision whether or not to return next year.
That may make a difference. I love to fly! I love the whole experience: the airport, the over priced food, the flight, the arrival!
The noise does get on my nerves.
I hate it too. I have flown all my life, my Father had an amateur pilot’s licence but I hate commercial flights. I hate the waiting around in airports and being herded like sheep. I hate the person who sits next to me and insists on talking non stop, even when I pointedly stick my nose in a book or close my eyes. Last time I was in front of the sceaming kicker. The loos are gross. But most of all I hate unpacking and what do I do as soon as I get home?..book another holiday!
I don’t fly. At all. Last time I was on a plane was for our honeymoon (almost 23 years now). We won’t go on them any more…which means if we can’t there by car or boat, we ain’t goin’!
Part of it is, perhaps, an unreasonable fear. If something should happen and I were on the plane, my kids are fatherless. If my wife and I go and something happens, they are parent-less.
My brother’s best friend was one of hundreds that died on Flight 255 that crashed in Detroit years ago. He left behind a wife and two kids. So death from plane crash is all too real.
I am so sorry for your loss. As a child my option was to go up with my Father or sit alone in the Clubhouse, next to a plastic rubber plant with a bag of peanuts and a bottle of pineapple juice. How parenting has changed!
My 12yo hates flying. He is on the spectrum and has some vestibular issues and intensely dislikes the feeling in his stomach during take off. Knowing the feeling is coming brings on anxiety, and that usually doesn’t dissipate until after the flight is over.
We mitigate some of this w/ a lot of prep work as well as utilizing TSA Cares, but in the end he still has to deal w/ it. Over the last few years he does better w/ flying, but it still is a lot of “work” for him and we try to avoid it if we can.
Since we don’t have any oceans to cross, we are lucky in the Northeastern US to have the availability of the AutoTrain. We drive to Lorton, VA (just south of Washington, DC) and board the train w/ our car…and arrive in Sanford, FL the next morning. It is longer than flying, but comfortable and ds enjoys the experience a lot more.
i once flew from Atlanta to Honolulu in business class, and – aside from being terrified of flying – i was just about out of my mind with all of the things you mentioned @profmatt … and i think i was in my mid-twenties at the time! pre 9/11!
sorry to hear about your brother’s best friend, @ryan1 – i have the same fears. i know people always say flying is the safest way to go, but i am white-knuckled and wide-eyed even on a red-eye from LA to Philly. CANNOT. HANDLE. IT.
@minniemouse27, i’m concerned about this upcoming trip for my brother and his family … first-time flying for their 18yo aspergers son and generally anxious 13-yo daughter. they just leaned about TSA Cares yesterday (who would have ever thought TSA Cares??) and that will help loads in the airport. but i worry about the 2.5 hr flight to MCO … i’m trying to prep the kids on the little details - the sounds, the bumps, etc … we were cupping our hands over our ears and talking to give them an idea of what everything sounds like. but there’s no escape from the plane, so praying that all goes well for them.
We do a verbal walk through of security…even w/ TSA Cares it can be stressful…and I think that helps. Also, a tablet/phone/game system w/ headphones is key w/ ds. He can focus on that and block out the engines and other things going on around him once he boards.
Ds flew a few times as a toddler/preschooler with no issues and then didn’t fly again until he was 10yo. We were ON the plane when he went into a full on anxiety attack…and it was only a short hop from Philly to NY, we still had to board our flight to Puerto Rico! I spend the entire layover talking him down and walking through strategies that would make him feel more comfortable getting on the second leg of our flight. Moving him to the center seat and shutting the window helped a ton.
TSA Cares has worked well for us. There is one main number to set it up, but each airport executes it differently. We found Philly to be super organized, LAX…not so much! We now know to just walk up and ask for assistance if the airport doesn’t contact us beforehand.
excellent advice, thank you! i just now heard from my SIL and she said she made arrangements today with TSA Cares, so that’s great. they will be flying out of PHL so i’m very happy (and surprised!) that they are organized! i’m sure my nephew will be armed with all of his electronics, but i will defintely pass along the tip of the center seat with the window down. thank you so much.
I’ve heard that they aren’t all that great at MCO…we haven’t tried it there yet ourselves.
Know that no matter what else, if they arrive at the airport w/o a contact they should approach the security checkpoint and ask for a TSA Passenger Support Specialist.
“Hi, we contacted TSA Cares and were instructed to ask for assistance from a Passenger Support Specialist.”
I didn’t much like Louis CK, even before it came out what a creep he is, but I will defer to him on this subject.
“That was the worst Day of my life. I had to sit on the runway for 40 minutes.” That’s a story In this country. That’s a [redacted] hardship, that you had to sit on the runway. People will listen to that story. They’ll stop doing the dishes and turn around and go, “Oh, my God, really? For 40 minutes? That’s awful. You should sue them.” “I had to sit on the runway For 40 minutes.” Oh, my God, really? What happened then? Did you fly through the air like a bird? Incredibly? Did you soar Into the clouds impossibly? Did you partake In the miracle of human flight? And then land softly on giant tires that you couldn’t even conceive how they [redacted] put air in them? How dare you. Bitching about flying. “I had to pay for my sandwich.” You’re flying! You’re sitting in a chair in the sky. You’re like a Greek myth right now.
Thank you for this reminder.
My husband got me noise cancelling headphones for a recent trip to Peru, and I cannot believe the difference they make in terms of that annoying engine drone. I also wore them on a boat ride and they had the same effect. I was worried I wouldn’t be able to hear my kids if they needed to talk to me, but because all the other noises are gone, I can actually hear voices even better. I was even able to get some sleep on my flight over from Boston to Spain the other day- that has never happened before. Best investment for travel ever.
My brother-in-law is a biochemical engineer who studies air quality. He just told me before my flight the other day that we should close the air vents for take off because the jet fuel actually ends up coming in through those vents and into our lungs. He gave me a detailed explanation of the hows and whys it happens, but the upshot is- close your vents. On this particular flight we were in the middle aisle, and there were no vents to close and I definitely, for sure, could smell it.
I spent several years travelling on business every other week. You definitely get used to the waits etc - in the beginning it annoyed me but now it really doesn’t bother me at all.
My worst experience was being fogged in at LGW. I was meant to fly out of there Wednesday afternoon and was stuck until Saturday morning. One lady was having a massive go at the checkin staff that morning; the first flight had been cancelled and she was ranting about how she’d been there for over two hours…big deal lady, I practically live here!
My main problem is my sinuses, not only do I feel every pressure change in the cabin (sometimes painfully) but the recycled air dries them out and I have had some impressive nosebleeds in some exotic locations as a consequence.