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Published: September 17th 2018
A few weeks ago, I wrote a blog about why I don't fly. If you missed it, the short answer is irrational fear. I admit that it's an insane stance to take, but it is what it is. With that said, there's something you should know about me. When I make declarations, such as "I don't fly" things tend to get messy.
A few days after writing that article, I had some family issues that needed my attention. The problem is that I'm in Kansas, and I needed to get to Albany, NY. Normally, I would hop in a car and drive there, but I needed to get there as soon as possible. Without going into detail, it was a time-sensitive affair. In short, I had to fly. I guess I didn't have to, but the alternative was to leave family members stranded in Albany with no money. Big boy pants on, I looked up plane tickets.
Luckily, I have a friend willing to fly with me that's also enrolled in a bunch of airline loyalty programs
. If you fly a lot, you get airline points that you can use on airline tickets. Who wouldn't want to take a free trip to Albany?
On the way to Kansas City, where we flew out of, my friend kept telling me that the take-off and landing are the worst parts. Everything else is easy; I only have to pretend that I'm not on an airplane. The problem is that I already know I'm on an airplane and my imagination isn't good enough to convince me otherwise. If it was, I would have imagined a way to not have to fly. We'll skip past the airport itself, as I'm probably going to have to make this into three articles, and we'll go straight to the actual flight.
I'm sitting in my seat surrounded by people that think bare feet on an airplane is great. There's random coughing all around me, a flight attendant that reassures me everything will be okay (as if she controls such things) and a metal windows everywhere. There's a loud sound (I assume it's the engines) and we're off. At this point, I start to freak out a little, but the copious amounts of alcohol and nicotine I self-medicated with pre-flight kept me sane.
Once the plane is in the air, it doesn't seem all too bad. Compared to the take-off, it's rather peaceful. If I wasn't imagining my impending death every four seconds, I would have enjoyed it. The problem is that every time I started to relax, we would hit turbulence. At that point, all I could think about was the plane nosediving and how I would respond. I settled on the reality that I would make a smart remark and soil my pants. There's no shame in a good soiling before you die.
Eventually, the plane began it's descent to O'hare (we had to stop there for some reason). The landing terrified me more than the take-off. I think it was the sensation of being on a plane as it goes down. Needless to say, I hated it, and I hated the prospect of having to go through the cycle again once we resumed our journey.
My friend, being the supportive person she is, decided to tell me at that point that landings are when most accidents occur
. She also told me that the noise from the landing gear coming down was "probably a wing flying off". It was the only time I looked out the window. The wing was still there, but my sanity, for the most part, wasn't.
I would call my first flight a success in that I didn't die. I would call it a failure in that I was sweating the entire time and spent the whole flight in the second stage of Hypertension. Luckily, the rest of the trip was good. I'll skip over the family parts and go straight to the fun stuff in the next post. Hint: it involves food and me considering whether I should fly home or live the rest of my days in Albany. Obviously, I flew, but there was a moment where I thought "Albany isn't so bad".
Thanks for reading,
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