Fear of Flying.

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Tomorrow, I get on a plane for Washington, D.C.

I will be visiting the headquarters of Discovery.

I’m very excited.  I’m hoping to meet Mike Rowe, the Mythbusters, or maybe the nut jobs from Storm Chasers (really… it’s pouring down rain… go inside already).

Meeting important people (even unstable ones) will be the fun part.

The bad part is flying.

I don’t fear flying, I just have some concerns.

On the list is the inevitable groping I always have to endure at the airport.  This time could be especially painful since I’m still trying to bounce back from my "vacation".

Another thing I always worry about is changing time zones.  It’s confusing.

When I travel and have to go from one time zone to another, two things invaribly happen.

One, I’m always hungry.  And two, I’m always doing math in my head to figure out why I’m starving at 9:30 in the morning.

But the biggest thing that scares me about flying is the unknown.

And I don’t mean how does a giant metal tube hurtle through the air.  Or will a flight attendant slam a metal cart full of nothing good to eat into my elbow just as I doze off?

My biggest concern is who I will sit by.

I can’t be the only one who gets on a plane and then waits.

Waits while passenger after passenger boards.  I check them all out to see which one I might not want to sit by.

Don’t get me wrong, 99 out of 100 people I’m good with sharing a row.

It’s the one percent that concerns me.

And you know who I’m talking about.

The mom.

The mom with a baby.

The mom with a newborn baby.

The mom with a newborn baby who has never flown before.

The mom with a newborn baby who has never flown before and the baby has a terrible ear infection.

There’s one on every flight (or maybe it just seems like it).

My only hope is they won’t sit by me.

It’s not that I dislike this mom. In fact, I feel sorry for this mom.

I survived (barely) 6 months of a colicky Evil Spawn.

And I don’t want to go back there.

Ever.

So keep a good thought for me.  I know I can’t avoid the groping, so I’ll just ride that out.

But the crying.

I can’t take the crying.

"Please walk by me… please walk by… please… I promise you God I’ll be good… if they just walk by… please… please…"

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6 Responses to “Fear of Flying.”


  1. Alfred Thompson
    on Mar 17th, 2012
    @ 9:23 pm

    My fear it the middle seat with two really large people who think the arm rest should be up sitting on either side of me. I can sleep though the baby crying.


  2. Bill
    on Mar 17th, 2012
    @ 9:24 pm

    It s all in GOD’s hands as I will be flying to the middle east in June bout the 8th time Or i have flown overseas/internationally. Take a Xanax :)


  3. Mark Dunk
    on Mar 18th, 2012
    @ 9:11 am

    My list of suggestions:
    1) music or audio ebook with ear buds
    2) noise-cancelling headphones
    3) Xanax
    4) Xanax with a tequila chaser


  4. Carla
    on Mar 18th, 2012
    @ 11:39 am

    Or… acknowledge the discomfort to yourself, and then find a way to offer empathy and service to the mom with the crying baby. I am sure she is suffering much more than everyone else. Wouldn’t life be great if we could all control our children.


  5. Richard Byrne
    on Mar 18th, 2012
    @ 3:47 pm

    Looking forward to meeting at the event. When we do, I’ll share my two secret techniques for not getting stuck in a bad armrest sharing situation. Of course, once I tell you you’ll probably label me as “unstable.” You won’t be the first though…


  6. Capt Ron
    on Mar 18th, 2012
    @ 6:01 pm

    I’m a “recovering” pilot having flown airliners for 30 years and military planes 10 years prior to that. Recovering because while I love flying, I can’t say that dragging my bags for 2, 3 or 4 days at a time was all that came to mind when I first got the flying bug back in the second grade. No, my vision was flying the “fighter-type” airplanes in the way that inspired John Gillespie Magee, Jr’s description of flight as “slipping the surly bonds of Earth” in his epic poem “High Flight.”

    Yes, it’s a bit of a challenge to “reach out and touch the face of God” when you’d like to “slap the crying child” –or maybe, the mother. I was 18 years into my career when I was asked by a psychologist to assist him in a program that he was developing for people with a fear of flying. I thought, “Wow, never really imagined that anyone viewed flying as negative, let alone fearful. Boy, was I about to learn a thing or two.

    The experience has taught me how debilitating being afraid to fly is for some people. It crosses all socio-economic lines and includes people of power and celebrity. Adele recently won 6 Grammys but what gained as much media as her gift of singing has been her fear of flying. In her own word it threatened to keep her from celebrating with her fans “down under” in Australia where she enjoys huge popularity.

    On a deeper level I’ve learned about my own fears and have been inspired by many of my clients to examine the confines of my own limiting beliefs. Growing up watching all those WW II movies led be to the belief that courage was an act demonstrated in the face of life-threatening danger. But having served in Vietnam, my view of courage has expanded. I see it everywhere in everyday acts of people transcending their own limitations.

    Perhaps being seated next to that new mother with the screaming infant, neither of whom have flown before. As a crew member who often had to “deadhead” (ride in the cabin as a passenger) from time-to-time, I can appreciate your dilemma. It didn’t take a screaming kid–sometimes it was just an inquisitive passenger who couldn’t resist the opportunity to ask all those questions about flying while having a captive audience with someone who happened to be ravelling in uniform.

    What I learned is that we all get to create our own experience. Let the wailing begin. My personal preference would be music/earbuds/headphones over the drugs and alcohol or a combination of both.

    Happy Landings.

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