ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Confessions of a Nervous Flyer

Updated on August 5, 2017
Stella Kaye profile image

Stella has a collection of humorous anecdotes based largely on her own experiences and she would like to share these on HubPages

Do You Have a Love/ Hate Relationship with Flying?

Love it or hate it you're not going to see much of the world if you don't do it!
Love it or hate it you're not going to see much of the world if you don't do it! | Source

A Flight of Fancy

However well I prepare myself for a flight beforehand it's always that terminology at the airport which gets the better of me. Surrounded by big bold notices that say 'Departure lounge', 'Final destination', and 'terminal building' I just can't help my imagination taking off on its own flight of fancy before I even board the plane. Now a fertile imagination is a wonderful thing and it can help you cope with reality when times are bad, but it has a more sinister side, often alerting you to the possibility of what could happen if things go wrong, even when you don't want to be alerted. Unimaginative folk are at a distinct advantage here; herded through the check-in like a flock of docile sheep, their minds are at ease, confident in the knowledge that things will be all right.

I'm The Ultimate Pessimist When it Comes to Flying

But not me, the ultimate pessimist when it comes to flying. If I could just arrive at the airport and get on the plane straight away I'm sure I'd be fine - at least until it's time to take off - but it's the sitting there, watching all the other planes depart safely and somehow convincing myself that mine will be the one that messes up. I'll glare at my flight number on the monitor; almost willing the figures to add up to thirteen and when I eventually board the plane every little thing is material for a cataclysmic scenario.

Take my last flight for instance: the pilot addressed the passengers in an Irish accent which I immediately found unnerving, not that I have anything against the Irish, nothing at all, at all. And then I panicked because I'd misplaced my St. Christopher - will it be just as effective in my suitcase or should I have put it in my hand luggage? I deliberated. After that, my mind just went into overdrive. What if the pilot gets D.V.T? My seat is nowhere near an exit; I won't stand a chance in the "unlikely event of an emergency." I told myself that I'm never pestered by such gloomy thoughts when travelling by car, bus or train, which is illogical since all forms of transport carry some risk and everyone has to entrust their life to others every day. But on a plane, the ground is a long way off and you don't have a parachute! mocked the sarcastic alter ego who was to be my constant companion throughout the flight. I assured myself that it's no use bothering about things I have no control over. But you did have control; you didn't have to get on this plane in the first place! nagged that inner voice again.

Do I gain some masochistic thrill from putting myself through this mental torture? No, I don't think so. For me, the two days prior to flying are fraught with tension. I don't enjoy my food, I sleep badly and I gradually become a nervous wreck. The thing is I never used to be like this. Why have I changed? Should I see a psychiatrist? I pride myself on being my own analyst and always manage to sort myself out, but this is a tough one.

Before becoming a parent I would take everything in my stride, but I'm now convinced that having children takes all the fun out of life. Instead of being carefree, as in younger days, I now have four other people to worry about. And kids are fearless when it comes to flying so I feel obliged to do their share of the worrying too.

I do try to combat my despondency with statistics; flying is the safest form of travel - you are far more likely to die in a car crash. I know I should put my trust in the pilot, the co-pilot, the flight engineer and the air-traffic controllers; together with all that wonderful technology, they do a magnificent job.

It seems I have two alternatives: I can remain at home, never go anywhere and grow old bemoaning the fact that I haven't seen much of the world, or I can escape to the sun several times a year and live a little at the risk of dying in an air disaster. As I write this, safely ensconced in my study that seems a fair trade in which the benefits far outweigh the risks. But when I'm writing my thoughts down on a plane, I'm bombarded with an entirely different set of emotions. Who will finish my novel if the plane-crashes? Assuming it's worth completing that is. Who will clear my cluttered garage? And who's going to look after my elderly Mother? (If she doesn't top herself when she discovers her only daughter and all her grandchildren have predeceased her). I can't concentrate enough to read, my hands are too shaky to write anything legible and eating the in-flight meal is something I'd rather avoid. I just can't relax enough to do anything, so there's no chance of me ever becoming a member of the "Mile High Club," not that there's much room for contortions of a sexual nature in the confines of the aircraft toilet - at least not for someone of my dimensions.

Now let's put things in perspective here. I know a bit about planes and I even went for a flying lesson once, so you could argue that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. But why is my attitude so dramatically different from what it was years ago? If anything, air-travel is safer now with computerisation and accurate simulation etc. Maybe I've just lost faith in everything and everyone. Nowadays I expect things to go wrong although I'm pleasantly surprised when they don't. How can I rid myself of this cynical reasoning? These days a transatlantic flight is too daunting a thought for me even to contemplate; I barely coped with the two-hour flight to Majorca. And flying home was far worse, knowing that we were heading into a violent storm and would be landing at East Midlands in severe winds

Worry can be a killer too, so why do I let myself get so stressed? How do the air-hostesses deal with flying nearly every day? Does it become mundane, like any other job? Watching them on the flight back from Majorca, the answer was obvious - they're far too busy to worry. But I just sat there doing nothing and had plenty time to ponder all the possibilities of my demise: mid-air collision; engine failure; overshooting the runway... disastrous encounter with an alien spaceship.

We hit a patch of severe turbulence over the English Channel and I found myself praying to God, Allah and any other deity who cared to listen while clutching my St. Christopher (which had been in my pocket all along). All that was pretty good going for an agnostic, don’t you think? And since I was in one of my rare religious moods it occurred to me that even someone as close to God as the Pope might have a fear of flying... well, he always kisses the ground when he gets off a plane doesn't he?

Eventually, my plane landed safely and I could breathe easy again, marvelling at the fact that I'd been given a new lease of life.

The following day, unpacked and already complaining about the inclement British weather, I went into town to re-stock the freezer. With ample time to spare before catching the next bus home, guess where I ended up? The travel agent, of course. "Got any late deals for Christmas?" I asked as I thumbed through a stack of enticing brochures, my fear of flying, temporarily forgotten.

Frequent Flyers Enjoy Flying More as They're not as Nervous as Others Might be!

Enjoy your flight!
Enjoy your flight! | Source

Try to Think of the Sun Bed That's Waiting for You at Your Destination!

Think positive thoughts about your holiday!
Think positive thoughts about your holiday!

How to Cope with Fear of Flying

Watch this Video if you Have a Fear of Flying

Do you confront your fear of flying or stay at home and be bored?

See results

© 2015 Stella Kaye

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)