Despite the fact that it is much more likely that I will be killed in a car accident than on an airplane, I simply dislike flying. I’m flat-out terrified of air travel. I don’t think that was always true. Back in the 70s when I took my first airplane ride (attired in a dress and heels because that’s how you rolled in the days of when flight attendants were all young women wearing short, tight skirts, caps and flying wings on their lapels, writing novels called Coffee, Tea, or Me). When you’re in your late teens or early 20s, it never occurs to you that you might, well, die one day.
I approach each plane ride firm in the knowledge that this, indeed, will be the day that my plane plummets. It’s the main reason that I drink Bloody Marys (or, even better, martinis) before flights if possible.
Nowadays, however, plane travel has gotten so unpleasant that even a person most amiable to travel by plane – my husband Bill, for example – gets cranky. And gets cranky from the get-go.
It starts when you make your reservation. You are very excited to see that there is a $79 flight from Denver to Chicago. You make your plane reservation. And then the computer asks you how much you want to spend on a seat.
Whaaaaaat? I kind of thought the seat was included when I paid $79 for a reservation. But no, that $79 simply buys you the right to obtain (at an additional cost) a seat. And then, of course, if you want to bring any luggage so that you could maybe change clothes at some point in the six days you will be in Chicago, that costs money too. It used to be that you could carry on for free. Well, actually, it used to be that you could carry on or check for free. I will be the first one to say that it was bad planning to allow people to carry on for free but required them to pay to check. As a result of that ridiculous idea, everyone (including me) stuck everything they could possibly jam into a suitcase that would fit in the overhead bin. Stuffing the bags into the bin as well as jimmying them out resulted in probably 20 to 25 minutes longer to disembark.
And of course the idea of eating a meal on the plane at no cost, well, fuggetaboutit. By the way, I am one of those few people who actually liked airplane food. It was so deliciously tasteless. Now in order to get a glass of Seven Up, you must hand over your credit card.
As my sister Bec so often says, “It’s just a matter of time until they require us to fly the plane.”
Ladies and Gentlemen, may I have your attention please. This is your FLIGHT ATTENDANT coming to you from what used to be the cockpit. We are ready to depart. Is there anyone among you who has flown a plane before? No? Well, has anyone played a video game that involved flying a plane? Please folks, we could really use some help here….
Of course, it is at this point that I feel compelled to offer you this video which makes me ashamed of myself for complaining…..