http://iamlostinthot.wordpress.com/ – Jackie’s site
http://sustainabilitea.wordpress.com/ – Janet’s site
Do I love or loathe flying?
I like driving; like seeing the country change, working my way towards each evening’s new destination, seeing new things (and on our annual pilgrimage to Wyoming, beloved, familiar things.) I love being able to stop for look, a meal, a walk, a bathroom break; being able to listen to “Lord of the Rings” for the 30th time or to Bill’s favorite CD of the drive yet again…or maybe not); love the time talking together on a family trip or time to relax and think when on my own; like having transportation when I get to my destination.
But sometimes I need the days or find it difficult to drive (such as across any given ocean.) Then flying is a blessing.
I’ve said to others that flying isn’t much fun anymore, that the rules and regulations and security make it a pain and that’s all true to some extent. Yet I find that when I’m at the airport with enough time to not worry about why the line isn’t moving and I’ve figured out just the right way to store everything for easiest removal and least hassle…and when one glorious time I’m shunted into the expedited line where it’s just like “the good old days”…I really like flying.
I like watching people at the airport. I chat to people as I wait in line; I pull my carry-on bag on endless laps after security to get some exercise before boarding. I search for a Starbucks for my tea, read from my Kindle, take surreptitious photos (half expecting the heavy hand of security on my shoulder, wondering whether I’m a terrorist scout), pull out my notebook and jot ideas for a blog post or story. Relax.
Once on the plane, I slide into my aisle seat (yes, less space under the seat ahead of me but easy access to walk around or get to the bathroom) and pray for either an empty middle seat, unlikely these days, or a slender person. I look out the windows, have orange juice a/o water when asked or water for the tea bag I bring along and bring out my food (or eat Southwest’s free snacks.) I read…or write…or think…and yes, chat…rarely sleep.
Upon arrival, I’m in that new place or the familiar place, waiting for friends or family or ready to make my way to the train station for another bit of travel first.
I admit that if I’d been stuck in the airport for several days because of a blizzard or other cause, had my luggage lost or one of the other myriad problems that can strike an air traveler, I might feel differently. It seems t me that overall, most people have, at the very leas,t uneventful trips most of the time. I even had the exhilarating experience once of flying from Denver to Sheridan, Wyoming in a 14-passenger (more or less) plane. The co-pilot handed out cans of drinks and offered me his seat in the front for a bit so that I could take some photos. It was a grand view and I thought that if we had a problem, we could likely land on the interstate unwinding below us. Fortunately,we didn’t have to test that theory.
So…love it or loathe it? I’d have to say that I weigh in on the love end of the spectrum. Not sure I’d be as excited about space travel, but the magic pixie dust of adventure still gilds the planes for me, especially when I fly Southwest and my bags fly free.
http://irenewaters19.com/ – Irene’s site
Airplanes became part of my life around three years of age. With arms spread out as wings I would run around the garden playing hocker hen hips. It took my parents a long time to discover that my new game started as a result of my childhood awe of the new Fokker Friendship which had flown in to the airport of the small town in which we lived. My first flight as a child was in that plane and it was a rough flight as we had continual air-pockets bouncing us around. I needed the paper bag for the entire trip.
Flying from then was almost fun. It always meant that we were going on holidays. I’d enjoy looking out the window at the scene below. In those days children and many adults had a guided tour of the cockpit, visiting the pilot and seeing the vista open out in front without impedance. It was a white fluffy wonderland.
A sense of anticipation accompanied my first trip to Europe and made it bearable despite the boredom as I travelled economy in the days before the individual screens. Luckily I like aeroplane food. After that first flight consequent ones were tedious. Thirty hours from departure to destination became increasingly harder to bear.
Then the trip from Las Vegas to Los Angeles. One of the tyres blew out on take off and the pilot decided that a belly landing was the safest way to land. Until we neared LA none of the passengers knew of the problem. On being told there was absolute silence in the cabin. Not a sound was heard. White faces and white knuckles were evident. The hostesses instructed us on the position we were to adopt for the landing whilst the pilot flew in never-ending circles using excess fuel. The landing was superbly executed, the fire crews doused the plane with foam and a resounding cheer for the pilot resounded, the first uttering heard since we became aware of the situation.
Then I flew in a number of small planes, often. These were nerve-wracking to say the least. The eight seater islander was the worst. If you weren’t lucky enough to sit up front with the pilot you crammed in the back with mainly local, scared passengers and a whole heap of manioc and kava roots. Scared has its own peculiar smell like bad BO with an added edge which combined with the earthy smell of the cargo and aviation fuel odour made the flight memorable but none too enjoyable. On a rainy day it often rained inside the cabin as well as outside, another aspect which decreased my courage.
I, of course, had developed a fear of take-offs and landings and it was much worse in these small planes. In the Islander and the DeHavilland Otter (the other 22 seat plane on the route) every air pocket was felt. One particular day we flew out of Tanna heading to Vila via the island of Erromango. The visibility was non-existent. We flew from Tanna within, it felt, touching distance of the ocean. The island loomed up ahead of us and the pilot had to quickly lift the plane to avoid the trees and mountains. He had three attempts at landing that day before managing a successful one. The whole time I was saying “don’t do it, just keep going.”
After this time flying on the air buses and the like are pure luxury. I like airline food, I like the individual screens which show the latest films, I loathe the length of flight and the lack of sleep, I dislike takeoff and landings but I love getting to my destination.
http://eyeslikeglass.wordpress.com/ – Megz’ site
So flying, like it or loathe it. Hmmm, both! Since I’ve been told I’m a glass half empty person first the loathe:
- I hate not having control. Yes, when you travel by car you don’t have total control but you have some, which is better than none. You don’t know how experienced the pilot is.
- It makes me feels trapped. I’m not really a claustrophobic person BUT being confined on a plane, especially with so little personal space, I get panicky.
- There are so many people in airports and on planes (generally) it gets overwhelming for me.
- TURBULENCE!!!!!!!!!!!!! I had a flight from NYC to Syracuse which was only 45 minutes but was in total fog with tons of bumps and jerks, especially considering it was a 10 person plane. About 4 hours of a flight to Paris was all turbulence. It felt like the plane was dropping out from underneath me and makes it quite clear that you are flying through the air and without the plane you are in big trouble.
And now the like:
- Planes bring you to wonderful places! Even though the ride was rough I had a wonderful time in Paris. I also have been lucky enough to travel to Italy, Hawaii, and Salt Lake City.
- I love having window seats and seeing the scenery, especially cities and night. On an island hopper in Hawaii it was overcast when we took off but once we got up in elevation we were above the clouds and all that was sticking through were the tops of the mountains. The clouds were so smooth it looked like they were islands sticking out of the ocean.
- Statistically speaking, flying is safe means of travel.
- There is actual science behind how planes work and stay in the sky! My dad is an aeronautical engineer and at a young age he explained in great depth how planes work and how the rate of airflow over a wing as opposed to under creates different pressure zones which causes lift (essentially). He also told me once that it takes about 30 seconds for a plan to get its nose off the runway. Anytime I fly, when the engines kick in going down the runway I start counting.
As a coincidental aside, I picked up a bottle of French wine and drank it over the weekend because I liked the label and the airplane theme! The label says:
We celebrate the pioneering aviators of the famous “Aeoropostale” who risked all to deliver the first mail from France to Barcelona in 1918, then North Africa, and eventually even South America. These intrepid pilots flew solo from Toulouse, using our very own Tree of Moscou (L’Arbre de Moscou) as a key visual reference. Domaine Gayda is “Flying Solo” to deliver you our wines of exceptional quality and value from this enterprising region of France.”
http://itsdd2.com – Deirdre’s site
Like MR, I wasn’t that fond of flying. When I was thirteen, my family took our first holiday outside Ireland or the UK. We flew to Rimini late one Sunday evening. Before we travelled, my dad took us all to Mass and the featured hymn was “Nearer My God To Thee”, which did nothing to promote confidence among us.
Back then, European flights featured propellors, not jets, so the trip was a tad longer drawn out than what you would expect these days. The flight path took us across the Swiss Alps and I remember seeing Lake Geneva as a huge dark patch between what looked like paintings of mountains.
As luck would have it, there was a thunderstorm that night, so the pilot brought us above the clouds, where we were treated to a view of lightning from above – which is quite dramatic, let me tell you, especially when the airplane is rocking and dipping through the flashes of lightning and the mountains appeared to be chasing us through the clouds. We recovered enough from that experience to not actually hike all the way home, but for years afterwards I would feel seasick the moment I approached the check in.
Almost twenty years later I decided to visit a friend who was working in St Mary’s on the Scilly Isles that summer. Without really thinking about the type of plane required for short hops, I booked a Dublin – Bristol – St Mary’s ticket. Embarking at Dublin airport, it was like deja vu all over again – it was the same type of plane as the one from the epic Italian trip.
But this time, it was a beautiful day. We flew along the UK coast – flying low enough for the pilot to point out landmarks, and show us the wreck of the Torrey Canyon. This wasn’t so bad.
But then, at Bristol I was confronted with a 1980’s version of the airbus you see in the picture above. It didn’t look half so shiny and new. We had to load our own bags into the boot (I wouldn’t have dignified that little space with the title of hold). There was nothing between the pilot and the passengers. There was about as much space inside as a Volkswagen mini-bus. For safety reasons, no hot drinks allowed. Cold drinks in covered cups with straws were available. I very nearly turned back, but the prospect of standing up the very hot male friend persuaded me to take that one small step to climb on board. (It was really only one small step….)
In flight, when the plane banked, it banked – I distinctly remember turning my head to look out the window on my left and getting a direct view of the sea beside (not below, beside …eeek!) me, and when I turned my head to the right, I could see the sky (beside me) through the window on the other side.
There are a number of videos on You Tube which demonstrate the short landing and take-off strips on St Mary’s – one runway is half-gravel, half-grass with a hump in the middle, the other just goes right over the edge of a cliff. Our pilot had to land, leapfrog and then take an extreme sharp right along the edge of that cliff before finally coming to a halt.
But something strange had happened during that horizontal moment – I began to enjoy the ride. Now I like flying. If only I could do something about those damn airports.
http://blackbart2013.wordpress.com – Steve’s site
I have never liked flying after serving in the Marine Corps. Flying from one area to another in dangerous situations has never left my memory. It is not like that today when ever I have to travel by air, but because of all the tight security, I just plain do not like it. Two years ago I traveled to Rome because the first Native American was about to be canonized a Saint in the Catholic Church. Native American’s from all over the United States were traveling to Rome to celebrate this historical event. I flew out of Rapid City, South Dakota for the twelve-hour trip to Rome.
I believe the security in the United States, and in fact all over the world is very intrusive to say the least, and it takes so much will power and effort not to react when they start their searches. I had to take off my belt, shoes, and any rings or other metal objects that I had in my possession. Then once I was in the security area that is where I stayed until it was time to board the plane. Things went well from that point until we landed in Holland. I could not believe the lines the security we again had to go through with just minutes before our next plane was leaving for Rome. Again I had to take off my belt, shoes, metal I was wearing, and they rummaged through my bag again. But this time I had to talk with a person who asked me several questions. One of the questions was “Why are you here”. I felt like saying Dah because I got off a plan here, but I finally said, I am here because I am traveling to Rome from the United States. He stared at me and said fine. Then it was off to the races to get to my plan before it left. Do not get me wrong I know security is in our best interest and safety, but that does not mean that I have to like it.
I have come to the conclusion that flying will be my last resort of travel. It might be a faster mode of travel for some, but I prefer to drive and see some of the country side and not having to expose myself to being subject to an x-ray and practically stripped just to get somewhere faster. Yes, I would fly if I have to but it would be a last resort.
There are the entries for the first LIKE IT OR LOATHE IT competition.
Study them. Lay your money down. In a while – when it’s Monday here – I’ll yell RIEN NE VA PLUS !! and you’ll be committed. Heh heh …
Pronouncement in the morning. ‘Night all …