One of the biggest hurdles for me to overcome when traveling is flying. I kinda hate it…. I don’t love small spaces, or that I am sharing a bathroom with 100+ other people. I do not love Turbulence, or Take Off, or Landing.
I do love watching tv, and sleeping in my chair for multiple hours (who gets to do that at home???) I also love where these minor inconveniences take me, and that is the most important part!!
On a plane ride home (solo) from New York about 6 years ago, my plane flew over the Oklahoma area, and at the time they were experiencing multiple tornadoes on the ground. The Turbulence in the air was unreal!! The flight attendants had to sit down, and actually left their carts full of beverages, and snacks, in the middle of the aisle. They never got back up the entire flight.
No surprise, I was a nervous wreck and grabbing the arms of my seat, while making heavy breathing sounds as I tried to figure out how to save myself during this flight. I have been known to let out a few screams during turbulence, and guarantee I have made other nervous passengers much more nervous!! Remember the Alanis Morissette song, where she sings about the “guy who waited his whole life to take that flight, and as the plane crashed down, he thought well isn’t this nice“. I sang that song in my head as I flew, convinced it was going to be me! I knew I was on deaths doorstep. Clearly as I write this, you can see, I was wrong.
When I decided to travel to China, I knew I better get my ducks in a row. And side note, I don’t really have ducks in a row, mine are more like squirrels at a rave! (This is why I Need Travel, and Need Lalani:)
So here it is, this is how I cope. I have googled many different articles on flying, and these are the points that stuck. I literally say these things in moments of nervousness, as I travel:
If you fly every day of your life, probability indicates that it would take you 11,146 years before you would succumb to a fatal accident. Thats a lot of years!!
According to CNN and a few google articles, the chances of your plane going down are 1 in 4,068,434, others 5 million and some, 11 million. Point is, the chances are not good! You have a better chance of being struck by lightning, TWICE!
Turbulence is essentially just a “rough patch” I think of it as driving on a bumpy, dirt road! (a car does not fall apart due to bumps, why would a plane)
Even if an Engine fails, the plane will still fly with the other one!
The only thing that will die if a bird hits the engine, is the bird!! Statistics from Wikipedia show a 1 in 1 Billion chance of crash due to a bird collision.
Planes are completely new every 4 to 5 years by the overhauls done to them in safety checks.
Most planes can land in 0/0 visibility (heavy fog)
Ice is safe (due to all the defogging technology)
There are people watching to make sure the planes get no where near each other, I Wish someone did that with my car while I was driving!
Lightning simply “passes through” the aircraft.
There is no such thing as an “air pocket”.
As I prepared for China, I remembered all these facts, and it brought me peace. I know there have been crashes. I have read articles discussing the recent tragedies in the airline industry. The underlying answer in every article continues to be that Flying is safe. Safety records and statistics, don’t lie. Flying is safer than riding in your car.
Now my last point: Have any of you ever drove, and texted at the same time? Have you looked at instagram, or watched your husband check his email while driving down the road with you? For me the answer is yes. I am guilty of texting and driving, guilty of yelling at my husband for checking his email while driving, and guilty of complete distraction while navigating through my music playlists.
These days, I rest easy knowing my pilot is paying 100% attention to what he is doing, and that the airplane has been thoroughly checked out, with all scheduled maintenance performed. Flying continues to be much safer than my everyday transportation!
So remember when you are scared, and the idea of a long flight is holding you back. It’s safe, safer than the car you drive everyday, all day. You got this, go on and take that flight, and as the plane goes down, it lands somewhere nice:)
1. Focus on the parts of flying you enjoy! (Make a list, write it in on paper, or your arm, but remember to focus on the good)
2. Load up your IPad or Computer with movies. Do this several days before your flight, so you are not in the wee hours of the night before, getting up to see if your download finished! ( I love to rent movies from I tunes. They download and file under the rental section. Once you start it, you have 24 hours to watch it. I am not a repeat movie goer, so for me its cheaper, doesn’t eat my computer space long term, and I get to see different movies every time!)
3. Google stats on flying and any questions you have. Chances are, all your concerns will be put to rest. Flying is historically safe!!
4. Now I do not recommend drugging yourself on a plane, but if its a long one, take a Tylenol PM. It will help you sleep but still give you the ability to function in an emergency. (which chances are there will not be one!) Or a local health food store provides several natural choices for stress relief. Try one of those!!
5. Book a flight, gear yourself up with positivity. In the case of turbulence, remind yourself its a bumpy road, and enjoy the ride!