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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Friendly Skies? Not so much

Home for the Holidays
I am not a good flyer, in fact, I've become a terrible one.  In order to handle my flight back to Chicago from Denver last night, I had to chug two glasses of wine before the flight and two beers in flight. Yet I still jumped at every bump and sound, and I even cried one time.  (Not my finest moment)

Ever since I had a really bumpy flight in May flying over tornadoes in Nebraska, I am panicked now when I get on a plane. That flight was so bumpy, people were screaming and crying and the little old lady next to me held my hand.  I was pretty sure the plane would go down, hence why I'm now a hot mess of a flyer. (Do you remember that blog? Read here)

Yesterday, when I arrived at DIA and told the airline worker my destination, she looked at me like someone in my family died, and said, "Oh, you're going to Chicago." She told me the Chi was getting terrible weather, so my flight was delayed, it might not take off at all, and if it did, it could be diverted.  She went on to describe Midway's notoriously short run-ways, and the danger of trying to land there, and yada yada, I didn't hear the rest because I began to black out.

Short runways?  Snow?  Ice?  Aaaggghhhh!!!

Do you remember what happened in 2005?  A plane skidded off the runway at Midway and hit and killed a 6-year old boy who was in a car with his parents.  I remember this so well, because I was scheduled to fly to Chicago from Fort Myers the day after this happened.

Back to last night...I told the airport worker I needed to think about what I wanted to do, so I got out of line.  After talking with my mom, we decided the airlines wouldn't take any chances and try to fly when it wasn't safe, so I decided to go ahead and check-in.  The very nice worker must have sensed my panic, because she gave my mom a special pass so she could go through security with me and hang out.  Such passes are usually reserved for the disabled or the young, and apparently this girl.

Thank goodness I had my mama, because she always has a way of calming me down.  We had a couple of glasses of wine at Rock Bottom and I felt better with each sip.  A couple of hours later, and I went to check on my flight.  Before I could ask about it, the workers started whispering to each other and I could hear "Chicago."  Ugh.  I asked if it was going to take off, and the worker said, "We feel confident that it will."  That didn't warm me with confidence.

Finally, we took off and the flight really wasn't too bad. I still had an anxiety attack, because that's apparently what I do now.  I also couldn't breathe, but that's because of a different reason....A gentleman in front of me asked the flight attendant to get his computer bag when the seat belt sign was still on, because he needed to do some work.  When the flight attendant opened the bin, that man's stupid bag fell like a rock on my stomach and knocked the wind out of me. I later saw him looking at nude pictures of women (with his wife and child next to him!) Apparently that was the "important" work he needed to get done on his computer.  Jerk!

I do have a favor to ask of all my fellow flyers who thought it was funny to joke, "Well, I hope we make it!" Or, "I hope we're able to stop on the snow!", I hate you.  Don't joke like that, it's not funny.

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