Fear Of Flying

Tomorrow I'll be flying off to Egypt for a week stay in an all inclusive hotel. Once there I shall be mostly hiding from the heat (35ยบC or more), reading, drinking and relaxing. It will be a chance for me to forget everything and just put my feet up and think. I don't think that the hotel has internet access – which strangely pleases me.

Of course, this means that I will be flying for around five hours, something that fills me with dread.

It's not a fear of flying – there are certainly worse ways to die than by dropping out the sky from six miles up. Sure, I don't want to die, and there are so many tiny components on a plane, any of which can go wrong, especially if one of the mechanics has had an off day.

(Our ambulances are much simpler machines, yet they break down a lot more than airplanes – I'm sure there is a lesson there somewhere).

No, it's not fear – for I understand mathematics, and chance, and realise that I'm more likely to die crossing the street, falling off a ladder or sitting in bed hoping that the chest pain that I've suddenly developed is indigestion.

And besides, plummeting from the sky to have my heart separate from my aorta and my brain try to exit through my nose as I explode on hitting the water at terminal velocity is unlikely to cause much in the way of suffering.

So it's much less a fear and more of an intense dislike of flying, on one hand you have the whole security theatre that you have to go through in order to prove that you aren't carrying explosive shoes, the worry that your carry-on will be one inch outside the allowed size, and the pathological fear that I'm going to lose my passport, my boarding pass, or both.

No, the main reason why I dislike flying is that I am nearly 6'2″ tall and I fly economy.

I also hate children.

And I get 'jumpy' legs.

My arms are quite long as well – although thankfully on this flight we haven't paid extra for a 'meal' that requires me to become a contortionist to try and eat. In two mouthfuls.

I honestly don't know how people can take flights that last longer than eight hours. Certainly not if you are my size. Eight hours is my maximum and even then, as the plane lands, I'm pawing at the doors to let me out. How my crewmate deals with 12+ hour flights to New Zealand is beyond me – although being 5'4″ probably helps.

Thank goodness I'm not a nicotine addict as well.


All of which is to say that I'll be out of contact for the next week, although there should be some blogposts going up automatically should everything work out as intended. And then, after the holiday, I should be back fully revitalised and ready for a flurry of activity including a new project...

18 thoughts on “Fear Of Flying”

  1. Long time lurker, thought i would chip in with a 'is that all' snarky comment!Meh nearly 6'2″? I'm 6'8″, imagine my pain on a 14 hour flight to Malaysia!

  2. Flying is one of the necessary evils, IMHO, that I have to deal with on occasion. Most of the airlines just absolutely suck nowadays, with two notable exceptions: JetBlue and World Airways. JetBlue is working to really make experiences pleasant here in the U.S., and World Airways (which transports military members most/all of the time) reminds me of… LEGROOM, decent meals (still boxed, but nice sizes and wow… flavor!), and very friendly staff.Enjoy your trip!

  3. You have just listed all of the reasons why I seriously dislike flying! Even worse I am a nicotine addict.Also I fly to Mid-West USA up to 3 times a year resulting in over 8 hours flying per trip.

  4. I'm being similar stature don't mind long haul as the leg room is ample, I really dislike short haul where I end up in an isle seat with one leg in the passageway for a modicum of comfort, tripping up the hostess as the prance up & down. Couple of times I've almost lost a foot from one of there drinks carts.I'm guessing your not travelling alone as youve put “we” else Id suggest once the seat belt sign is off having a look for empty extra leg room seats.

    Enjoy Egypt I'd suggest a day snorkelling in the red sea if your over that way, Day looking at fish off Jackson reef shouldn't be missed ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Just a passing comment:If check-in asks where you want to sit, ask for an exit row or first row in a block. Sure you can't have your bag at your feet during take-off, but you may find the extra legroom a huge bonus.

    Even if check-in doesn't ask, you can always be polite and ask…

    Anyhow, enjoy your break in Egypt with this mystery person ๐Ÿ˜‰

  6. Woo-hoo, have fun on holiday!Being 5 ft nothing definitely helps with the whole leg room issue. While my brother (at a ft taller) has his knees around his ears on a seat I still have room to stretch!

    I'm not quite sure what my purpose was in sharing that…making tall people stare at me in hate?

    Oh, take some ear plugs – helps with those screaming kids (and I'm told with the whole pressure change thing too)

  7. I'm 6'1″ and only survived regular 12hr flights to the far east by sleeping through them.Don't sleep much before the flight.

    Read a dull book on the plane.

    Or, better still, drink just enough to sleep it off on the plane but not so much to get refused boarding… (Not so good for morning flights!)

  8. Have a good trip.Try turning up nice and early for check-in and advising them that you're in the emergency services. You'd be a better bet for keeping your cool in a crisis than the average punter (I hope!) and maybe stand a better chance of getting the exit row seats with that precious extra leg room. My hubby is your height and he really suffers – little short arse here has no trouble at all. Provided I don't want anything from the overhead compartments, 'cos I can barely reach! Which makes him giggle, while not offering to help, in return for me laughing at his contorted leg positions. Who says romance is dead?

  9. Have a wonderful holiday my lovely, don't get sunburnt too much, I would say at all but we know it's going to happen, and don't get some weird disease while you're over there either! Twitter's going to be so weird without you! Enjoy yourself!

  10. I actually think that the airlines are being discriminatory by not providing sufficient room for tall people.I suspect that if they did not provide adequate provisions for people with physical disabilities, or blind people for example, that some kind of equal opportunities commission would be down on them like the proverbial ton of bricks.

    By the same token, it is not acceptable that people over about 6'0 or so cannot reasonably fit into their seats.

    Yes, you can pre-book exit seats but this is at an extra cost. I wonder if they charge a physically disabled person extra for a seat that they can get into?

    What's the difference?

    And I do not have a personal axe to grind – I'm 5'4 and fit perfectly into their seats!

  11. When looking at the flights I use seatguru.com it can be a lifesaver, Like you I'm quite tall 6'4″ unlike you I'm also a bit rotund. The last flight was up to Newcastle and back flying BA and I had to ask for a seat belt extension as they obvious only make the one size (too small). I had my MP3 player with me and after they turn off the seat belts sign you can turn it on and relax. Yet I find the stewardess's pester you a lot, which can make the flight go quickly or get you annoyed.My major problems with flying is having to arrive at the terminal so early to get your flight, circling Heathrow as they haven't given us a slot yet (GLA-LHR why can't we just stay on the ground until they have confirmed a slot) or waiting on the ground on arrival for a gate to become available. Oh and there is always some horrid child that is either sick or screams for the whole flight.

    Generally now I fly club when I can afford it, shame they got rid of it from domestic flights ๐Ÿ™

  12. Aeroplanes may me slightly more complex than your average ambulance but they are also much more closely monitored and have their components double and triple checked and changed often so they are much less likely to break down.Doesn't help with the legroom but you can feel safe in the knowledge that most aircraft seats are very uncomfortable for us short people too – legroom not a problem but the bottom of the headrest sits neatly in the middle of your head rather than supporting your neck forcing you to sit hunched over for the whole flight or lean forward – no one wins.

  13. Don't want to make your fear of flying even worse, honest, but when asking for the overwing exit for legroom – specify aisle. The poor sod opening the door sometimes gets crushed by the other, understandably impatient, passengers waiting to get out. First row after the front entrance is best for legroom, or aisle seat in the last 2 rows as you don't have to get your feet out of the way for trolleys, and trip up those coming out of the loo as an added bonus!

  14. My partner is skinny but he is 2.03 m tall (6'7″ if I'm not confused), mostly looong legs, traveling with him is always rather interesting…sometimes he has to be there hours in advance, sometimes he is put in the “special needs” group, sometime just pay for the privilege of boarding first, or for the safety exit seats…And it is always different depending on the company and even on the airports.

    Short flights are unconfortable, long ones are very difficult to say the least. And he can't stand in the corridor to stretch. I get claustrophobic even imagining how he should feel in a plane.

    I personally find waiting for luggage to reappear the scariest and most stressful part of a flight. Since I like edible and drinkable souvenirs and presents to take around to various relatives and friends (almost always in the “liquid/paste cathegory”) only cabin luggage is no more an option, as it was some years ago, for me.

    PS: did you ever have a patient too tall to be carried/immobilized easily? I know that “too heavy” is the most common variety but I'm curious.

  15. If some extra large passengers could theoretically try and lose some weight the extra long can't do anything about it.I think that if you are over 6 feet you should not have to pay extra to sit on the “extra leg space” seats…I travel regularly with my 6.7 partner and every company and airport regulate “extra long” people differently.

    I'm much more portable, 5.5, so often we end up separate on the plane…

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