I’ve never been the biggest fan of driving or taking forever to get somewhere, so flying has become a necessary evil in my life. I’m not going to drive to Disney, but I’m also not going to not go to Disney, you know?
While I’m not technically afraid of flying, I also don’t love it. There are some people who actually enjoy flying ― I cannot understand and I will not understand. Here is my objective proof that flying is not enjoyable in the slightest.
First, the cost. Paying for the flight itself doesn’t bother me too much, although flight prices are obviously inflated, because why not? But besides that, some airlines make you pay to choose your seat. What is this, a charity gala? Even sitting in an exit row costs extra. Are you kidding me?! Isn’t risking my life for the good of everyone on board payment enough?
Once you add up the costs for parking at the airport, checking luggage, eating a bag of peanuts, and drinking a bottle of water, you basically have no more money to use on your actual vacation. You didn’t need to eat during the week that you’re away, right?
Then you have to get there early. As someone who takes pride in getting to places fashionably and anxiously on time, the need to get anywhere early is like a personal attack. And while you know that if you get there in the knick of time that the security line will extend from Terminal A to Terminal B, when you get there early, you breeze through security and have to sit at the gate for so long that your phone runs out of battery. Twice.
And security is a fiasco in-and-of itself. Don’t get me wrong, I fully support taking off my shoes in public and standing in a long tube like I’m transforming into my superhero alter ego (who would probably be called “The Pants-less Wonder” or “The Amazing Agoraphobe”), but there’s the nerve-wracking moment when you get out the other side and your breath catches because you don’t know if your bag is about to get flagged. I get why it’s necessary, it’s just also the worst.
As if the airport itself wasn’t bad enough, the plane is even worse.
I never realized how much I took my personal space for granted until I stepped foot onto an airplane. I have never suffered from claustrophobia in my life, but something about flying in a airtight tin can in the sky makes me want to hyperventilate. And I have to share the small amount of space that I have with SO MANY HUMANS. Normal, fully-grown humans are irritating enough, but without fail, every single flight I’ve been on has had at least one screaming child. Nowhere to go. No way to fully block out the shrill sound. No escape. This is where I start regretting my decision. Why do I ever leave my house?
And there’s just no correct way to sit on an airplane seat without hurting some sort of your body. My tailbone is usually screaming at me by the end, and that’s after I’ve shifted around in my seat 20 times. Non-airplane Renata sits cross-legged basically 24/7, and Airplane Renata would like to do so as well, but there’s just not enough space for it. Every single time I get on a flight, I think, “I’m tiny enough, I can make it work.” So I try it. And I realize that I can’t comfortably do it. Every. Single. Time.
Yet, no matter how tight the quarters are on a plane, I still need someone to help me put my bag in the overhead compartment. I walk into every flight with a sympathetic look in my eyes. You know, the look that precedes the sentence, “Hi, I am obviously very tiny and have a very heavy bag, could you help me put it in the overhead compartment, not talk to me for the entire flight, and then help me take it down once we land?” I’ve been fortunate enough to be seated near some very kind people…or at the very least, people who helped me because they were afraid that I would drop my bag on their head if I tried to put it up myself. Then I can maneuver through the row to get to that (cheap(er)) middle seat until I inevitably have to pee.
Literally nothing is worse than using an airplane bathroom. Nothing. It’s disgusting, tinier than a dorm room closet, and knowing that people are waiting outside for me to be done makes me too nervous to actually go.
If I don’t enjoy flying, I should just sleep through it, right? Great idea! I even take Dramamine before every flight in order to make me sleep and avoid motion sickness. The drowsy effects put me asleep for about a half hour. After that, I basically just lay there in a drowsy fog praying for sleep, but mostly just feeling like I have to pee (again).
So now I’m feeling claustrophobic, nauseous, annoyed and I have to pee. It’s worse than going to the movies! I may not actually hate flying, but sometimes the conditions of air travel make me never want to fly again.
How do you feel about flying? I’d love to hear all of your (horror) stories!