“Y’know, you ‘re just in a great big tube up there in the sky. Anything could happen.”
This was in response to my declaration, at 18 years of age, that I was taking my first plane trip.
Granted. This came from an 80-year-old farmer (a dear family friend) who had never left the confines of the Midwest, let alone board a plane to anywhere. Still, it gave me trepidation. I was young, impressionable. But I had the travel bug and darn if I was going to let some old codger dampen my enthusiasm.
Flying for us human is not natural. It takes a hell of a lot of engineering and a dedicated group of people to get you up flying safely at 30,000 feet. Some people let their imaginations get the best of them.
Inflight, A Different World
In a confined space with so many strangers, high up in the air where the rest of the world can’t touch us, can put us in contact with some interesting folks. Ever been stuck in a seat right next to that person that seems to think you’re their new best friend and won’t shut up? (Psst, pro tip: noise-cancelling headphones.)
Don’t be afraid you’ll offend them, just smile politely and go about your business – after the flight you’ll never see them again.
Traveling can be a lot of fun. For most of us, we are off to some new or exotic locale we’ve never been, or just spending some downtime with friends/family. In short, once we get on that plane, some of us tend to let our hair down in the most interesting of ways.
There are those that assume making themselves comfortable on a plane means acting as if you are in your easy chair at home. Some nasty habits may emerge. Clipping your toenails, talking loudly to your companion, or performing your yoga stretches in the aisle are all things that are not cool to do on a plane. You’re still in a public place. Sheesh, a little decorum never hurt anyone. Please, don’t be that person.
But I’m not bitter, I love flying
Those of us that are more introverted will just sit back and let their thoughts run wild as we all speed hundreds of miles per hour through the air. I mean, what could go wrong, right?
Then again, it’s no miracle that the statistics speak for themselves: you are far more likely to be hurt in a car accident than on an airplane. Just sayin’.
Still, there are some funny things that people think about during flights.
“If the plane went down along a snowy mountain side, would we get stranded and begin eating our dead?” Yeah, macabre, I know. And definitely the stuff of the movies. There’s a slim to none chance that would ever happen.
“If the apocalypse came and all we had was airline food to survive on, would we make it? The food is horrible!” The food is NOT that horrible. Here’s a fun fact, about 1/3 of our taste buds are dampened up in the air due to air pressurization.
It’s just that we can’t taste the food as much up there. Have that same meal on the ground in the comfort of an airline terminal and that food would taste phenomenal. Okay, maybe that’s a stretch.
“I only half-listen to the safety instructions. What if something goes wrong and I don’t remember how to put on my life vest?”
Well, that’s on you then, isn’t it?
“Why do babies cry SO LOUD on airplanes?”
Because they know…they know. It’s usually because the pressurized air aggravates their tiny ear canals and they get extremely annoyed.
The Big Reclining Seat Debate
Unless you’re in first class, chances are you have precious little room between you and the seat ahead of you. And when that person decides to take things up a notch by reclining their seat, leaving even less room for you to stretch out? Now, is that very polite?
Well, the argument over the inter webs on this issue continues to churn.
My feeling is, if the seats can recline, you are more than welcome to take advantage if it will make you more comfortable. Look at it this way, if the person ahead of you does it, you’ll just be that much closer to your tray table with your food/laptop movie, etc.
The Aircraft Itself
“Why don’t the windows open? I want to touch the clouds.”
Even though the clouds seem to be gently rolling along, remember you are whizzing along at 500 miles per hour. The wind alone would stop you in your tracks, Plus, it’s REALLY cold at 30,000 feet.
“What if the plane gets hit by lightning?”
No flight has gone down because of lightning since 1967. Technology has improved so that if the plane is struck, the aircraft will stabilize and absorb the hit. Fun fact: nearly every plane you board would have been struck by lightning at some point.
“The captain sounds
Relax. Pilots go through rigorous training and your safety is their #1 priority. If they sound too relaxed it’s because they are trying their best to make YOU relaxed.
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