Fear of Flying

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josefinajoisey
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2012/01/30 18:35:20 (permalink)

Fear of Flying

I admit it. I have a long time fear of flying.  My husband and I have no problem driving around the Mid-Atlantic and  New England (with a couple of trips to Wisconsin), however we are both paralized at the thought of flying.  Many years ago, I was trying to address these fears, and was seriously thinking about booking a flight to somewhere, but then it was 9/11, and then, well, forget it.
 
So, do my husband and I go into our golden years never flying to the places in the US, or Europe, or whereever, because we are scaredy cats?  I admit, I am jealous of some of the more prolific Roadfood posters, (and the Sterns and Blimes).  How do you do it?
#1

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    CajunKing
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    Re:Fear of Flying 2012/01/30 18:46:27 (permalink)
    I was mid flight on my way to South Dakota the morning of 9-11.  It really shook me at first.
     
    I then started to look at the numbers. 
    More people die on HIGHWAYS in the US than die in Flights in the US or abroad.
     
    My advice:  Relax, take a xanax before the flight and enjoy your vacation abroad, take lots of pictures and share with us when you get back.
    #2
    kland01s
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    Re:Fear of Flying 2012/01/31 09:31:51 (permalink)
    My dad was a WWII pilot so I grew up with planes and flying, having a pilots license myself at one time. Today, I will not fly. It's not out of fear but for lack of desire of the hassle. I am disabled now and cannot walk without aid so on my last flight I got taken aside and personally searched. It was demeaning. If someone offered me a flight on any other thing I gladly would take it but flying on a commercial airline in the US, no way.
    #3
    SeamusD
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    Re:Fear of Flying 2012/01/31 10:38:11 (permalink)
    I spent the better part of 2 years flying coast to coast almost weekly in the late 90's-early 00's, and I'm done with it. The stakes would have to be extremely high for me to ever get on a plane ever again.
    #4
    pnwchef
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    Re:Fear of Flying 2012/01/31 11:17:54 (permalink)
    I would take a short flight someplace, maybe an hour or two. I would also try to fly out of a smaller airport, the large ones can be a bit overwhelming. It would be nice to make your first flight a location your both looking forward to, make it a fun place, support each other in some of the uncertainties and concerns that you feel may arise. It is a lot easier to do something your unsure about with a helping hand of support from your other half.............take care.............pnwc
    #5
    6star
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    Re:Fear of Flying 2012/01/31 11:24:51 (permalink)
    Fear of flying should not hamper your travel around North America.  I do not have that fear, but my only flights have been to and from Hawaii and between each of the four islands I visited there.  I have driven everywhere else (even to Alaska) and over the years I have visited every U.S. state, every province of Canada (took the car ferry to Newfoundland), all but one Mexican state, Belize and eastern Guatemala, where I drove on a cobblestone road to get to the archeological zone of Tikal.  And I am sure I could continue all the way down to South America via the Pan American Highway if I had the time.  Flying you generally only see the advertised tourist attractions; driving you get to see anything you might want to.  If you want to get an idea of what is out there, go to http://www.roadsideamerica.com/  and check out what is listed state by state.  A good example:  The Black Hills area of South Dakota has well over 70 different things to see and do (at reasonable prices) http://www.blackhillsbadlands.com/  from seeing Mt Rushmore to the largest male T. rex skeleton, from watching the Sioux make and hand-paint pottery to feeding the burros (descendents of ones used during the Gold Rush) that come to your car begging for food on the Wildlife Loop of Custer State Park, from exploring the restored town of Deadwood to taking a cave tour by the light of a lantern you carry yourself.
     
    Don't just sit home wishing you could fly around to see North America.  Get out and drive there and see and do things (without the embarrassing search of the airlines).

    #6
    rumaki
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    Re:Fear of Flying 2012/01/31 11:41:22 (permalink)
    I fly, a lot, and travel both domestically and overseas.  (I got Diamond Medallion status on Delta last year).  I agree that the hassles since 9/11 have made it a challenge to fly as much as I do.
     
    I'm fortunate, I think, because my "home" airport is MSP, which, although it has a totally counterintuitive physical layout, is well-run, clean, and has (in my experience) very polite TSA agents.  No one likes going through security, but they make it tolerable -- certainly as compared to some airports I've been through.  Customs is efficient (when you arrive from overseas).  The only thing that isn't great is getting your checked baggage back -- it can be very slow.  But I rarely check bags.
     
    I never really worry about safety -- at least here in the US.  (Overseas, in the developing world, it's another story.) As others have said, statistically, it is much safer to fly than to take almost any other form of transportation.  I've been in planes that have been struck by lightning, and in heavy turbulence, and although it was unpleasant, I never had any safety concerns.  I do try to avoid taking really small planes, although I don't mind the CRJs (other than that they can be cramped, depending on the seating configuration), but that's really more of a reliability than a safety issue -- in my experience (and your mileage may vary), the smaller aircraft are more prone to breakdowns, delays and cancellations. 
     
    When I lived on the east coast, I did take Amtrak between DC, NY and Boston.  It was more efficient, even before the extra security layers of 9/11.   And I enjoy taking trains in Europe and Japan.  But it's not a realistic option here in Minneapolis.
     
    My father had to travel by air a lot when I was growing up, so I guess I was conditioned to thinking of it as something adults just "do" as part of their jobs.  I took my first flight on an Ozark airlines DC-3 from Springfield, IL to Indianapolis when I was about 8 years old, and I've never stopped since. 
     
    I can't really address a phobia as such.  But you can eliminate a lot of the anxiety at check-in and at security by reviewing the airline's web site (which usually has tips for packing, etc.) in advance.  I assume you'd be using Newark, which is not my favorite airport, but it's tolerable.  
    #7
    mar52
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    Re:Fear of Flying 2012/01/31 12:21:56 (permalink)
    You just have to touch the outside of the plane as you are boarding.  It's how I do it.
     
    I'm always amazed how I get on the plane in Los Angeles and when I exit it I'm somewhere else.  Sorta like an elevator.
    #8
    chewingthefat
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    Re:Fear of Flying 2012/01/31 13:41:54 (permalink)
    I have no fear anymore, years ago I needed plenty of Jet fuel aka Screwdrivers, to fly. Enough Screwdrivers and I want to wing walk!
    #9
    Michael Hoffman
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    Re:Fear of Flying 2012/01/31 14:04:33 (permalink)
    I hate flying in anything that I am not capable of landing, and that means virtually all commercial passenger aircraft. Prior to 2000 I had to fly quite a bit for my work, which, I'll grant, many people consider to be fun and not work. When the events of Sept. 11, 2001 occurred that was my permanent out. I'll still fly small aircraft, including bush planes and the like, but there's no way in Hell I'll get aboard the standard commercial passenger plane.
     
    Actually, I can't anymore. I don't go anywhere without my pocket knife -- in my pocket.
    #10
    ces1948
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    Re:Fear of Flying 2012/01/31 14:23:47 (permalink)
    I haven't flown for about 5-7 years now. It just looks like such a hassle. Not sure what it would take to get me on a plane.
    #11
    wheregreggeats.com
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    Re:Fear of Flying 2012/01/31 14:36:41 (permalink)
    I've got about 2 million miles under my belt ... I'll admit things got much better for me after I first got into an elite level (then Northwest Silver) ...
     
    I am sure that thanks to TSA we are well protected from dumb terrorists ... but I agree with others that we are still pretty well off safety-wise as opposed to going by car (I have no idea at all how many car miles I've got under my belt ... best, I guess to not think about that.
     
     
    #12
    SeamusD
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    Re:Fear of Flying 2012/01/31 16:24:38 (permalink)
    I don't completely agree that the TSA is making us safer from terrorists... they're not looking for terrorists, they're looking for weapons, hence you get the elderly and people with disabilities being strip searched. But terrorism isn't what keeps me from flying, so that point is moot for me.
     
    Since I stopped flying, I've driven coast to coast 3 times, and I wouldn't have missed that for anything.
    #13
    pnwchef
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    Re:Fear of Flying 2012/01/31 16:56:41 (permalink)
    For now on no one over the age of 95 gets checked, I guess this young 94 year old chick almost slipped by. Whatever it takes to keep my family safe, is good by me...........These were drugs, but they could have been anything.........I bet she got life in prison....
     

    #14
    Sundancer7
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    Re:Fear of Flying 2012/01/31 17:30:13 (permalink)
    I got 3,000,000+ on Delta and it still makes my crouch hurt when I look down at 30,000 ft.  I just flew to Panama on a birding trip and the anxiety of the trip got to me.  I am glad I was in first cabin and medication was available.  After landing it was easy. 
     
    I am glad that I am retired and business travel is not there anymore.  I sorta miss the travel, food and etc but the stress, I do not miss.
     
    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville,TN
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    Michael Hoffman
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    Re:Fear of Flying 2012/01/31 20:22:09 (permalink)
    In that case, try to remember not to crouch when you"re at 30,000 feet.
    #16
    lleechef
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    Re:Fear of Flying 2012/02/01 16:58:24 (permalink)
    I will fly anywhere, anytime, in any aircraft, commercial, private, bush, float, helicopter.  I've never had any unpleasant experiences and I have flown many many times to Europe, Alaska, all over the US, South America, etc.  Guess I just love to fly.
    #17
    kland01s
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    Re:Fear of Flying 2012/02/01 17:05:50 (permalink)
    Oh, I love to fly but I will do it in any small plane or corporate jet. I used to have a pilots license but gave it up because it's an expensive hobby. I have flown in gliders and hot air balloons and will do that again. I just refuse to be subjected to a invasive pat downs that disabled people get when they cannot walk through the detector without shoes and without a cane. I can tell you horror tales from friends who are wheelchair bound and have to be subjected to their chairs being taken away from them and taken apart and reduced to many pieces.
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    chewingthefat
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    Re:Fear of Flying 2012/02/01 17:13:51 (permalink)
    When I was with Merrill Lynch, I flew in one of our Corporate Helicopters, it was so big it had a fully stocked bar. Wonderful experience. DC to Princeton headquarters in about an hour!
    #19
    Sundancer7
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    Re:Fear of Flying 2012/02/01 17:19:08 (permalink)
    Michael Hoffman

    In that case, try to remember not to crouch when you"re at 30,000 feet.

     
    point taken
     
    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN
    #20
    josefinajoisey
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    Re:Fear of Flying 2012/02/01 17:46:50 (permalink)
    Thank you for all of your replies!  I know it's an issue of control - I am controlling my car, but I certainly am not flying the plane, and I don't know how to fly if things go wrong!  Yes, we need to go on the road, and take the time to explore other places beside the North east.
    Thanks for the RoadFood 'two cents'!!
    #21
    Michael Hoffman
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    Re:Fear of Flying 2012/02/01 19:45:58 (permalink)
    josefinajoisey, travelling by car/truck/van/SUV is lots better than flying. Sure, it takes longer, but that's the fun of traveling. Our trip last June from Ohio to Arizona allowed for many stops for fun, not the least of the enjoyment being the Painted Desert and the Petrified Forest, and for the absolutely best burger I've ever had in my life. It was the green chile cheeseburger at the Bobcat Bite in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
    #22
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