Beam me up, Scotty (pretty please)! or Why I Hate Flying

So, as you know, Jack and I went to Indonesia to visit my parents in December. However excited I am to see my family again, the 18 hour trip there and back was not something we were both looking forward to. Jack’s only complain revolves around him having to perform some sort of origami with his body during the flight (he’s 5′ 11″).

Me? I have a slew of other reasons why I can’t wait until teleporting technology arrives and we can say goodbye to this whole flying thing…

How I feel about flying-- by zoomar

The re-circulated air and the motion sickness

Do you notice that the air inside airplanes has a distinct smell to it? If air was to be produced in a chemical plant I’d imagine that’s what it’d smell like: a tinge of metallic and artificial taste that just clings to your throat afterward. No? Is it just me?

But anyway, whatever it is, it makes me nauseous. Added to that the fact that I’m a tiny bit prone to motion sickness, I just turn into a whiny, gaggy, bitchcake during take off (and a couple of hours after that) and landing (and about an hour before that). The only thing that makes me feel better is if I suck on a piece of strong mint candy continuously.

Sometimes I forget to get some candies before boarding. Then I really, really, hate flying.

So, next time you fly and see a girl with a big bag of assorted of minty candies looking a nice shade of green, sitting next to a guy performing some sort of body contortion, that’s probably us. Come by and say, “Hi” and bring some mint candies with you…

The Undesirables

The heavily perfumed man, the colicky baby, the teenager in front of me whose headphones are so loud I can hear it, the old man who keeps nodding off to sleep with his head on my shoulder…

The airplane god must hate me because it seems that I’m always surrounded by least 2 of those people.

On the flight back to the states, the guy sitting in front of me kept bouncing his seat back and forth, back and forth, back and forth… and almost knocked my tea out of its tray. TWICE!

*shiver* -- mrkathika

The feeling of helplessness

You’re in a metal box 10000 feet in the air. If things happen, there’s not much you can do up there. As soon as I step on a plane, I feel like I have no control over any situations that might arise, and I don’t like that feeling.

In a way, this is related to the whole forced intimacy mentioned above. There’s a baby crying non-stop across the aisle? There’s nothing I can do about it. It’s not as if I can leave to a different room…

One time I had a terrible tooth ache that came out of nowhere… cold sweat, shivering, just-knock-me-out-with-that-food-tray-will-you kind of pain and what could I do?

Nothing.

There was nothing anyone can do but to dose me with loads of Ibuprofen (that did nothing) for the remaining of the flight.

And then there’s the turbulence issue (I definitely need a lot of mint candies during turbulence). Do you know that most airplanes you’re flying in are old? As in 10-15 years old? If I wouldn’t trust our 10 year old car to make a trip to the neighboring city, I definitely do not like the idea of airplanes that old doing cross continent travel either.

But what can you do?

While crafting our RTW itinerary we try to do land border crossing whenever possible. Not only because it’s usually cheaper than flying, but we get to see more of the country and meet more people that way.

Even though land public transportation also has its own challenges, I still think it’s much better than flying. I can at least have the windows down. And when it gets really unbearable, I could get off and take the next one.


I’m sure I’m not the only one who finds flying unpleasant at best. What do YOU hate about flying?

16 Replies to “Beam me up, Scotty (pretty please)! or Why I Hate Flying”

  1. Flying does seem a bit unnatural doesn't it! But the pros of flying for me far outweigh the cons. Not least because it can take you to any place in the world.

  2. Flying does seem a bit unnatural doesn't it! But the pros of flying for me far outweigh the cons. Not least because it can take you to any place in the world.

  3. I've never had any problems with flying, luckily, which I attribute in part to the fact that I took my first flight at 6 weeks old – by the time I was conscious enough to be bothered by all the things you mention, they were routine.

    I have to say though that while I can only imagine how awful it feels to be nauseous for an entire flight, the phrase "whiny, gaggy bitchcake" made me laugh 🙂

  4. I've never had any problems with flying, luckily, which I attribute in part to the fact that I took my first flight at 6 weeks old – by the time I was conscious enough to be bothered by all the things you mention, they were routine.

    I have to say though that while I can only imagine how awful it feels to be nauseous for an entire flight, the phrase "whiny, gaggy bitchcake" made me laugh 🙂

    1. Lol, I have my parents to blame then… I think my first trip on a plane was when I was 10 or so and I remember even then the nausea was bothering me.

  5. I'm with Gillian. Drugs and drink. A couple ativan and a stiff drink and my fear of flying is manageable. Our last trip to Indonesia was great because we were able to swing business class. I still hated the flight but I was much more comfortable.

  6. I'm with Gillian. Drugs and drink. A couple ativan and a stiff drink and my fear of flying is manageable. Our last trip to Indonesia was great because we were able to swing business class. I still hated the flight but I was much more comfortable.

  7. I refused to fly for 10 years. I crossed the Atlantic 3 times on boats. Just started back in on it this year. I have made 3 short flights and they are not much fun. I take drugs and it makes things bearable if not fun.

    The loud plane noise gets to me and overwhelms me and makes the rest of the experience more frightening. The bit I don't like is both the turbulence and the landing bit where it feels like the plane is going down more steeply than it is.

    I liked the tiny prop plane from Athens to Santorini better than any of the jets. Somehow the idea that the entire plane is vibrating makes me feel LESS jumpy. And since they don't fly so high I can see the ground. BTW most jets are like 30000 feet not 10000.

    The thing that makes the flights more bearable (beyond the drugs) is having someone to talk to. I know the fear is mostly in my head, because if I can talk to someone that is interesting for the duration of the flight I am a lot less miserable.

    Thanks for the article. I will try to forget it completely next time I get on a plane. 😉

    1. I find having someone flying with me helps too. Being miserable alone isn't fun. Misery loves company 🙂

      And thanks for pointing the actual height jets fly in. That makes me feel better, lol. I guess falling from either height, the result is still the same, eh….

  8. I'm no fan of flying either but I will admit that in my earlier years, I was HORRIFIED of flying. But my love and passion for travel won out and I just had to accept the fact that in order to get to some of these amazing places, I was going to HAVE to get on a plane. The more and more I fly, the more comfortable I am with it. Don't get me wrong, there are still a LOT of things I find annoying about flying, but I just bear in mind the reason I've strapped myself onto a flying metal death-trap is to travel to far-off places that I've been dreaming about. Life's all about the adventure, and unfortunately for us, flying is par to of that adventure.

    Let's hope that 2011 brings us the gift of teleporting!

    1. Cheers to that!

      I agree with you, the only reason I'm willing to get on that thing is because I know it's the only way to get to some (awesome) places within a reasonable amount of time. Other than teleporting I also with for a better railway system here in the US so I can see more of this country other than by flying (ugh) and driving (which take an insane amount of time).

  9. I'm with you. HATE flying. I get all the physics of how it stays in the air, all the safety features, how weather affects it all…but my heart doesn't and it does flips the whole time! Confession: I take drugs and drink…and it helps! I used to feel guilty and bad about it but when a friend confessed her mother did the same and she is married to a psychiatrist I thought 'well, if it's good enough for her…it's good enough for me!' Bring on the ativan and gin!! Cheers!

    1. Lol, I really should try drinking a bit beforehand. Somehow I always think that it will make my motion sickness worse. Have never tried it though… next time maybe I will.

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