A humorous recount of 27 anxieties I have about flying
I love flying. I love airports. I love planes.
Despite all this love I have for the biggest birds in the sky, my anxiety is still well and alive from the moment I decide to buy a ticket to the moment I pick up my bag at baggage claim. The anxiety beast is like my own personal travel buddy but the kind I wish wouldn’t invite itself along for the ride.
Anxieties can be really absurd. But we already know that.
Here’s a quick look at what goes through my head when I decide to take a ride on a plane. Maybe you can relate.
Here it goes, preparing for takeoff…
Step 1. Wait until the last second to buy my ticket. I’m a pro-procrastinator because nothing gets the party started like rushing around in befuddled craziness.
Step 2. Instantly regret going on Kayak, Trip Advisor and Travelocity because having a zillion different flight rates pop up simultaneously is exactly what I need to make an informed decision.
Ack. Go away! Go away! click. click. click. click. click times a zillion.
Step 3. Decide to buy directly from an airline I’m familiar with.
Step 4. Spend another 57 nerve-racking minutes selecting the Goldilocks of flights: not too much money, not too early but also not too late. Ugh. This is the worst. Maybe I should do this tomorrow…
Step 5. Feel light-headed as I begin to type my personal info into the boxes… afraid I’m going to spell my own name wrong and then that’s it! They won’t let me on the plane.
Step 6. Double check info.
Step 7. Triple check info. M-a-r-i-a-n-n…. you got it Marianna. You can spell you own name. Except the multiple times you’ve signed an email with Mariana or Mariann… stop. Focus. Deep breath. Focus.
Step 8. Quick dance party to celebrate booking my flight. What a hurdle.
Step 9. Begin packing the night before my not “too early” 6:00 a.m. flight (what was I thinking?) because naturally staying up past midnight is the key to any successful early morning send-off.
Step 10. It’s 2:30 a.m. Can’t sleep because, hey, I’ve changed my mind about what I’ve packed… it’s only natural to overthink this part, right?
Step 11. Arrive at the airport and sit around for an hour waiting for security to open because, yeah, earlier the better right?
Step 12. Check-in and print my ticket on the console even though I already checked in and printed my ticket from home. Can’t be too sure! “Okay, I’m putting my ticket in the front pocket of my backpack…”
Step 13. Two minutes later, check that my ticket is still there.
Step 14. With a deep sigh of relief and big smile I rejoice because I packed light enough to not have to check my bag. Nothing is worse than waiting for my bag to appear on the infamous black circular conveyor belt. A thousand angels sing Alleluia inside my head.
Step 15. Calmly on the surface, raging internally, I place all my items on the table. Struggle with the shoes. What was the point of untying them beforehand? Hurriedly arrange all of my items so they won’t get stuck or squashed or hold up the line, and then stand around for what feels like eternity because the family in front of me is taking their sweet time. Everyone seems calm. How can they be calm at a time like this?!
Step 16. Shoot, my water bottle is filled with water. Ack! Angelically gulp down an entire bottle of water, only spilling most of it down my shirt. Why do I always fill my water bottle before I go to the airport? Now I’m gonna have to pee…
Step 17. Double-check that my ticket and ID are in their rightful place.
Step 18. Look at the clock. Whew. Still one hour and 37 minutes until my flight. Double-check gate number
Triple-check gate number.
Quadruple check….okay. I got it.
Step 19. Re-fill my water bottle, but not gonna drink any of it because getting up and shoving past people on the plane to use the bathroom is….nope. Only thing more unthinkable than disturbing other people is not having access to my own personal supply of water. It’s a real brainteaser.
Step 20. Time for a potty stop. I. Am. Not. Getting. Up. On. This. Two. Hour. Flight.
Step 21. Double-check that my ticket is still in its place, even though I haven’t taken it out since security check.
Step 22. Silently pray to the gods that there will be a place for my luggage… because as we all know flight attendants are constantly having to throw luggage overboard if it doesn’t have a spot… and those who don’t find a place for their luggage sit shamefully while wearing a dunce cap. Where do these totally false anxieties even come from?
Step 23. While boarding, I observe the flight attendants to gauge their temperament. Listen for the kindness in the pilot’s voice. Get myself good and comfortable. Mentally prepare myself in case of a crash. I’m so ready to take a ride on that slide. Bring it.
Step 24. Wonder who will sit next to me, but I got the window seat so who cares. It will, however, be a hassle jumping past these two people to use the toilet…
Step 25. Remind myself that most crashes happen during takeoff and landing, so if I’m going to die it will at least most likely happen during the first few moments. I’m ready and accept this fate.
Step 26. We begin to ascend. Seatbelt light is on. Everyone is settled, and I’m nestled with my window view. Should the wing be vibrating like that?
Step 27. Damn it. I need to pee.
I’ll just keep tunneling,
What anxieties do you have about flying? Don’t be shy about sharing them in the comments.