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My name is Scott and I like to travel. There I said it, wow that does feel better. There is probably a program for my affliction somewhere. I am what I would consider a Normal Guy. I am a native Arizonan, sometimes we are called “Zonies”. I am in my mid 40′s and enjoy a great life. I am self employed and have a wonderful daughter and Partner. Although I would say my life is a fairly normal one, I am also quite lucky in that I have the ability to travel and enjoy the world, I enjoy learning about other cultures and experiencing the world around us. I want to be right upfront about the type of travel I enjoy and the type I don’t. You will probably not ever read a story of about me backpacking my way through the serengeti during the height of summer, nor will you probably read any stories of me sleeping in the presidential suite of the Ritz Carlton in Paris. I am not a budget traveler, nor am I an uber luxury traveler, I fall somewhere in the middle, where most people fall I believe. I started this blog for the sole purpose of sharing my stories, my views and my excitement for traveling around this world with my friends, family. However it doesn’t stop there for me, I also wanted to make friends with others around the world, those who travel and those who dream of travel. Blogs and Websites evolve over time, mine will no doubt expand over time as well please come back and see what has taken place. However if you have come to my blog to schedule a flight or a hotel, this is not the place.

Aviophobia…..what the heck is that?

Aviophobia or Aviatophobia, both are commonly used to reference a fear of flying.

Do you have a  fear of flying?  Do you know someone who does?

I fly almost weekly and have been doing it for more years than I care to count.  I never thought of myself as having this fear.  In fact I seem to be more at ease on a plane than I do on the ground at times.  I suppose that’s because there isn’t any telephones, televisions, fax machines, carrier pigeons and such, although there was a bat on a Delta flight recently.  When I am on the plane, there isn’t anyone trying to “reach me”, or I simply don’t know they are, and if they are, I don’t really care.  This is one of the benefits of flying, It can be relatively stress free.

Unless you suffer from Aviophobia or Aviatophobia, and if you do, well your probably not on a plane.  A fear of flying is a level of anxiety so great that it prevents a person from traveling by air, or causes great distress to a person when he or she is compelled to travel by air.  The most extreme manifestations can include panic attacks or vomiting at the mere sight or mention of an aircraft or air travel.

I have had two circumstances in the last couple of years that made me afraid to fly.  Luckily, that feeling passed quickly.    I want to share with you these two circumstances.  I hope that my stories don’t scare you away from Air Travel, after all it really is safer than driving a car.

Assume the Position

These three words scare me and I don’t just mean as a reference to flying.  As I think about these three words, I have a hard time coming up with a reason why this phrase would be considered positive.  Sometime ago I had reason to fly from Phoenix to the Long Beach Airport in Southern California.  This is a small, easy airport and one that is centrally located in the South Los Angeles area.  The route takes you from Phoenix to the coast of Southern California, out over the Pacific Ocean, then turns back into the coast to land at the Long Beach Airport.

If your flying this itinerary, you will most likely be aboard a small regional jet, not a 747 mind you.  So right off the bat your cramped, two seats on one side and one seat on the other, thats right, 3 seats across the fuselage, thats a small plane.  This was by all accounts an uneventful flight, the best kind in my book.  Took off on time, everything was going as planned.

Until we flew past the coast and over the Pacific Ocean, just before we began our turn back to the Airport, the captain came on the speaker to announce that we have lost one of our two engines.  He also went on to say that the second (and only) engine was also having problems.  That we have been cleared for an emergency landing and we must Assume the Position (also called Brace Position).  If your not aware of what this means, then you either have not been flying in your lifetime, or you have not been listening to your flight attendants.

Correct Brace Position

Incorrect Brace Position

The Captain announced in great detail what would happen and when it would happen.  There was no reason that we would be surprised with what would or could happen.  We were told that when we land there would be a large contingent of Safety Personnel along the runway, waiting for us to land.  We were also given yet another quick rundown on what we are to do and how to do it by the flight attendants.  These were the most professional people I have had the pleasure of listening to at any Airlines, calm, cool, collected, convincing and confident (The 5 C’s I call it) in what they were doing.  We landed to deafening applause for the crew.

During this 5-10 minute period aboard the plane, it was the quietest I have ever heard a full plane to be.  Everyone did exactly as they were told and did not speak, at all.  After deplaning, I had the biggest sigh of relief I think I have ever experienced, I believe I may have held my breath for like 10 minutes on the approach.  But I also felt like I dodged a bullet, and for a couple of days I had a real fear to fly.  I think what brought me back to reality is the fact that the crew on that plane, at that moment, never wavered from their responsibility or concern for their passengers.

Later that week, I made a terrible mistake and watched that dumb movie Final Destination.  Don’t know what that is, rent it.

Your in the wrong Job lady!

The other circumstance that scared me, well actually it just really made me angry and scared.  I am not the type that complains too much, it takes an awful lot to get me so angry as to file a formal complaint about something.  Mostly I just whine and bitch.  Not this time.

Again, I was on a small regional flight from Los Angeles to Phoenix.  It was about 8 p.m., I was tired, it had been what felt like an 18 hour work day.  I think the flight attendant felt the same way.  This particular flight was uneventful, took off on time, no big issues.  Except for the flight attendant.   This particular flight attendant was clearly having a bad day.  Sitting next to me was a young mother with a baby that was sitting on her lap, yes, this is allowed.  She did everything right, the gate agent was aware and all.  However the flight attendant didn’t like it and proceeded to yell at the young mother, I don’t mean a firm talking to, I mean a flat out raise the roof yell, this poor girl was scared to death.

This same flight attendant was going up and down the plane the whole flight yelling at people, talking down to them, smacking the back of their seats etc.  I was seated in the first row aisle, right up close to the galley.  As we were beginning our decent to Phoenix.  This flight attendant said to her co-worker, and I am quoting; “If this plane was to go down, I wouldn’t do anything to help these people”.

I realize that flight attendants have a tough job and they really are there for safety reasons, as evidenced by my first story.  But that comment was it for me.  When we landed, I told the flight attendant just what I thought of her and her professionalism.  I then proceeded to tell the Captain that I would be filing a formal complaint and I had hoped every other person on that plane did the same thing, that she should be fired on the spot.  I wasted no time in calling the airline, in fact I wasn’t even out of the terminal before I finished my formal complaint.

I don’t know what happened to this woman, but she should not be working in the airline industry.  When it comes right down to it, the professionals who fly and service the planes are the most important people.  A lot of people, myself included believe I can handle anything, or have that; do it myself attitude.  But what these two stories tell is the difference a person makes.  the first story, was scary but I felt relaxed, confident and safe that we would land just fine, all thanks to a professional team of people, who acted professionally.  While the second story made me scared because I felt like I had no one to count on in the event of am emergency, all because of one lousy, cranky flight attendant.  I tell you these stories, because for  different reasons, these circumstances made me question my own rational for flying and that one day, if something bad were to happen, I must rely on the people who are the experts and professionals.  This one circumstance made me realize that it is important to recognize those Flight Attendants that excel at their job, because there is always one who doesn’t.

Do you have a horror story about flying to share?

Happy Travels

http://www.travelwithscott.com

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  1. Aviophobia…..what the heck is that? - May 23, 2012

    […] Tagged: adventure, airlines, airports, aviatophobia, aviophobia, fear of flying, Featured, Travel travelwithscott » Funny Stories […]

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