My Fear of Flying

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I’m not saying I’m afraid of sitting in plane. Before take-off and after landing, it’s totally fine. They say that person who can overcome fear is the bravest person ever. But what about the person who can’t overcome fear and still face that fear every week? I have fear of flying and I fly every week. So, when someone asks me about the bravest thing I have done, I say “I have let pilot take off the plane while I am in it”

Sure, I want to cover distance of 500 km while I take a short nap, but is it really necessary to leave earth for this and go 10 km above into the sky? Earth is my home, so I get homesick in plane, and I want to return to earth ASAP. But Mr Pilot, don’t listen to me, take your own time to land, I can wait, just don’t let the plane free-fall on earth, I’m not that homesick.

To make myself believe that my fear is irrational, I have read many times the mechanism of how plane flies. But when I’m in plane and look down, I forget all the science. This is also when I curse gravity. My fear doubles when I see another plane from my window. Two planes in sky. What are the chances of my survival if they hit each other, I imagine. Turbulence makes everything worse, but I’m sure pilot is doing the best he can to make me feel safe. 

I always wonder why flight attendants are always smiling. When they go home, do they smile? Or they don’t smile because they are off-work? I bet they don’t smile, not even at jokes. When I see these attendants so happy, I remember the scene from Titanic, when the ship was sinking and people were playing music to keep everyone calm. “Are we sinking? Is this plane going down?” I start to panic again.

Once my friend told me that plane is the safest mode of transportation. He never lies, so I believe him. But if my plane crashes one day, I will surely kill him.

Planes do have safety arrangements. They have seat belt, which I check ten times to see if it is securely fastened or not. They have life vest, which is great for people like me who never learnt swimming. But when are they going to start keeping one parachute under my seat?

When I’m not busy thinking about the ways I can die while I’m in sky, I observe my fellow passengers, especially the weird ones. Like the ones who get up from their seats as soon as plane touches the ground. What is the rush? Bus will only start when it is full and we all will reach ‘Arrival Gate’ together. I don’t understand why people have to stand for 5 minutes in awkward and uncomfortable posture with luggage in their hands. But one day, finally someone told me the reason behind it. Once upon a time, a person didn’t stand up as soon as plane landed. And when he came out of plane, the bus had already left with all the passengers. He waited there for another bus to come. But bus didn’t come and it started raining. He stood there in rain all night. And that is why all people try to get out of plane as soon as they can.

There is one more incident which happened with one passenger. When plane landed, he didn’t rush. He was the last person in queue to get out of plane. While he was still in plane, pilot thought everybody had gotten out and he took off the plane and that person ended up in a different city.

As much desperate as passengers are to get out of plane, they are not so subtle while going inside the plane. I see people standing in long queue and waiting for boarding to start. They have option to sit and wait, but they prefer standing and put pressure on airline staff. During boarding, it is easy to point out the frequent flyers. They are actually the ones competing over who gets to sit in airplane first, while others just wondering which one is their plane. Once I observed one person running with his suitcase from boarding gate to bus and then from bus to plane and sat in 3C. I asked him “How do you feel after winning?” He said, “I didn’t win, pilot was already there inside”.

People are in so much hurry now a days. And the reason, I believe, is our mobile phones. We are looking at our mobiles so much that we have lost our ability to just be calm and quiet and think nothing. I wish I could think nothing about crashes and deaths and fires while flying. Well, during these days, I think my chances of getting corona19 in plane are higher than dying from plane crash. By the way, have you ever been in a plane crash? Of course not. If you had, you wouldn’t be here to hear this question.

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