Air travel brings out the best and worst in me, and I’m not alone.

Let’s start with the worst of me. Air travel brings back past memories of exorbitant cost, smelly meals, and sitting in the row of the non-smoking section located right in front of the smoking section. Smoking. Section. I recall white-knuckled emergency landings at LAX because of a passenger medical emergency which turned into our own emergency when my young husband and I were stranded there for the night in a mysterious part of town. Flying for the first time with an infant still makes my stomach churn. I could go on but the point is that I have issues. Smokey, smelly, stranded issues. Every time I fly, these issues trigger my fight or flight response. No pun intended. 

Whenever I travel by air, I consider that I’m not the only one with issues, flight related and life related. Considering how many people are crammed into the 737 as I write, it’s a miracle that there is enough room for all of our issues. For example, I’m fortunate to not be afraid of the actual flying part, but I can’t say the same for the death-gripped passenger across from me. And I’m traveling for the joy of reunion with my daughter and grandson. But what about those with tears in their eyes traveling to and from funerals? 

Because of my empathy with travelers, my fight response is reserved for rare occasion. Instead, I fly with a mild smile on my face and a neutral demeanor. I’m quick to compliment children and their parents, especially nursing mothers. I’ll switch my single seat to help unite families. I’m all business when next to a business traveler and I’m willing to chat to the grandma who needs to talk. Right now I’m next to a sleeping dad with his young daughter asleep on his shoulder. Sweet. I’m always patient with the attendant because I can only imagine the challenges of it. I just had some ice dropped on me and then an empty bottle tipped off the cart into my lap. The friendly attendant was overly apologetic. She offered me a cocktail and I quipped that I would accept her offer if it wasn’t 9:00 in the morning. We laughed. Although the thought that it is 5:00 pm somewhere did cross my mind.

My fight response is ready for rare occasion. If you are a big man I expect you to not plow over me. This means you in the fancy suit or you in the backward cap. Also, if you are a complainer, I’ll offer one sympathetic response but after that, be prepared for Mary Sunshine. I’ll also play bouncer for mothers traveling alone with young children as well as the very elderly.

The best is that the vast majority of air travel is an exercise in excellence and the cooperative kindness offered by most people. Fair rates, safety, efficiency, and professional courtesy. Smiling babies, diligent parents, helpful folks with muscles to heave their neighbor’s luggage into the overhead compartment, talkers, listeners, nappers. 

I left the best at home, too. My men will hold down the fort while I gorge myself on baby Henry hugs and kisses. His dad, my son-in-law, is traveling too, so it will be my daughter and I enjoying serious girl time. Too rare. Most precious.

Last night my youngest son made breakfast for me to pull out of the refrigerator this morning. Since I left home very early, I said my goodbyes to JP last night. While he slept, I grabbed my breakfast to find his sweet love note. Isn’t that the best? 

Do you enjoy traveling by air? Any issues? What is the kindest thing to happen to you while traveling?

 Happy trails ~~~~~~~~ Angie Mc 

37 thoughts on “Air travel brings out the best and worst in me, and I’m not alone.

  1. I love to fly. Except for once. Traveling with an 8 month old on a flight that was not direct. There was a 2 hour layover and then we boarded a “puddle jumper” plane for the last short leg of the trip. (Cleveland to Pittsburgh). There were 8-10 of us on board, in seats facing each other, I remember knees touching. I don’t know how/who/why that particular connection was booked. It was an adventure.

    Have fun with your family, Angie. How sweet will that be ??? ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    • While living back east I was on puddle jumpers regularly. Thank goodness I didn’t have the pleasure of the type you describe, Van! I puddle jumped today, no problem. Yes, it is sweet to be here. Very sweet, thanks Van ,3

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I haven’t flown in well over a decade. Not a fan of it. Like you, I don’t mind the flying. In fact, I love take off and landing, but once we’re up, the stale air stifles and nauseates me. I wish I could sleep on long flights. I guess it’s good I can hold my liquor, because the drinking does help!

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  3. I don’t like flying. It’s not really a fear thing (though fearful thoughts certainly enter my mind from time to time while I’m up in the air); it’s more the headaches involved with it. The lines, the cramped spaces, the dry air, the bacteria and viruses on the tray tables… Hmm, I better stop there. 😉

    Have a wonderful time with your daughter and grandson. What a special time for sure!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Short hops are no problem – just pop the headphones on and I am in my own world. For me it is the confinement, I tend to get a bit antsy over longer flights.

    The worst flight ever for me was Florida to Taiwan. 30ish minutes to get to Miami, followed by 6ish hours to get to LAX, then over 12 hours to get to Hong Kong and top it off with another 30ish minutes to get to Taiwan. You can only sleep so much, watch so many movies and eat so many bowls of ramen noodles….

    Coolest flight was on a WWII T6 trainer. Got to fly the plane a bit and do some acrobatics. Flying in a biplane was also pretty awesome and taking a private jet up to Michigan was the cats meow!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love to take off and land. Everything else – nah! The only redeeming fact is that I arrive hours before I would if I had driven.
    Happy travels, Angie. Enjoy your daughter and grandson. Hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I focus on the fact that I’m not driving hours and hours and hours (although we do that too!) I’m very grateful to fly, for sure. And thanks so much, Michelle. Henry is being laid down for the night as I type…such sweetness ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t know if I like airports, but I do like when they function really well. Denver is one of my favorites. And I agree about the destination. Right now I’m thrilled to be with Devin and Henry. But I’m also always happy to return home ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      • We do school year round here in our homeschool. I go 9 weeks on, 4 weeks off, so there’s no Summer recovery to go through in the Autumn time. Instead, we do school through July-Aug, when we’d be inside due to the heat anyway, and we’re off pretty much the entire month of Sept, and watch everyone else trying to get back into their swing of things, lol. You have no idea how much my kids, still in their pajamas, like seeing other kids having to stand at the bus stop as those temps drop. 😀

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      • Same here, sort of! We homeschool year-round but our major time off is during spring baseball. We like to get as much done as we can during the hot, hot summer too. We never have to go through big transitions either, how lovely! Once my boys friends go back to school, we tend to settle more into it ourselves. Nice!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Enjoyed your responses. Flying to Calif. is always a joy seeing my son and grandsons and daughter in law. Think many people are a bit annoyed before flight and anything can set them off.
    Safe travels all. THE bottom line is arriving safely.

    Liked by 1 person

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