Wednesday, January 14, 2009

fly by night

have you ever discovered that you're doing something incredibly wrong? what do you do? do you change your method? do you research, look to improve? crave to do it better or the best? or do you feel defiant and want to continue in your own path to prove that your way could be better?

i just discovered that pretty much everything i do when flying is the opposite of what one "should" do to "have the safest journey."

i've never been scared of flying. i LOVE flying. it's almost calming. i feel like i'm safer in an airport than anywhere else. knock on wood. and i've always thought, "hey, if i die in a plane crash, at least my name will scroll on the bottom of a tv."

i've flown a few hundred times in my life and can only remember one flight where i was really afraid. i'm sure there have been more, but nothing scary enough to remember. about two years ago - wow, almost exactly two years ago, in fact - i flew from LA to Albequerque, NM. since it's a short flight - less than 1.5 hrs i think, the plane stays pretty low. it was slightly bigger than a puddle-jumper, and i had a single, window seat. i had my DVD player and i was watching a foreign film, which meant i had to read subtitles. the pilot warned us before taking off that we would have a bit of turbulence. that was an under-statement. the whole flight, i could see the lights of the city - it's pretty much straight city from LA to albequerque. i felt like i could reach out and pick up a house and hold it between my fingers. and for the rest of the flight, i thought that i would just fall from the air onto one of those houses. i had to quit watching the movie, reading subtitles was making me sick. the flight was bumpier than any amusement park ride i've ever been on. i really thought we were going to die.

in any case, what i learned today is that, had we fallen from the sky, i was perhaps the least likely to survive based upon my flying habits. here are the highlights:
1) aisle seats are "safer." i love me a window seat.
2) most dangerous part of a flight is first 3 minutes and last 8 minutes (knew something like that - thought it was first and last 10 minutes). SO... don't do anything in the first three minutes like take off shoes or put on headphones. my rationale has always been, if i am going to die in the first ten minutes, i'd like to be asleep. so thats what i do. i take off my shoes, wrap a blanket around me, prop up the pillow and turn the ipod on. then i fall asleep within 5 minutes of sitting down, most often without seeing the person next to me or even seeing if there IS a person next to me.
3) sit within a certain number of rows of the exit. i am almost always in the back of the plane, but not near the exit.


i'm pretty sure i'm stubborn enough to not change any of my flying habits...


  1. I'm right there with you on the window seat. I have been known to pay for an upgrade in order to avoid an aisle, or dare I even say it, a MIDDLE seat!

  2. yes! THANK YOU. i feel like no one understands my love of window seats. and you're not going to change now that you know its not as safe, right?

  3. subject: canadian rock band rush sings "fly by night"