Sunday, March 7, 2010 are to remain safely on the ground.

Every time I fly somewhere I complain about it, I loathe it really, but yet I always do it; then when it's over I swear I'll never do it again. Well today I do presume that it is safe to say I'll never do it again because I don't think anyone is going to let me do it again; not myself, not my husband, and more than likely not the airline!

Here's the story...

I flew out to LA for work last week. It was a trip I had done in the past. Not one that I am necessarily fond of but as much as I HATE flying I don't like letting my fears take me over. So, when I came across the same opportunity yet again (and this time to support one of my students) I jumped (without thinking) at it! It worked out just as well that my husband and daughter could go and have a bit of time away while I was working. Then the time came to actually go. I was surprisingly okay at the airport to depart. Everyone who worked at the airline were even really helpful in rearranging some seating so that we could bring my daughter's car seat on without charging us for a seat. SCORE!!! She's more than a bit of a wiggle worm and this was VERY helpful. I was even okay, for the most part, on the 6.5 hr flight there. I am an odd duck, very odd, when it comes to flying and I rely heavily on the seat belt sign. Once the sign *DING, you are now safe to move around the cabin* goes off I tend to be okay. However, if it goes back on due to bad turbulence, which it always seems to do, I get a little shaky. OK, so I made it out to LA fine. Work went well, all was well, weather was great! Jump ahead to early (very early) Sunday morning. We were running a mere few minutes behind but because I like to plan plenty in advance we were still ahead of true schedule. Then we got lost trying to get back to the airport and drove in circles for long enough to frustrate me. Granted we were still on time but I was not in the greatest of mindsets. Nevertheless we get there, not late, got through security which wasn't even that bad but I was overtired and not in the best of moods. We get to the gate and I inquire about the same luck this go around with the car seat. She works it out to move us to the back of the plane (last row) but it works. I am not ecstatic but I'm pleased. Still feeling weary I go for a Starbucks stop wait in line for 25 min and get back to the gate just in time to board. As we are boarding a gentleman is greeting people who is someone from the cockpit, I ask if he's the Captain and he jokingly says oh no, I am the first officer, this isn't my run so if something goes wrong, it's not on my dime...hahaha. I do not laugh, I am tres unimpressed and I was like seriously you have NO IDEA who you are talking to. Whatever. So we get on and get to the back and there is someone in one of the last row seats. Oi. When we say something the Flight Attendant makes some comment about a lap child and we explain the whole shebang and they make this fuss and tell us to wait until everyone has boarded and then "we'll figure it out." Then they tell us she can have the seat but the car seat will provide a weight imbalance because it's the back of the plane...really?!? A 5-10 lb seat plus a 25 lb child. You mean to tell me you only allow individuals under 25 lbs to sit in that seat???? By this time I am soooo unimpressed but oh wait! It gets better. The guy in the seat looks at his boarding pass and is in the wrong seat!!!! All of this mess for nothing. By this point, the combination of extreme lack of sleep and too many little things that are meaningless going wrong become meaningful. Very Meaningful. I start to panic. I can't override the shaking and I can't make the tears stop. I try every optimistic thought, every trick I know, nothing is working. At this point, I am too far gone, I am having a full blown anxiety attack. Too many things have gone wrong for this plane ride to go right. GET ME OFF THIS PLANE. I make this decision, cost is no object, I want off!! So we tell the flight attendant, there are other flights, I don't really care about the logistics. Now my decision is made but I have all attendants around me ...again. They think it's about the car seat, it's not, it's truly not, I try to explain, I have had bad experiences in the past, it's's about all of it. So they talk me down and I breathe and stay on the plane. I remind myself the weather is beautiful and remind myself that plane crashes are far and few and I am not that special. I won't say it was a smooth ride, the seat belt sign came on two extra times for turbulence en route, but we were making it. Then to round it all out, he comes back right before landing and says "okay Kerri, so this is what's going to happen" and begins to prep me on landing but he's saying it in a way that as if he is trying to set me up for something awful. As if a driver in a car were to say okay we are going to hit the tree than wrap around it but that's normal when you hit a tree. So I looked at him and asked wait, is something wrong??? And treating me like an invalid says no I am just prepping you for the sounds of landing and guessed it, I lost it... again. The kicker was when the same attendant came back and gave me his business card and said so when you get home make sure you go onto our website and right an email about how this was the best flight ever and how much you love the airline. YEAH RIGHT BUDDY!! Even if I was going to before I most certainly am not now you pompous, pretentious, jerk. Thanks for letting me know you genuinely cared. And why, may I ask would I want to?! Then finally after a presumed 30 minute early arrival which turned out to be right on time arrival because the landing took FOREVER (which even others on the plane agreed was a bit extensive) I buried my head as everyone got off the plane as to keep from making eye contact, because yes, today I was "that" person. I left saying never again which probably holds little to no weight, I always say it, then I get excited about new opportunities; but this time my husband said damn right never again, you can stay at home (love you too hun: but really I cannot blame him...he had to deal with a squirmy baby and a hysterical wife) and I am sure the airline and the FAA for that matter, once they hear about the crazy lady with a baby, will not allow me on in the future...near, far, or anywhere.

Well, at least I enjoy driving! Truth be told, I prefer it.

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