Mid-Air Anxiety

Posted Tue, 06/02/09

One of the reasons I will never fly again:

Over the years, similar headlines have sent chills down my spine and have made me even more resolute to never board a jet again. I cannot imagine a more terrifying death than knowing you are going to crash and there isn't one thing you can do about it. The worst examples – in terms of terror - are the flights of 9/11.

The last time I flew in an airplane was in 1988, when I took a Continental work-related flight to Miami. If I remember correctly, we switched planes in Atlanta. I was petrified to and from my destination. Those were the days before the ban on smoking, so I puffed a lot of cigarettes and had a few cocktails to boot.

The worst parts of flying are taking off and landing, although the turbulence in between isn't much of a picnic.

I don't like being confined thousands of feet up in the air with a complete stranger (the pilot) at the controls. Being packed like sardines in a can with other people is not my cup of tea, either. The scenario combines two of my worst phobias into one: heights and confined spaces.

Needless to say, when I finally get to Ireland one day it will be aboard a boat. I've already worked it out: Amtrak has a train to New York City, and Holland America's MS Rotterdam travels via Halifax, St. John's and Newfoundland across the Atlantic before arriving in Belfast, Liverpool and Waterford. What a lovely trip that would be.

Someday, somehow…