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Thread: What I have Learned about Modern Flying

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    Default What I have Learned about Modern Flying


    I am new here and LOVE that there is a forum about turbulence. I have flown as a passenger a bunch of times since the 80s. I loved it since the first time. I became addicted to and infatuated with flying. I would actually get depressed when I couldn't fly for a while.

    But the world around me has changed in time and flying is different now. When I flew in the 80s and 90s I would choose the biggest planes, 767, L1011, DC10 to fly domestically in the US. I would often plan the flight well in advance to have great seats on the big birds. Even when I flew single aisle planes like the 727 and 757 they were bigger than planes I see flying now.

    My last 4 flights have been terrible. Over several years my love of flying has turned into a complete phobia. I have had turbulence on all four flights that lasted for up to 6 hours straight (BOS-SEA on JetBlue actually a 5:56 minute flight)

    (Just realized that this belongs in General discussion. Please move it there if this is the wrong spot. Thanks)

    My last two flights I had a full out panic attack and literally said out loud that I couldn't take it anymore. I was totally embarrassed and tried to calm down. I couldn't believe I was the same person who flew so much and loved it.

    So what changed? I figured it out.

    1) Caffeine is not a good thing before flying.

    It makes you want to do things, to move around, to work, to talk, to think. None of these things work too well on a plane with turbulence. I have stopped getting huge containers of soda pop at the airport. And I don't bring in on board with me now. I have since cut down to less than one cup of coffee a day.

    2) The planes are smaller today and more tightly packed.

    Like I said above, when I was flying years ago it was easy to find a 767, L1011 or DC10 flight. Even the 727 was wider and more roomy than some of the planes I fly today. Flying wasn't the cheaper mass transit way it is today. There seemed to be more room, more often I had an entire row to myself. It can be argued that turbulence is turbulence but I will have to disagree. My opinion is that size does matter. Although I have had some turbulence in DC10s before it was nothing compared to an AVERAGE flight on an A320 today. (Not slamming Airbus, just noticing that my worst flights are consistently on JetBlue)

    3) It used to be easier to sit near at front of the plane.

    I remember scoring the first row of economy a lot of times. It was a rare thing to even sit as far back as the wing. Now the rules have changed. Airlines reserve the front of the plane for economy plus and high mileage people. Or they charge extra for seats and are quickly sold out. Unless I fly Southwest and hit the button exactly at the time to check in there is a good chance I will have a struggle to be before the wing. This means flying in the back and there is nothing worse than that for turbulence (in my opinion)

    4) I have learned to HATE flying Red Eyes.

    Flying the red eye is like being locked in a dark cabinet and shaken about for 5 hours.

    They lower the lights and people then pull down the shades (no idea why) and then I start to feel like I am traveling in the back of an 18 wheeler and can't see anything. Add turbulence and then the flickering strobe of hundreds of video screens flashing and it quickly creates and emotional overload. And watching AIR FLIGHT DISASTERS on JETBLUE while in turbulence is almost funny if it wasn't so freaky. I feel the bumps more on night flights because I can't look out the window and see that the plane barely moved.

    So what will I have to do?

    1) Fly during the day when I can see out the window
    2) Not have caffeine before a flight
    3) Pay the fee to sit as close to the front as possible. I have learned that planes fish tail (not sure of the real name) I have watch as the front of the plane was in a different place than the back (or seemed to be) And my last two flights on the JetBlue A320 were cursed with a constant side to side turbulence. (I love JetBlue by the way, just not too happy with smaller planes)
    4) Not fly puddle jumpers. Flying coast to coast on an A320 has lost all charm. I know it isn't the smallest plane but when I fly Jet Blue it is a 5 hour flight and up to 6 going the other way.
    5) Have a stop over. This way I can get out, de-stress, feel grounded, Flying SEA-BOS is too long on an A320 when EVERY SEAT is packed and it is turbulent the entire flight.

    6) Stand up when I have to. Hey, I used to do it during the 80s and 90s. I don't know why but standing and moving around a plane is taboo now but sometimes standing during mild turbulence makes me feel better than being strapped into a seat.

    Wish they had a section where you could stand. Heck, have a bar to hang onto like the bus. I would feel better. Flying seems tighter, smaller and more cramped. Even the exit rows on planes seem little different than regular rows now. I am not liking the change.

    Anyways, this is just what I have found has changed about flying and taken something I loved and turned it into a nightmare. And those are things I am trying to do to make me love flying again.

    Thanks for reading.
    Last edited by naimas; 04-08-2011 at 07:55 PM.

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