Some Thoughts on Airplane Travel

I thought of this as I was reading a post by Airports Made Simple entitled “Inconventient Truths by Outmanned Mommy“.   You might also want to check out Outmanned Mommy – Looks to be an interesting blot

When I was younger (we’re talking 6 – 7 years old here) I use to love to fly.  I think I probably flew out to visit my grand-parents a couple 2-3 times a year and on many of those trips I flew by myself.  The only part of flying I don’t like  is the take-off, but give me headphones and some tunes and I do okay.  There’s just something about the (seemingly) steep angle that planes take off at that make me uncomfortable – The feeling like we’re going to fall backwards (yeah I know, silly).    Anymore, flying just doesn’t seem to hold the same excitement that it once did.  Rather, it has become more of an annoyance that anything.  Course not having the money to travel does make it a bit of a moot point.

There were two immediate thoughts that came to mind as I read the above mentioned post.

The first thought had to do with a bathroom  disaster I experienced aboard a SW Airline flight – though I really have no logical reason for this to come to mind.  I’ll warn you this may get a bit on the crude or gross side depending on your sensitivities.  If this is a problem you might want to skip past this next part.

On this particular trip there was a rule/policy  that you MUST stay in your seat during the entire flight (except to go to the bathroom).  Of course  any flight you are on the staff would prefer that you not be milling around in the aisles for no reason (understandable), but on all the flights I’ve been on there has never been a problem if your standing at the bathroom waiting for your turn in line for the restroom, unless there’s something else going on with the flight that’s a problem – And, as long as there isn’t a “line” forming at the restroom.  So, this particular trip, I have to use the restroom, but there’s someone in there.  I get up to wait so I can be next and am immediately told I can’t do that, that I have to sit back in my seat.  I do so, awaiting the person in the restroom to finish.  As soon as they open up the door I go to get up, only to have someone else jump up before I can get there and rush up ahead of me…  So I have to wait for that person.  This repeated, I don’t know how many times.  And, of course, according to their STUPID policy I can’t wait at the door – I HAVE to remain in my seat.  I don’t have to tell you that after about the 3rd or 4th time of this I was getting more than a little frustrated – No too mention that at this point I had to go something awful (Ever see a small child squirming around in there seat when they gotta go poddy  really bad, but don’t want to stop what they’re doing? – Yeah that was me…  The squirming part anyway).   I’ll do you the favor of not saying what I almost felt like doing, but I’m sure you can take a wild guess.

The other thought (which is probably more related to the post that I was reading) had to do with traveling with our son ( a baby at the time).  There’s actually 2 thoughts in one here and to be honest I’m not entirely sure (this many years later) if the trip was one and the same or separate trips.

I can’t remember the exact age of my son at the time, though he must have been about a year or so at the time.  My husband, my son, and myself (as well as another family) were traveling to Florida (I believe) for a conference.  The whole scenario started out at the other families house.  If memory serves me correct we were taking a super early morning flight out.  I think, technically, you could call it a “middle of the night” flight. There was so much to be done that none of us (adults) anticipated getting much sleep the night before.  With the young children, however, it was expected that they be put down at an early hour so they could get plenty of sleep.  The problem??  My son absolutely refused to stay down.  I think I spent the better part of the night trying to get him to go to (and stay) asleep….  Needless to say by the time we got to the airport for the early morning flight out he was well beyond cranky.  So here I am dealing with this fussy cranky baby and about ready to pull my hair out.  Finally, we’re all settled on the airplane….  We’ve no sooner gotten “push back” and my son is completely and utterly crashed on the seat.

I think this may have been the same flight that I ended up spending pretty much the entire flight on the floor of the plane because there was no room for me in the seats.   Imagine seats so close together that you might as well be packed in like sardines.  The seats in question were not (in my opinion) designed for a larger (broad) size man, unless your willing to hold your body in a contracted  type of state – which, due to discomfort levels from overdoing the previous couple of days, my husband was not all that willing to do.  Can’t say I blame him.  So my husband is taking up his seat and part of mine and then my son is stretched out taking up most of his seat as well as a part of mine.  So, basically, I’m left with less than half of my seat to sit in.  Now mind you I may be short, but I’m not exactly the same 95 ringing wet that I was before my son was born…  There was barely any room for me and I was constantly getting bumped and kicked from both sides.  The only thing I could do was move to the floor.  Moving back to the seat when it came time for the descent – Which had to be the longest descent I’ve ever experienced….  But then that might just be my perception.

One last quick story in regards to flying.  This actually has to do with the part before you actually get on the plane….  Getting through security.  For anyone going through security can be a bit of a hassle, but when your dealing with it from a point of view of a wheelchair it can be even more so.  Extra time is needed so that a special screening can be performed of the wheelchair.  I can’t say that the extra time is a waste.  I’d rather know that a proper check was performed then feel like short cuts are being taken just because a person is in a wheelchair and an assumption is made that there is no way that person could be the cause of any problems.  And, in all honestly, it really doesn’t take that much extra time to perform a proper check on a wheelchair as it would anyone else that you might have to perform a special screening on – If you know how to do it and what parts to concentrate on in the wheelchair.

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