Posts tagged ‘flying’

Flying the Not-So-Friendly Skies: (Part II The Trip Home)

I’ve never really been frightened on an airplane. Sure, there are little bumps of turbulence that make my stomach jump into my throat and I get a little woozy when the plane makes a sharp turn…but really no fear.

That was until my last trip.

After a weird ride from New York to Dallas (some lady actually offered my husband $20 for his seat so she could be near the front and get off the plane faster, and I actually shed tears when my laptop ran out of battery power) we arrived back in Texas….a bit frazzled and ready to get home.

We had a short lay over at DFW and then it was back to the plane for what we thought would be a quick, easy 30-minute ride to Austin. 

We board, get situated and we sit, and sit, and sit some more. Nothing is happening. On top of it all, the airplane’s air conditioning was not working. Sitting in a metal tube which is parked on concrete, in the hot Texas sun is torture in my book. When I got on this plane something just didn’t feel right about it. It seemed old, and dark and dirty….some old shitbag airplane that American Airlines had dusted off to make short little trips between Austin and Dallas all day.

So when the pilot came on to tell us that the crew was busy fixing some “discrepancies” with the cargo doors, I wasn’t surprised. He promised us it would only be 20 minutes and we would be on our way. Well, 30 minutes goes by and the discrepancies….whatever that means… aren’t fixed. The pilot actually¬†came out of the cockpit, addresses everyone of the plane and said he was just as frustrated as we were and he’s actually going to go down and see what’s going on.

I stopped looking at the clock, but I was told we sat there and waited for about 2 hours, in the heat. The pilot finally comes back up and says the doors were fixed and we will be on our way. We pull away from the gate, get about 20 feet away and we stop. Again, we were not moving. We sit for several minutes and the pilot comes on again. This time a member of the ground crew spotted a “scratch” on one of the wings and the pilot has called out someone to check it out before we can go. URGH!

By this time we could’ve been almost back to Austin if we had just rented a car and driven ourselves home. So I guess someone finally came out and inspected the “scratch” …. whatever that means…. and we finally had the thumbs up to leave.

“I want to assure you that this plane is 100% safe to fly,” the pilot added before we took off.

Hmmm….something about that statement actually is not very assuring.

So here is when I almost freaked out. As we took off, something just didn’t feel right. I’m no seasoned flier, but you know what a taken off is supposed to feel like. There’s some shaking and you feel this weird sinking, pulling feeling in your gut. Well, that didn’t happen. It felt like we were just barely getting up off the ground, almost gliding through the air. On top of that there was this horrible BURNING SMELL.

And there is something you never want to smell on an airplane….it’s burning. I clenched my husband’s hand and buried my face in his shoulder. “Are we going to die?” I asked. ‘No,” he said half convincing.

Finally my nerves calmed, those trusty fight attendants came around and gave us a Coke and some scammed snack mix from first class (mind you, we haven’t eaten or drank anything in like 3 hours) and we finally touched down in Austin. I’ve never been so glad to be home.

This was definitely a trip to remember….for all the wrong reasons.


July 3, 2008 at 1:56 am 2 comments


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