Afraid of flying! Me?

Air.malta.a320-200.9h-aep.arp

Anyone who suffers from Aviophobia or fear of flying stop reading now!!!

No really.

Anyway for those are still there let me start by apologizing. I apologize in advance in case you are ever in the position that you have to board a plane with me.The examples below will explain why.

The 1st time I boarded a plane I was the tender age of 16 I think. It was a flight from Schiphol Amsterdam to Luqa, Malta international airport. This was back in the 80s. Let me put it this way flying with Air Malta as your first aviation experience, in the 80s, is not the best way of being introduced to flying. We all have experienced turbulence , but for the whole flight and a very rough landing,not very pleasant.

singa

Call me a fool but I tend to be a sucker for punishment, so the 2nd time I also flew Air Malta. Well that was the plan, turned out Air Malta had overbooked(any one who has even been on a Maltese bus, will see how this could happen)to my luck they changed the flights to Singapore airlines and as a cherry on a cake,1st class. However being a young innocent 17.5 year old I missed the first course of my meal because I was trying to figure out how to eat that hot wet sausage. Turned out this was a hot cloth rolled for convenience, to wipe your hands.

Fast forward a decade or so.Aer Lingus 11 April 1996 Dusseldorf -Dublin.

aer lingus

My wife and I were on the last flight out of Dusseldorf, after we left a big part of the Airport burned down.After our 2 weeks stay in Ireland, we contacted Aer Lingus to ask where we would be returning to, with the knowledge that Dusseldorf would be closed, we needed to know to arrange transport from the Airport to home. To my surprise the friendly lady told me that we still would be landing in Dussledorf, and who was I to argue with the expert.So my lift was arranged. Then after we boarded the plane we were told by the Captain we’d be landing in Maastricht, which was great for us because that was only 5 miles from home. However our ride was not too happy about the fact he drove for nothing to Dusseldorf. We hadn’t been able to contact him in the pre-mobile communication era.

ryan

Then sometime in 2005 I forget the exact date, because of the trauma. Shannon Airport to Brussels South-Charleroi,carrier Ryanair the not frills(but enough thrills) airline. About 15 minutes before we land something that sounded and felt like an explosion. I thought sayonara baby.The silence afterwards is something I will never forget. about 10 minutes after the ‘explosion’ the Captain announced that we had been hit by lightning and had lost one engine but the other one was still okay so we still would be landing as scheduled.

Skip forward to June 2008.

quantas

I had to fly for a business trip and training to Sydney. via London Heathrow and Bangkok.However my starting point was Dublin to London with Aer Lingus( I won’t even mention the delay) Finally arrived at LHR and luckily the Qantas flight coming in had also been delayed, which evened out my initial delay. All good and well, got on board, got my seat and sat down, made myself comfortable. Captain introduced himself via the intercom, start the engines and then nothing.Another announcement that there had been issues with the engines but all would be sorted soon. Soon being 17 hours later, from which 10 we were stuck inside the plane on the tarmac. After 10 hours they got us of board with the promise we could go into a hotel paid for by Qantas where we could sleep for a bit and have some food, because that 1 bag of peanuts and 500ml of water we got on board did not really fill us. They also said when we would get back there would be a brand new plane waiting for us. Now before I left the plane I had left a bit of my boarding card in the pocket of the seat in front of me.

I remember I was thinking of Rainman at the time where Raymond said that Qantas never crashed, I knew then why, because they never take off in the first place.

After 6 hours or so the coach came to collect us to transport us to the airport to our brand spanking new plane, imagine the excitement.However when I got back to the same allocated seat number as the previous plane to my surprise I spotted the bit of boarding card in the pocket of the seat in front of me. Naturally I was impressed with the service and when I commented on this to one of the crew, saying that how great it was that they had taken out all the seats of the other plane and put it on this one, she gave me a nervous smile and I did see very little of her after that. I should have know really because when we boarded I noticed that they had also given the ‘new’ plane the same name as the other one.

I could mention my dealings with Virgin Airlines(Europe not Atlantic) or Sobelair but they are no longer in operation.

I could also talk about the time I accidentally boarded a plane to the Ukraine where I should have boarded one to Germany, due to a power outage in Shannon Airport(luckily in those days you could still tell the crew that you had to get off) Or the numerous suitcases I lost, at one stage I jokingly said at check in ” I want that suitcase going to Madrid, that one to Milan and the last one to Paris” where the clerk answered ” I can’t do that” my reply was “Why not you did it the last time” Or literally ever other flight bar 2 that went wrong, but I think you get the point.

Although flying with me can be dangerous, eventually you always land safe albeit not necessarily your intended destination.

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