Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Adventures in Flying

How many times can you travel by air without having an 'incident'?  I asked myself that question having just booked two more trips by air between now and December.

I usually don't worry too much about the safety of flying - the worse part for me is actually getting up into the air without having the plane shake all apart, but once that's accomplished, I'm fine.

Our last trip, from Mesa, AZ to Great Falls, MT had a few moments that might have shattered the nerves of a first-time flyer.  It was a bit nerve-wracking for me. 

First of all, we arrived at the airport late - not our fault, but a separate story for another time.  The line up at the check in was looong.  Lloyd heard someone up front say something about the flight for Great Falls boarding already.  We were told to come to the front of the line to check in right away and hurry to Security.  Thank heavens for small airports and short security lines that are part and parcel of budget airlines.  We went through security as fast as we could and Lloyd took off running to the boarding gate - I followed behind as quickly as my arthritic knees would allow me to move.  We got to the gate just in time to board before they gave our seats away to standby passengers.  Our nephew Mark trailed in behind everyone else and took the window seat beside us.

We had no sooner got settled and strapped in when the flight attendant walked down the aisle asking who it was who found the "broken piece of the plane".  That got everyone's attention!  It turned out the people in the row directly in front of us were the finders.  They were quickly removed to the front of the plane while a maintenance man checked out their row and a few others and finally determined that it was some type of vent cover that had become unattached from it's place.  That's good. Something like that wouldn't cause the plane to malfunction or crash, we hoped. 

A minute later we noticed a fine white mist (gas! we guessed) coming out of all the vents above all the windows on the plane.  It seemed for a few minutes that we were all going to be gassed as we sat there. Then the flight attendant, alerted by the fearful faces staring at her, announced that while the maintenance paperwork was being completed, a cool mist would be vented into the cabin.  This was harmless and would stop as soon as we were airborne.  We were beginning to wonder if it wouldn't have been better to have missed our flight in the first place.

Finally we were up, up and away.  Then the pilot comes over the intercom with his welcome to Allegiant Air message and says we'll be landing in Niagara Falls in just over 2 hours.  Now, as much as I enjoy Niagara Falls, that's nowhere near where we were trying to get.  At this rate, it would take us 6 hours to get home.  Eventually he realizes his mistake and gets on the intercom again to correct himself, saying that instead of Niagara Falls, he decided to take us to Great Falls instead. Thank goodness!

Now the lovely, good, relaxing part of this whole experience is this.  For some reason the people who were in the row ahead of Mark, Lloyd and me, having been evacuated during the maintenance portion of the flight, never came back to their seats.  So I asked the flight attendant if I could sit there.  Sure. So I sat in the middle seat, put the arm rests up and spread out my snacks on one flight table and my iPad on another and made the flight home in peace and comfort.

So it's never all bad, and I'm off on another flight adventure next week, this time to Winnipeg to visit my mother and sister.



Chatty Crone said...

Well that had to be a bit unnerving - but have fun with your mother! sandie

My Grama's Soul said...

Oh you just had an airplane incident.....I thought you were going to tell us your carry on luggage opened on the scanner belt and your underwear were scattered all over.....NOW TO ME.....THAT would have been an incident!! LOL LOL LOL



I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

I hope your next trip is not quite so eventful. The worst flight I ever experienced was being laid over at an airport as I'm missed my connecting flight due to bad weather and had to spend the night on a cold hard bench at the airport. Now I only take flights that go straight through.


I would have been a nervous wreck, especially when the mist came in. I hate to fly. And my husband, back in the day, was a commercial pilot. He still has his license, he just doesn't fly anymore. Too many hassles. I hope your trip to your mom and sister is less eventful. Have a wonderful visit.

Mickey said...

I'm probably more comfortable flying than I am driving and am pretty comfy at the wheel. Usually I get on a plane and can be asleep before we take off! But over 60 years of air travel have had many interesting stories to tell when we got home! The worst was an air pocket and it felt like we hit a brick wall! Everything not buckled down rose to the ceiling including a baby in front of us. The cabin was a mess but we were all fine.

Ellie said...

Oh, I'm a nervous flyer at the best of times and there has never been a mechanical problem on any flight I have been on. Thanks goodness!!
At least you managed to come home in style lol.

Holly said...

I've never flown out of Mesa and the prices on Alligiant are usually pretty good so we've been thinking about using them. I would love to avoid Sky Harbor. What's your overall opinion of the Mesa airport and Alligiant Air?

just call me jo said...

Daughter flies Allegiant. I did once out of Idaho Falls. It's an interesting little outfit. I used to love to fly, but now I just brace for the "incident." There's always one. I'm glad you're safe.

Flora said...

Well I hate flying...this didn't help LOL....I avoid the planes whenever possible:)

Desiree said...

I have been giggling all the way through this! I know it must have been a tad worrisome/unsettling at the time, but your retelling of these various 'incidents' is hilarious! You have a great gift for story telling, Pat.

I hope you have an 'incident free' flight next week when you visit your sister and your mother. I have shared the information you gave regarding the high incidence of Alzheimer's on your mother's side of the family. My husband said he would love you to answer his questionaire on behalf of everyone in your family who has suffered from Alzheimer's, if that would be possible. Should you be willing to do this, please contact him directly at the following email address:

Hugs xoxo

Anonymous said...

Once on a flight, I stood up to let the man who had the middle seat in to his seat - he paused to put his hand luggage in the overhead locker - and when he stretched up, the stink of rank stale sweat from his armpits nearly knocked me out. You can imagine How delighted I was when I realised that there were empty seats, and I was able to move away from him ..... it was a longhaul flight, and if I had had to sit there, I think I would have been using the sick bag!!

Granny Annie said...

I typed a comment here yesterday and it is not here. Therefore I must have missed that the word verification was wrong or you may not have approved it for publication. Darn it -- what a mystery.

Granny Annie said...

Oops, you don't user word verification and you don't hold posts for approval so it looks like my mystery is solved. It's my oldtimers disease:)

Anotole Mills said...

Awesome post and I really liked ur sense of humor. Hope ur flights have been awesome post this.

Kath said...

Interesting flight!! You didnt question the pilots abilities when he announced the wrong destination??
I am a nervous flyer. On our vacation this summer our flight from Omaha to Denver was AWFUL. Constant plane shaking/dropping turbulance. The pilot continued to apologize. Comfort to some but I just wanted him to give ALL his attention to driving the thing!!
I was scared out of my wits. Tears flowed down my face the entire flight.
My legs were so wobbly that I had to hang on to seats n Daryl to get off plane. Then I remembered I had motion sickness pills in my purse for our future whale watching tour. They helped.
Seth and I took alot of them on our trip. He for carsickness in the mountains. And me too!
Guess we are just flatlanders!
Thankfully the rest of our flights on vacation were smooth sailing.