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.