Could someone please talk to pilots?
After paying way too much for the free drinks, I am securely buckled in my first class seat. Passengers are settling in as the pilot has the audacity to start with this:“Good evening folks. Welcome aboard.”
This would have been enough and I would have been fine but he continues without a filter.“Looks like things are gusty all over. It’s going to be gusty on the way up and gusty on the way down. Cruising altitude should be fine. We will be taxiing shortly so sit back and enjoy the flight.”
What? What part do I enjoy? The cruising altitude that “should” be fine? How long until that point?
I am already gripping what should be a water glass filled to the brim instead with Merlot. My flight attendant, he knows. For a moment I see the twinkle in his eye as he contemplates handing me the entire bottle.
Plan A hits and for a brief moment I consider unbuckling my seatbelt and begging the pilot to turn around on the runway and let me out. Obviously this isn’t a yellow cab in the middle of the city and I don’t want my husband and kids to be embarrassed when I land on the national news.
I throw back the entire glass of wine, add this to the one I gracefully sipped at the airport bar.
I am sitting next to a young millennial type, his headphones plugged in. It’s fine, not like I want to talk to him anyway. He starts to doze (apparently gusty doesn’t faze him) and I feel trapped in the window seat. That’s because I am. Here is one of those moments where feelings are fact. I have nowhere to go.
As we take off and leave earth I mentally scheme Plan B. Maybe I’ll have a major panic attack and make a big scene hoping that another passenger on board will mercifully punch me, knock me out and I’ll wake up just seconds after landing. I note this won’t work, both because this is also newsworthy and I love my family too much.
Once again my flight attendant arrives. Plan C has me wondering how many drinks until I pass out. I say no to another glass because someone has to be alert. Most passengers around me are already sleeping and I’m convinced they all took drugs an hour earlier in the airport bathroom. No judging here.
Maybe I just don’t fly enough. No, that’s not it. At this point I develop Plan D. In flight, with sweaty palms, racing heart and wine-clouded thoughts I decide to become a PSTC. Yes, a Pilot Sensitivity Training Coach.
Guess what pilot friends? Some of us don’t like to fly! I have a few tips for you. We already know the weather and have read the turbulence forecasts. We know we are going over the ocean miles in the sky. Please don’t put on the screen in front of our faces how high or how fast we are with 7 hours 6 minutes and 39 seconds to go. Gusty is a poor word choice, so choose your words wisely.
If I were a pilot I might start with this:“Good evening everyone. Welcome aboard. We hope you enjoy the flight and we will do everything possible to make this your best flight ever. If you are an anxious flyer, please open the air vent above your head now. Out will sprinkle magic fairy dust….a little of this and you will be good to go.”
Now doesn’t that sound better?