I know what it's like to be afraid to fly. Pilots try to make you feel more comfortable, but they aren't helpful. They announce things like, “We are going to be on the ground soon.” Really? Isn't there a better way to say that?
I find leg room on a plane to be scary. I'm tall, so I end up chewing on my knees the entire flight. Then the person in front of me will put their seat back, and I get to discover what the small of my back looks like. If I had proper tools, I could put a nice tattoo back there.
Airlines try to give you stuff to read to calm you down – like the Skymall Catalog. Now we all know you should never shop for groceries when you are hungry, and similarly you should never shop on Skymall when you are nauseated. I impulse-bought a 7UP dispenser, gourmet crackers, and a monogrammed garden bucket.
Sitting next to strangers on a plane can be scary – especially if they are bigger than you are. I have, from time to time, spent an entire flight sitting at a 45-degree angle. This is hard on your back, and you smell like the person for a couple of days.
Airlines frighten me. Airlines try to nickle-and-dime you to death. If you want to upgrade your seat and get 3 more inches of leg room, you are going to have to cough up another 9. I realize that I have a tendency to exaggerate, but that's NOT an exaggeration! It's 9 for 3 more inches of leg room! Unfortunately the money might be worth it!
The scariest thing about flying for me personally would be turbulence. Turbulence doesn't make me worry about falling out of the sky as much as it make me worry about getting scalded, because I'm a coffee drinker. As the coffee slops over the sides, I tend to sing an off-tune falsetto scat performance that led one elderly woman listening 3 rows back to exclaim, “That's beautiful!”
Flight attendants can be scary. I saw a flight attendant get on the plane late and try to get her bag in the overhead bin, but the bag wasn't fitting. I said, “Excuse me miss, but if you can't get that bag to fit, I'm going to have to check it.” She hit me!
For all the discomfort and scary moments, I have to say that planes are pretty safe. Flying is much safer than driving. I've run out of gas in a car, but never in a plane. I've gone into a spin in a car, but never on a plane. I've hit deer in a car, but never in a plane. Okay... one time, but it was a flight out of Winnipeg, and the pilots got to share the meat.
The bottom line is that I think it's okay to feel some fear on an airplane. In fact, I think it's a great opportunity to practice being brave without a lot of risk. You can trust God, endure the fear, and exercise your faith muscle without putting yourself in harm's way.
The bottom line is that planes are very tough. I was on a flight that got struck by lightning. The bolt hit the nose of the plane, and ricocheted right past the the very window I was staring out of at the time. The plane didn't even lurch! There was no big bump or any movement at all! There was just this loud trumpet noise – which turned out to be me actually. I'm still embarrassed.