Fly Away With Me

Airplanes.

It’s weird for me. When I sit and think about the general idea of flying in an airplane it scares me to death. I’d drive anywhere, any distance, any time.

But when a real opportunity to fly is put in front of me (or I’m forced to) it’s no big deal. I’m good.

The other day, work sent me and the other SLP I work with down to Tampa for a speech meeting. I was all pumped up and ready for the flight. Little did we know how interesting our travels would be.

We show up an hour early like we are supposed to, only to be told that our flight is late. Instead of flying out at 5:50, it will be more like 9:20.

Awesome.

We get food. We shop. We waste time. I can’t really complain because it’s not like it’s torture wandering around Kirkland’s and eating chicken teriyaki at the mall. That’s a good day for me.

Then it’s time to really check in. Everything goes smoothly. Check in. Walk through security. Now we’re looking for our gate. We walk all the way to the end of the terminal…and I mean the end. And we’re still not at our gate. Instead there is a lovely sign with our gate number and an arrow pointing downstairs into this tiny little dungeon area.

Say what? There are only about five waiting seats down here. And no jetway. Just a door outside.

We are shortly informed that our little rinky dink plane only holds 19 people. Nineteen people! It was a beechcraft 1900 in case you want to know.

Check out those propellers. That’s not scary at all. And yes. We did have the cute little fold down stairs. It was almost like a private jet. Only not fun at all.

There were no bathrooms. No flight attendants. No little packages of peanuts. No Sprite in plastic cups.

It was smaller than a charter bus. Cozy.

Due to the delay, the airline provided everyone with $10 vouchers. Nice right? One of our fellow passengers who I will be referring to as “Tipsy Lady” was very sarcastically grateful. I think I know how she spent it.

Of course Tipsy Lady sits right behind us in the emergency exit seat. That’s right. My life was in her hands.  As the pilot was informing Tipsy Lady of her responsibilities, my co-worker and I were sure to let her know she was only supposed to pull the red handle in an emergency. It didn’t help that she kept touching it. Then Tipsy Lady asked me how she looked. Was her hair fixed and makeup ok? Apparently she needed to look good for her job as emergency exit handle puller. I told her that she looked good and that I believed in her.

Have you ever flown in an airplane with propellers? They are very loud. The whole time. I mean you saw that picture up there. You are very close to the person next to you, but we had to scream at each other if we wanted to say anything.

As we got closer to Tampa I wanted to say that I could feel the airplane starting to descend. I chose not to though after realizing I probably shouldn’t yell ” I THINK WE’RE GOING DOWN!” in an airplane even if no one would have heard me.

We made it to Tampa safe and sound. The rest of the trip went pretty smoothly. Our two flights back were on regular planes, so much less exciting.

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