Wednesday, June 5, 2013

IWSG: The Skinny on Flying

                                                                             



It's time for another edition of   Alex J. Cavanaugh's Insecure Writer's Support Group Be sure to visit these talented authors who are always willing to lend a helping hand. 


Our flight back from Israel was a long one, so my hope was to get some writing done on the first leg of our journey home. We got off to a bad start when they made us check one of our carry-on bags. It had no problem fitting it in the storage bin on our flights to Spain and Israel, which meant that we were destined for a smaller plane.

The Airbus looked like a propeller plane, and the space was so tight that we couldn't even roll our remaining carry-on bags down the aisle. We left for the airport at two fifteen for a six a.m. flight, and barely had time to spare. It didn't help that we were stuck like sardines for five hours, and still had to connect with another nine and a half hour flight in Madrid. I thought a good movie might help settle my nerves, but there wasn't enough room to accommodate a small screen.

I sat with our two sons, while my husband was across the aisle. His seatmate couldn't even pull the tray table down over his protruding stomach. This made me think about why these tiny planes don't have more specific passenger requirements.

Before we boarded the plane we had to make sure that our belongings fit into the metal carry-on baggage template.  Is the next step to have passengers try to fit into similar contraptions, and charge them accordingly for excessive baggage? Should travelers be divided like cattle encouraging the largest ones to roam freely in first class, the borderline in business, and the scrawniest in coach?  I thought of a few other suggestions that I wanted to jot down, but I was too worried to pull down my tray table.


36 comments:

  1. Those sort of planes are a nightmare. I've been on a few internal flights here and it leaves alot to ne desired.

    Yvonne.

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  2. It sounds awful. Truly, traveling and dealing with government institutions has become horribly complex and authoritarian. I recently had to make an appt online to get into the US Embassy Cairo and then had to wait 2-and-a-half hours after the appt time until they called my name. This was just because I needed to update my expired passport. The red tape took me almost 2 months to wade through and I got my new passport yesterday. I won't be using it to travel anywhere though. That's just way too much trouble.

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  3. Yikes. I got clausterphobic just hearing about it. Yet I wanted to hear more...
    ~Just Jill

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  4. Wow! That sounds awful! Flying gets you there faster, but cruising is a lot more pleasant. I haven't flown in years.

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  5. Oh gosh, it seems like flying is becoming more of a mess than ever. I've never flown on a plane like this but I feel claustrophobic just reading your account.
    I hope you had a wonderful time in Israel in spite of the unpleasant trip home, Julie!

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  6. Flying certainly isn't fun these days. You are right - they are making seats closer together and more narrow so they can cram another row in the plane. Both my husband and I are NOT tiny petite people - we're on the larger/taller side. It's miserable trying to fly!

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  7. What a long trip on a little plane. It seems like there are more and more connections that have the smaller planes. I wish the airlines would take some of your suggestions.

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  8. WELCOME HOME!!! I hope you had a fantabulous time, in spite of flying home in a sardine can.

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  9. Yvonne - Fortunately, we were all able to get some sleep on the flight.

    Lexa - It's horrible that you had to wait so long for your passport. Hope you had a nice birthday Lexa!

    Jill - It really was claustrophobic.

    Delores - It was even worse for our boys who were stuck in the middle.

    Jenn - I also prefer cruising.

    Julie - Our connecting flight in Madrid was much more comfortable. We did have fun, and I hope you enjoyed your trip too!

    Mary - Some of the airlines are offering roomier flights. Ours was tricky, because we spent time in Europe first. This was the only flight that we were literally crammed into.

    Thanks for the wishful thinking Yvonne!

    Susan - We did have a great time! Sorry, we were too rushed to take a waterfall photo for you. I'm so excited that the paperback version of Hot Flashes and Cold Lemonade came out!

    Julie

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  10. That's another reason I hate to fly. And you were brave. No way I'd get on a small propeller plane.

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  11. Our plane home from Calgary was a fifty-seater. It was a jet, but just barely. No room for carry ons, so we had to pay $25 each for our checked bags. United sucks!! << Thanks, I feel better. :))

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  12. We have many hours of air time coming up - as NZ is 12 hours just to get to LA. As for charging, Air Samoa (or whatever they call their official airline) now charges by weight - you pay based on the total weight of you plus your bags. Welcome home.

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  13. I was on a double propeller plane once. Scared the crap out of me the whole flight. Not just because of the sardine seating, but because it just seems like it wasn't quite up-to-snuff for flying that many people safely.

    Glad you made it home safe and sound!

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  14. That must have been very uncomfortable! You're right, though. These economy seats seem to get smaller and smaller. I am quite small myself, but even I find them a squeeze these days, I love you last post, by the way. Congratulations to your son!

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  15. Alex - We really didn't have a choice, as we were in a hurry to get to our connecting flight.

    Luanne - That also doesn't sound like a pleasant experience. Hopefully, it was a short flight.

    Rhonda - I figured it would come to that one day, but didn't realize an airline already had that policy. Talk about nervous flying disorders! Thanks Rhonda!

    Beverly - Sorry you had to go through that awful experience. Thanks for following me, and I look forward to seeing more of you!

    Thanks M.J.!

    Val - It is a horrible feeling when you have to squeeze into your seat, especially for a long flight. Thanks so much Val! We're very proud of him!

    Julie

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  16. Oh my, perhaps next time, you might consider flying "Blog Air", the blogger's favourite airline. Not a pleasant experience you had and it always seems the legroom means having your knees up to your forehead. Which makes it difficult to write at the best of times.

    Gary :)

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    1. It would have been a lot more fun flying on your friendly airline Gary! With Penny as the pilot, we would all be in good hands!

      Julie

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  17. I get really scared flying in those tiny planes. Even though it was so long ago (in the 80s), I remember that long, long flight between NY and the Holy Land. I'm glad you're back safely, Julie. I'm looking forward to hearing more about your travels.

    xoRobyn

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  18. Hi Julie - that sounds horrific .. Mum and I went to Namibia and one of the internal hops - we had a guy on .. who weighed twice as much as us together (and we're not skinny), and then all his luggage was the same ... he had to sit in the back in the middle .. we counterbalanced and the pilot prayed I suspect!!!! He was exceptionally rude too .. really unpleasant specimen .. from you know where .. that large continent with lots of wonderful bloggers across the southerly pond!

    Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on Pompeii and Herculanum if you got there .. cheers for now -Hilary

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  19. I've been in one of those small lightcraft airplanes - really scary experience... though it was way back in the late 80's...
    At least you're back home, in one piece...
    Writer In Transit

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  20. Robyn - It was probably even worse back then. It's really hard to take such a long flight even under the best circumstances. Hope you're feeling okay Robyn.

    Hilary - Your experience sounds a lot more frightening. Hope you never ran into that passenger again! We went with a large tour group to Pompeii, and wished that we had more time to spend there. We should have tried to do a combined tour that included Herculaneum. Thanks for all of your help, and we would have loved to have you as our tour guide Hilary! More to follow next week...

    Michelle - This made us really appreciate our connecting flight, so it all worked out in the end. I also remember taking a small propeller flight in the 80's where we heard every sound, and felt every movement. No wonder you still remember it!

    Julie

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  21. That sounds pretty miserable to me and here I am getting ready to go on a plane trip soon. I'm not excited about it. I hope we don't get a plane like you were on. I'd rather drive any day.

    Lee
    Tossing It Out

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  22. Those short hops on small planes are always a bit harrowing! Congratulations on making the trip safely on all legs of the journey,

    I've left something for you over at The Write Game.

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  23. Arlee - Hope you have a great trip, and a comfortable flight. Just make sure to bring a light carry-on bag, and a neck pillow.

    Lee - Congrats on your award, and thanks so much for thinking of me! This was such a nice honor!

    Julie

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  24. I used to love to fly, but now it's less comfortable than driving. Only on overseas or cross country flights is there really time saved. I'm sorry I didn't find you during A to Z but am glad to find you here! My whole family lives in the Asheville area so it was nice to see your blog on your son's graduation. Congratulations to him and you!

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  25. Did you fly with the governor of New Jersey?

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  26. I haven't flown in a while. This is one of the reasons why. I hate being cramped up with other people. Other than the flight, I hope your vacation was totally awesome.

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  27. Lisa - Asheville is a beautiful place. Thanks for also reading my other story, and for the kind words.

    Al - No, but my husband sat next to his twin.


    Carol - We did have a great time! Thanks Carol!

    Julie

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  28. I despise flying... And I hate it even more when it's on one of those tin can planes. Glad you made it out alive!!!

    Hugs!

    Valerie

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    1. Valerie - We just felt very claustrophobic, but in retrospect it could have been a lot worse. Thanks Valerie!

      Julie

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  29. Julie: I was on one of those planes - once. Welcome home!

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  30. Last summer I flew to Switzerland to see a newborn grandson. I fit into my seat nicely, but could not say the same of the man sitting next to me. I have not been so snug and close to any other man except my husband.

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  31. JJ - I'm glad that you didn't have to go through it again. It's good to be home! Thanks JJ!

    Susan - I'm sure that your seatmate enjoyed every minute of it! Just picturing your beautiful grandson probably made the flight bearable.

    Julie

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