Today I faced a fear head on. More or less.
I was headed back to the windy city after some time in the “warmth” of the Florida sun.
I booked a flight through a major US carrier (yes I avoid Aeroflot on US soil also). What I didn’t know was that United Airlines partners with a company that owns small propeller planes (most of which I suspect belong to Barbie and Ken).
There were a few clues I should have picked up on:
- No ramp was attached
- There were stairs leading to the runway
- “All zones” checked in at the same time (all 10 of us)
If you’re standing where it seems like you’re not supposed to be and you’re flying a domestic commercial flight (ie the runway), one of two things is happening: a) you’re the President and/or wealthy enough to board a private plane or b) you’re flying a small regional jet to the destination of your choice while getting too close for comfort with strangers.
The answer wasn’t a.
I made it out to the runway, walked my suitcase down 15 steps and was met with the sight of a neon pink and silver propeller plane.
I’m not sure why I find smaller planes to be scarier than the big boeings but I suspect it has something to do with the fact that a) you feel every little bump and b) the pilots on these small regional gems belonging to small regional companies partnering with large well-known airlines are usually… 17.
I dropped off my bag by the plane as instructed, climbed the small steps, peered into the cockpit to find our teen pilot and his buddy and immediately asked the flight attendant if it was “going to be OK.”
I walked to the back of the plane (all 10 rows of it), where I found my companion for the ride. A hyper and abnormally loud 3 year old.
You’ve got to be kidding me.
Lucky for me, his dad informed me that he likes to kick seats and apologized in advance.
I calmly smiled as I imagined my 3 year old buddy kicking my seat while both of us threw tantrums mid-air. Him because he wanted a “kooooookie.” Me because I had pre-emptively decided “it” was over.
I sat back to enjoy the vibrations of my new massage chair, called every member of my family to tell them I love them and stared out the window at Barbie’s pink plane in anticipation of take-off.
Shockingly, it was a smooth ride.
The propellers rotated the entire time and since I heard nothing from the “pilots” up front, I assume they were busy doing their job.
Aside from the fact that I had no cash on me (the ONE time I needed a bloody mary) and Barbie Airlines did not accept credit cards and the kids operating the plane taxied as if we were in a road race after landing… the trip was smooth.
After landing, the 3 year old finally got a koooookie and I felt more comfortable with toy planes.
The feeling of a smooth landing was Awesome.