What is a Nervous Flyer?
How you prepare for air travel is a good indicator of what type of traveler you are. If you’re a nervous flyer, your routine will probably vary greatly from the cool, calm, and collected traveler that has accumulated enough airline miles to book a trip to the moon and back. But travel routines may extend beyond nerves. Your routine likely says a great deal about you.
Nervous Flyers and Over-Preparation
If someone is over-prepared, does that make him a nervous flyer? Maybe not…but probably. Over-preparation is a clear indication that you spend a lot of time thinking about your trip, and if you are putting in that much time, you are probably at least a little nervous about your upcoming experience. What will you pack? What will you carry on? What will you do on the plane? Thinking and rethinking the answers to these questions may make you crazy, and they are fairly unimportant by comparison to more serious items that are often overlooked. As an admitted nervous flyer, I can tell you that what I pack and what I do on the plane are not even on my top five list of things to worry about.
What Nervous Flyers Should Think About
Before we get too far ahead of ourselves….do you want to drive to the airport, or worse yet…subject a beloved family member to the torture of airport traffic? Of course not, and why would you? Using a limo service can take away some of your anxiety. Arranging car service to the airport allows someone else to absorb some negativity that would otherwise be coming straight for you. The cost of airport transportation is easily offset by the savings in parking fees and psychiatric treatment you will require after driving yourself. I assume nervous flyers spend time – like I do – thinking about how early they should get to the airport in order to make their flight. This is flawed thinking. Nervous flyers should be thinking about how they can arrive at the airport and clear security AT LEAST an hour and a half prior to their scheduled departure. I prefer two hours, but that’s just me. Giving yourself ample time AFTER you are free of your luggage (Yes!!! Check those bags!) and the security lines allows you the peace of mind of knowing that, unless you fall asleep somewhere other than your assigned gate…you probably CAN’T miss your flight.
Something You Will Never Hear a Nervous Flyer Complain About
Nothing makes a nervous flyer MORE nervous than bad weather. A storm, fog, ice or snow…you might as well just set them on fire. Nervous flyers are ready to panic, so it won’t take much to set them off. It also won’t take a lot of convincing to get them to stay home, so when the airlines start cancelling flights, the nervous flyer is glad to pack it in and call it a day. It is the opposite with many seasoned travelers who tend to insist that – while the airport might be closed – their flight is still taking off. This happened frequently during the February blizzard in 2011.
The airport was closed in anticipation of the storm, and yet some people insisted their flights were still leaving…and ON TIME no less. Amazing…since almost everything else in the Midwest had stopped cold (pardon the pun). It must be nice to have that kind of power.
Proud to be a Member of The Nervous Flyer Club
There is no shame in being nervous about flying. It has to do more with the lack of control than fear of being thousands of feet in the air hurtling through space at hundreds of miles per hour in a metal tube filled with flammable liquid. But until they find another way to get me from Chicago to California in five hours, it’s still the best bet in town. So I will continue to be a nervous flyer, and encourage all of my nervous friends to wear their club badges and jackets proudly!