Flying does get on your nerves, sometimes - GulfToday

Flying does get on your nerves, sometimes

Birjees Hussain

She has more than 10 years of experience in writing articles on a range of topics including health, beauty, lifestyle, finance, management and Quality Management.

She has more than 10 years of experience in writing articles on a range of topics including health, beauty, lifestyle, finance, management and Quality Management.

Flying Fear

The photo has been used for illustrative purposes. Reuters

You remember Christine Blasey Ford? She accused America’s SCOTUS nominee, Brett Kavanagh, of inappropriate behaviour when they were in their teens? During her testimony it was revealed that she had a fear of flying. One of the questions raised during the hearing, and one I feel was the most absurd, was if she had a fear of flying, how did she get to Washington to testify? The question implied that, since she flew, she must be lying about her fear and, therefore, lying about everything else.

Of course, she wasn’t lying about her fear as every frequent flyer with the same fear will tell you. They get on a plane and take deep breaths or, in extreme cases, prescription medication to calm themselves during the flight. And why do they get on a flight despite their fear? Because they have to for all manner of reasons, including testifying in front of Congress.

Flying is such an essential part of our lives that a fear of it cannot stop us from getting on a plane to get to where we need to go. We have to fly for all sorts of reasons. It could be for a vacation, for business, to see family or friends, for reunions or even to seek medical treatment for something serious other than a fear of flying.

But fear of flying isn’t the only reason people hate to get on a plane. Someone might be claustrophobic and dread the prospect of sitting in a confined cabin for long periods of time. Another person might hate the food. Some even dread the prospect of having to go to the bathroom because of how icky it might be after 50 passengers have used it.

Now, did you hear about the Instagram model who boarded a flight and then publicly complained about being seated next to a crying baby? If you’re a parent and have travelled with a baby on a plane you might be quite annoyed to hear that she complained. After all, if you do travel with your baby and he or she starts crying, you do everything you can to stop the baby crying but often nothing works. It may be that people without children have a hard time understanding that problem. But at the same time parents should also understand how passengers (especially those seated directly next to you and your crying baby) may be feeling.

Some passengers may be stressed for a number of reasons other than the actual flight. They may need to get some work done for a business trip but were not afforded a business class seat. Or they may just need to get some shuteye or rest their mind and body before an important event they need to attend once they land. I’m sure you can understand that they can’t do any of this if a baby next to them is crying throughout the flight. And it’s not just crying babies. It could be a 2 or 3-year-old toddler either screaming or restless.

When passengers choose seats on a plane, or at least try to if they can, they have a seat preference. It could be an aisle seat or a window seat. Or a seat that’s not too close to the bathroom or right next to an emergency door. Some even ask if the seat is located at the head of the aircraft or the tail. Moreover, if it’s a lady, she may insist that she not be seated next to a man. But I do not believe that a single passenger has ever asked if the seat is next to, or near, a baby, or children in general.

I don’t know what the solution is except to say that perhaps if you don’t like children, especially ones that may bawl throughout a flight, then you should definitely ask at the check-in counter. To be honest, I’ve been told by some friends who fly frequently, how tough a long-haul flight is when there were screaming children everywhere. Parents, I’m sure that you yourself find your screaming children difficult to deal with at time and often they may get on your nerves too. So imagine what other passengers might be feeling like, and it’s not even their child!

I have to admit that I’ve never sat next to a crying baby on a flight. I did once sit next to a mother and her newborn on a 45-minute flight. But the baby slept throughout.

I did, however, have a pretty unpleasant flight to London a couple of years ago. It was packed and I had no choice but to sit right bang in the middle of 2 men. It was very uncomfortable and I hate middle seats anyway. But here’s the weird part. It was a seven and a half hour flight and the fellow in the window seat did not leave his seat once to go to the bathroom, despite drinking fluid!

Weird huh?