It’s jokingly said some airlines have become so focused on getting more money from passengers, using add-ons to the basic fare that soon we’ll be charged for emotional baggage. This idea might make you chuckle but the chances are your flying routine follows an excitable pattern. The somewhat unbelievable concept of being enclosed in a pressurised metal tube, flying 40,000ft above the earth, hurtling along at 500 miles an hour triggers all sorts of emotions. This usually means that our flying routine, that others make look so easy-going, triggers lots of emotion. But we are not as alone as we think. If your friends do any of the following, they are with you in: – “The Emotional Flying Club”. They are just better at hiding their membership card!
Before you even arrive at the airport you start worrying about how long it takes to get there. Do you doubly make sure you get up in time, for that early morning departure, and don’t oversleep? Go on, admit it, we’ve all set more than one alarm clock and also booked an alarm call. You have done the airport journey many times before. It only takes 30mins or is it 50mins? Well, let’s say an hour to be sure eh? On the way, and at the first of hint of any hold-ups we start thinking, “Will you get out of the way?” wondering why all the worse drivers are on the road at once. Arriving at the airport we are amazed at how the journey took such a short time. We have arrived with hours to spare. However it is an “airport travel” memory block, because next time we will have completely forgotten this and go through all the emotional panic again.
Of course, we now start double-checking if we have got all our passports and tickets. No chance of remembering where the passports were hidden for safety. Everyone in our party starts looking and things become more confused. Eventually the passports appear, as if by magic. We were so sure that the luggage was underweight but, as we get nearer the baggage drop, we become convinced that it must weigh at least 25kg and will be rejected for being overweight. Suddenly the security questions take on a new meaning. “Yes, no one could have interfered with my bags”. “No, I am not carrying anything for anyone else”. Easy answers, but why is it we try to avoid feeling and looking guilty? When it comes to security clearance, even though we are so organised, we worry if all liquids and gels are in the plastic see-through bag. On heck, I’ve not left that spray in the carry-on case have I? It goes without saying, that whichever security queue you join, the others will be quicker. Naturally we get annoyed at passengers who leave it, until the very last moment, to start removing belts, watches, mobiles and laptops. Admit it you look-on, with anticipation, as your case travels through X-Ray. Will it make it OK? As for walking through the security arch yourself – whoops, breathe again as no alarm sounded. If you have ever become annoyed with the others repacking their belongings so slowly, whilst you are ready to move on, then your emotions are certainly rising in the emotional baggage count. Now all you have to do is to make sure you don’t miss your flight and never leave your baggage unattended. Sounds easy – forget it!
Even if you are in a lounge, no flight ever seems to be shown on the screen when you are checking. No matter how many times you look, the boarding gate seems to appear just when you weren’t looking. If you find yourself late, your flight will be departing from the farthest gate possible from where you are. Have you ever boarded a flight that leaves from Gate 1? No, neither as anyone else! As to you having some luck, if you are allocated a middle seat, you can easily spot which passengers will be sitting either side of you. The two largest! If you are travelling on business, no matter what cabin class, the crying baby will be seated nearest to you. Another emotional moment, just as you are about to sit down, consider this conundrum. Why is it that, when there is less carry-on luggage space available, the more carry-on luggage the passengers will bring aboard? You end up having to stow your bags nowhere near your seat! By now, you’ll have realised that this article only touches on some emotional triggers. There are so many more, that it’s no wonder we all have enough experience to join the Emotional Flying Club.
So come on, admit and apply for membership. As a nervous elderly lady said to a pilot, “I’ve never flown before; you will land me safely down, won’t you?” “Well ma’am,” said the pilot, “I’ve never left anyone up there yet!” I bet this senior first-time flyer was already a bona fide Emotional Flying Club member! Happy travels………