Random header image... Refresh for more!

Melissa and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Flight

Last weekend, I went to Mom 2.0 in Orlando.  It was great, thank you for asking.  I met interesting people and ate a lot of cupcakes and got to hang out with friends I rarely get to see.

And then it was time to go home.

When I got to the airport, there was a long line at check-in, and I couldn’t figure out how to get into the line itself.  I finally asked an airport employee who informed me that the end of the line was back by the Sea World store.  I dragged my suitcase to the end of the line, my heart pounding, where another employee informed me that there was absolutely no chance that I would make my flight.

The woman in front of me snarled that we would make our flights.  We had almost two hours until our respective flights.  This was not going to be a problem.

This was going to be a problem.  You know that, right?

I learned a lot about this woman’s life because we were together in line for an hour.  Her elderly mother informed me that she just loved the enormous grey streak in the front of my hair and that it was very “brave.”  (Yeah, it is brave, you know why?  Because I’m doing a freakin’ Rogue cosplay every single day of my life.)

I finally made it to the front and checked my bag, asking what would happen if I couldn’t make it through security in the next half hour when my flight boarded.  The employee shrugged.  I moved into the security line where I inched forward for about 45 minutes until I got through and could take an Ativan as I ran for the gate.  I jumped onto the plane.  Five more minutes and I would have missed it.

The Ativan (remember, I’m a bad flyer) started kicking in as we were taxiing away from the gate.  And that’s when the pilot’s voice came over the loudspeaker.  “Everyone, I want to apologize, but we’re going to hit turbulence this whole trip.  Start to finish.  It’s going to be bumpy on the way up.  We’ll hit pockets of turbulence while we’re in cruising altitude.  And it is going to be bumpy coming down.  All of it.  All of it filled with turbulence.  Melissa in row 9, you are now stuck on this flight for the next two hours.  Try not to pee yourself.”

I looked around and everyone had a look of disappointment on their face because they may not be able to get their precious Schweppes if the flight crew couldn’t get up from their seats.  But I was screaming on the inside (and possibly the outside — I don’t know) over this news.

The plane took off and, as promised, it was bumpy.  The flight crew remained seated.  I knew that they would get very cranky with me if I seeped onto the floor in a weepy mess so I panted in my seat like a dying animal.  The boy by the window gallantly asked the girl between us if she was okay.  I leaned forward and heard myself tell him, “I am not okay.”  The college boy stared at my grey hair and sweaty face and choose to ignore me.  I spent two hours in this state.

Finally the plane wobbled down to the ground and I exhaled and unfroze.  (You know how animals go through fight, flight, or freeze when dealing with stress?  I freeze in order to trick my stress into not seeing me.)

Please don’t ask me to go anywhere.  I don’t think I am ever flying again.


1 Journeywoman { 05.21.17 at 7:44 am }

I’m so sorry. I’m glad you got home safe enough to write this post.

2 B { 05.21.17 at 8:22 am }

But if you never had awful, terrifying experiences, wouldn’t your writing suffer? LOOK AT THIS BLOG POST FOR EXAMPLE!

Thanks for doing this for your readership 🙂


3 Mrs T { 05.21.17 at 8:44 am }

Bad flyers, unite! I recently was in the worst turbulence I’ve ever been in and I’m scarred for life now. Glad you made it back on solid ground.

4 a { 05.21.17 at 10:26 am }

Aww, that sucks. I’m sorry the flight was so terrible.

5 Jen@FrugalSteppingStones { 05.21.17 at 11:17 am }

I once was flying back from Japan and we were in the middle of the Pacific,when we hit major turbulence. I think the plane must have suddenly dropped 100 feet and everyone screamed. I must have prayed 1000 Hail Marys even though I haven’t considered myself Catholic in decades. (I guess I am not an atheist in a foxhole). I have had to knock myself out with dramamine with every flight since. I want to travel to a lot of places, but my flight hangup is really holding my back. Why can’t there be any trains to Europe?

6 KeAnne { 05.21.17 at 11:38 am }

Bless your heart. I have had a couple of horrific flights out of that airport and I empathize. Glad you are home safe and sound!

7 Tiggery { 05.21.17 at 11:49 am }

Oh my lord, we feel your pain. We flew home from FL this week and on Tuesday, as we were flying over the Rockies towards Denver, we hit some BAD turbulence. My poor stoic son…got airsick….and missed the bag the first round. Then we hit REALLY BAD turbulence – enough to make Wookie’s stomach lurch – and my son was sick again. He was covered in yuck, but we had an amazing airline crew that let Wookie off the plane to make a mad dash through the airport for clean clothes.

So yes, this seems to be the week for REALLY BAD FLIGHTS. Like us, I am SUPER DUPER glad you made it home, even if you’re never flying again. *hugs*

8 jjiraffe { 05.21.17 at 12:44 pm }

Ugh! I’m so sorry. That sounds awful, and frankly like my worst nightmare as I hate flying too. Glad it’s over.

9 Counting Pink Lines { 05.21.17 at 12:47 pm }

At least it’s over! As horrible as the whole experience must have been (and I sympathize with it), I couldn’t help but giggle at the mental image of the college kid ignoring a non-hit-on-able woman.

10 Click { 05.21.17 at 2:47 pm }

When my husband and I flew down to Wales for Christmas and it was such a bumpy flight. It’s the first time I’ve flown in years and I am not a relaxed traveller. I could’ve kissed the ground when we landed.

I was so anxious for the journey back but it could not have been more smooth. I wish there was some way to predict how these things will go.

Glad you made it home safely and I hope you don’t have to fly anywhere for a nice long while!

Cait @ Click’s Clan

11 loribeth { 05.21.17 at 4:10 pm }

I can sympathize… turbulence alone is bad enough to deal with, nevermind lousy service from the airline (which seems to be increasingly common these days…). I flew by myself to Minneapolis to attend my aunt & uncle’s 50th wedding anniversary a couple of years ago. The flight home was delayed by bad thunderstorms in the area. Then the mechanism that attached the bridge to the plane failed and they had to call in the mechanics to separate them manually (!), which delayed the flight by another hour or so. And then about 20 minutes after takeoff, with the weather still unstable and the ride already bumpy, the plane GOT HIT BY LIGHTNING. It took a while for the pilot to come on the PA system & tell us what happened (& reassure us we were perfectly safe), which didn’t help matters (this is when my yoga breathing came in handy…), although it was pretty obvious what had happened. The attendants came around offering everyone water, which added insult to injury — I think the least they could have done after that was offer us all free booze. 😉 Anyway, it shook me up, and dh vows I am never flying without him again, but we HAVE flown since then… it would be pretty difficult to get to see my family regularly otherwise.

12 Middle Girl { 05.21.17 at 5:51 pm }

Oh my, what a horrible experience. So glad you came out the other side relatively unscathed.

13 Lori Lavender Luz { 05.21.17 at 7:08 pm }

That sounds awful for you! I hope you didn’t pee yourself, Melissa in Row 9.

Even when you’re talking about something that really stressed you out, you make me laugh.

14 Karen { 05.21.17 at 8:08 pm }

I had a flight like that, too. I sobbed as we were landing because I could NOT hold the panic in anymore. It’s awful.

A friend told me after to pretend you are on a boat in swells. It helped marginally.

I’m so sorry and glad you are home.

(c) 2006 Melissa S. Ford
The contents of this website are protected by applicable copyright laws. All rights are reserved by the author