Another Reason I Don’t Fly

I read recently that the federal government has told the airline industry that they can’t keep people on planes anymore if the flight has been delayed more than three hours.  In the world in which I live, I would need massive amounts of Valium to survive even one hour out on the tarmac waiting for takeoff.

Really, people?  Planes sit out on the runway for hours and hours and hours before taking off?  No, no… I’m sure it’s true.  I read the statistics, I see that it happens.  But what I’m really wondering is how many of those people stuck on airplanes for hours and hours and hours, just sitting on the runway and not even flying in the air, totally lose their shit.  Because I’d be having a major meltdown.

I used to fly semi-regularly between Denver and New York.  That’s a relatively short flight, but I’d be starting to bug out just about the time we started making our approach into Newark or La Guardia or Kennedy.  Maybe I have a bit of claustrophobia.  Maybe I’m a wee bit anti-social.  Maybe I have some hypochondria that makes me dislike (in the extreme) breathing in other people’s germs.  Maybe I just don’t like being jammed into a teensy space until every part of my body hurts.  Whatever the reason, I really don’t like to fly.

I could get a direct flight from Albany to Chicago (both O’Hare and Midway), but I’d rather drive the 13 hours out there.  Yeah, it helps that I really like to drive.  My mother-in-law wants us to come visit them in Florida… but my Spousal Unit can’t get me on a plane and I can’t get him to sit still in my car for 20 hours.  It’s sad, really.  I’m really lucky that all the places I’ve had to travel for work have been in Pennsylvania… in and around Philadelphia.  That’s a nice little drive.  Driving out to Boston isn’t bad.  Actually, driving anywhere in New England is pretty nice.  (Not in winter.  Let’s not talk about winter.  Although, I did drive back from Chicago in a snow storm that last time.)

So the fact that domestic airlines (apparently there are no rules for international flights) can keep people locked in their planes on the runways for up to three hours is not exactly encouraging me to get on a plane any time soon.  I just wonder… if I can’t get someplace by driving, is it someplace I really want to be anyway?

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