Mine was never so bad as to cause me to avoid flying, but I would break out into a sweat just thinking about booking a flight! Somehow, I was convinced my getting on the plane meant certain disaster, and – yes – I researched the odds of accidents and knew I was in more danger getting to the airport than being in the air.
Then one day, something miraculous happened … coming back from a Christmas trip to London with my parents, an angel who was on earth working at the British Airways counter, offered us seats in business class.
Picture it … you leisurely board first. And with ample room to move around, and fewer people to dodge, you effortlessly find room for that carry-on luggage. You ease into a nice roomy seat, and before you’ve had time to locate the emergency exits, a smiling flight attendant is offering you a glass of champagne. It’s amazing how patient one can be after a bit of bubbly. I didn’t care how long the plane took to get in the air as long as the legroom and champagne lasted.
And the delightful surprises kept coming! Real food! Real china plates with real metal silverware. Real glassware and linen napkins. I don’t eat so civilized at home! Even the snacks were real – no piffy little bags of pretzels.
It was sublime … and I never wanted the flight to end. It was the best part of the whole vacation, but – as with every highpoint – there’s a flip side. The offer has never been repeated. Now, I see the curtain from the other side and sigh wistfully. Now, I know what I’m missing.
Now I’ve gone from a fear of flying to a fear of flying coach.