Thursday, April 19, 2007

Feeling Unlucky

Several years ago, I had a very turbulent flight coming home Las Vegas. The flight attendants apologized for the rough flight BEFORE WE TOOK OFF. Once we were airborne, even the flight attendants had to stay seated for the entre flight. Bumpy flights to/from Vegas are common because of the desert air and mountain ranges. After that, I swore off Vegas flying forever. I have probably been to Vegas 10 times since then, and I have driven every time. I had to go to Vegas again for work this week, but I was in Phoenix the day before so I pretty much had to fly.

The fllight from Phoenix to Vegas was rough. Again, the flight attendants had to stay seated for a while. The guy in the seat in front of me was a pilot; he was wearing his little shoulder epaulets (and yes, I had to look that up). When the plane stopped shaking a bit I tapped him on the shoulder:

"Excuse me, you're a pilot?"
"Look, I know the turbulence is normal. I know we're fine, I know the plane is fine. I just need to hear it from you."

He smiled, and started explaining why everything was fine. I didn't believe him, but at least it was a distraction.

Two days later I had to take another plane back home. I had an 8:30 flight. Around 5:30 I checked the "Air Turbulence Potential Map":

Do you see any orange on the map? Those are areas of "moderate to severe turbulance." I said "forget it, I ain't getting on no plane." There was a rental car desk right in the hotel; I grabbed a car and drove home.


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