"Brace, Brace, Brace."
These are the final words pilots say to prepare passengers for an emergency landing.
I pray that you and I never hear these words. But if we do, it's important to remember, there is a 96% chance of survival if one is involved in a plane crash.
The other day, a friend said to me, "you are so obsessed with flying, aren't you?" I didn't reply immediately. I just sat there and pondered for a while.
Have I spent 24 hours straight watching airplane take-offs and landings on YouTube? Yes. Is my second best hangout spot in the world an airport floor? Well, I hate to admit it but, yes.
Am I always mentally planning my next trip, regardless of my financial situation? Of course, who doesn't?
Do I always look for an opportunity to narrate my first experience on an airplane? Yes, I wrote about it in my article about the Expectations of a first-time flyer.
(Random thought- did you know that you can pay USD 21,000 for a first class seat on Emirates. I know. What?)
Not too obsessed, right?
But who isn't a little bit curious about air travel?
There still is a lot of mystery and excitement about it. Don't get me started about the random thoughts that run through our minds when we board an airplane.
We are just too shy or too uncomfortable to say them out loud. We fear that people will judge. So, we stay quiet and contain these weird thoughts.
As a follow-up to Expectations of a first-time flyer, I decided to put those random thoughts down below. Maybe if you read them out loud, they won't seem so weird anymore. You must have thought about one of these. ;-)
Disclaimer; Unlike what one reader thinks, I am not a flight engineer, so I am going to provide oversimplified responses to some of the unanswered questions about flying.
Weird thought No. 1...
Why don't the windows open? It would be kinda cool to touch the clouds.
Just think about how fast a plane moves (800km/hr), now imagine all that wind coming straight at your face. Ouch!
2. If I were to jump up and down on an airplane, would it shake?
Well, even if you invited all the passengers to take part in this strange experiment, no, the plane wouldn't shake. Okay, maybe a little. Like a light turbulence.
3. If the plane was struck by lighting, could we all die?
Since 1967, there has been no incident of a plane crash caused by lighting. And trust me, nearly all the planes you have boarded have been struck by lighting at one point.
4. If I go No. 2 on an airplane toilet, where is the waste dumped eventually?
There is a rumor that once an airplane is flying over an ocean, the flight crew open up the tanks and deposit the waste. Imagine that!
But no, they have an on-board sewage tank just like you do in your house toilet. The waste is only disposed off once the plane has landed.
5. Would I survive on airline food on a daily basis because, it is horrible!
Okay, before we judge airline food, it is important to remember that 1/3 of our taste buds are dulled while flying mainly due to air pressurization. So, maybe the food isn't so bad.
6. Can turbulence bring down a plane?
If the turbulence is not caused by a thunderstorm, it cannot cause a plane crash. So, the next time you see the 'fasten your seat belt sign', do not worry. You're going to be just fine.
7. Can someone please take a cool photo of me staring out of the window?
Yes, they can. People always look so dreamy in those photos. That is one photo that will never go out of style. Don't we all want that photo?
8. If something went wrong, would I actually remember the life-vest instructions.
I don't know, only you can answer that.
9.Why do kids cry so loud on airplanes?
Maybe because their ears hurt or the plane smells funny.
10. What if I died on a plane, where would they store my body?
Okay, why would you ask that? Are you severely ill?
To answer the question, sometimes the plane is diverted to a nearby airport, the body is 'disposed off' and the plane continues to its final destination. Other times, the body is stored in unoccupied rows of seats or in first class (which is usually empty).
11. Let's say I feigned sickness, could I get an upgrade to first class?
Well, you will be happy to know that only 25% of first class passengers actually pay full price. The rest of them are frequent flyers, airline employees, upgrades and people who feign sickness. And, every now and then, the dead passenger.
By the way...
If you learnt in school that air travel is the safest form of transportation, you have a right to sue your teacher. Air travel is only the second safest. Wanna know the first?
An elevator/escalator. Forget what you saw in SAW III, elevators are the safest means of transportation.
So, what do you think about when you board an airplane?