Saturday, December 28, 2013

Two nervous flyers

Despite the infant stages of my flying career, I have noticed that there are (at least) two different types of nervous flyers.

They both would rather not go flying but has no other choice, due to their type of work, time constraint, or the remoteness of their destination, but to get inside this flying tube of metal and gasoline. However, I found that one is more pleasant to deal with than the other.

There's the one that knows their stuff. They know that smaller airplanes are usually more dangerous than the airliners. But they accept it. They work with their fear, so you usually find them asking a lot of questions and yourself answering most or all of those questions to the best of your ability. This is totally fine with me; I actually prefer that they tell me of their nervousness so that I could do my very best to make them as comfortable as I can. They ask about the operation of the emergency exits and actually and genuinely pays attention to your passenger briefing. In flight, they tend to be on the edge of their seat for the takeoff and landing but for cruise they sit quietly or close their eyes with their seat belts fastened. When I have this type of passenger I tend to make my control inputs as smooth as possible. Which is completely fine with me as I dislike turbulence either!

Then there's the other type. The obnoxious, just-get-me-there-safely-already type of nervous flyer. They make uncomfortable comments about the smallness of the aircraft, or how fast/slow it goes. They make a comment on how young you look despite your actual age (I just shrug this one every time because I'm pretty sure I will forever look like I'm 18). Then once you get inside, they are in a hurry are-we-there-yet-esque type of behaviour. When you give them the passenger briefing, they don't pay attention because in their mind you know nothing and will probably kill them. When you try to make them feel comfortable by showing how to use the doors/emergency exits, they make a stupid comment "I don't wanna know that!". And it just makes you want to smack them in the head and say I don't want you to have to use this information either but I have to give it to you, but you don't, because that's not very professional. When your captain tries to use humour as a tool to calm their nerves, there's a silent sound of crickets in the middle of winter.

So for me, I'd prefer one over the other but I have to accept their anxieties because it's human nature. And despite their obnoxious comments, I still have the responsibility for their care while we are operating the aircraft they are in.  It's my contract and promise to them whenever they step foot in the airplane to make flight safe and comfortable to the best of my abilities. It's still a part of the job description I take pride in and enjoy.

1 comment:

Matt Wilson said...

Really an awesome post.I enjoyed every bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post...


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