Actually, I have no fear of flying. I’ve always enjoyed flying. (Or did before they shrank the seats to about half a normal adult’s size.) My problem these days is fear of airports. Or more specifically, fear of TSA security lines.
Of course, it’s possible things aren’t as bad as I imagine. I haven’t had occasion to fly since 2003. It wasn’t bad then, but now, when I see pictures of the security lines at airports (not to mention all the new and totally unfamiliar rules about what to wear and not wear, pack and not pack, etc.), I get a little ill.
I’ve little doubt that the next flight I make will be under the worst possible circumstances — a death in the family. It will be a traumatic occasion with little time to plan what to pack for an expensive last-minute reservation. And that will be after I hurriedly shop for appropriate clothes, which I don’t currently own. Also, I understand airlines no longer offer bereavement fares.
But it’s those security lines I fear most. They are currently three hours long in Denver and I hear they are up to four hours elsewhere. It’s all I can do to stand in line at the supemarket for 20 minutes! (And there, at least, I have a cart to lean on.) Three to fours hours would be impossible for me, not to mention the obvious absurdity of having security take twice as long as my 90-minute flight.
I’ll be one of those folks asking for and desperately needing a wheelchair. It pains me to admit it, but that’s the only way I’ll make it through an hours-long security line.