Fear of Flying


I used to love to fly. When I was a kid I lived for it. One of my cherished childhood memories was when my Dad got us tickets to go on a sample file on a DC-10. The DC-10 had just come out and they had these 30 minutes flights where you took off, flew around Tulsa Oklahoma and landed again. It was my first time in a plane.

And I loved flying even as an adult. I always looked forward to business trips because someone else was paying for me to fly. When I worked for Apple I flew all the time, and while it got tedious, it was still cool.

Now I’m almost afraid to fly. Its not the act of being in the air, its the process of going to the airport. Stories like this one just scare me.

My wife and I flew to Vegas less than a month after 9/11. We weren’t afraid. Odds of being blown up were slim and everyone knew highjacking like 9/11 would never work again. The passengers now know not to go along.

The next time I flew was to New York for the MacWorld convention in July. I was “pulled out” for special attention in NY. Probably random, but it doesn’t matter. You know you are at the mercy of the person checking you and there is nothing you can do about it.

Stephen King says his worst fear is to be at the mercy of people who have none. That’s how I feel about airport security. I know not everyone, nor even the majority of people working there want to get me, but if one says I’m wrong, then boom, I’m a criminal. And there is nothing I can do about it, accept be meek and mild.

And I’m not really looking forward to the fact I’m flying next month to MacWorld San Francisco. All because I don’t want to go through airport security.

The terrorists have one. I fear flying.