One who travels has often as I have never really think of something as simple as putting one’s life in the hands of strangers. Often we walk into a plane not thinking twice about who is at its helm, when the last maintenance check has been conducted or what the weather may be. When you travel as often as I have, walking into a plane is as routine as sitting into your car and starting the ignition.
As travel agent, I often dismissed fears and concerns my clients may have had about flying for the first time. My mother won’t come and visit me because my step father is extremely fearful of flying. In a World where traveling by plane has become so common, one rarely thinks of the devastating consequences a crash may have on those who are left behind, but also on travelers who seek to discover the World but are unable to get over their fear. YES, traveling by plane is the safest way to go from point A to point B, and will remain so as long as humans inhabit this planet. Yet, when an accident occurs, it takes so many lives at once, it leaves a devastating effect on all of us. 24+ different nationalities who travel together in a small space for 11+ hours brings nations together for short moment in time. Maybe, just maybe, next time you step into a plane, be kind to your seat mate, be kind to the flight attendant and the crew who, in a strange way, have decided to face their fear in order to bring you, the passenger, comfort and joy for the time of a flight.
The devastating events that took place on Monday are nonetheless extremely rare. The unknown and unanswered questions are more hurtful than the actual event. Our mind is programmed to demand answers to all of our questions, and when such answers lack, our mind goes on a wild imaginative trip. Military? terrorism? explosion? What could it be? I want to know! It is only natural to want to know. It only brings closure, it also satisfies our basic human sense of curiosity. Although reality may be completely different, our defense mechanism is to create our own reality. Speculation and an overly creative mind is however not the answer.
On a different level, knowing allows investigators, engineers and plane constructors to fix any potential problem and make flying even safer.
I have been flying for 16 years, sometimes 12 to 15 times in a single year. I know lots of people who fly on a weekly basis, short and long distances. To us, flying has become a routine and although we may step into our next flight with a bit more apprehension, we will continue to do so and encourage anyone we know to enjoy life and the joys traveling may bring you.
Passengers on flight AF 447 included a friend of mine who was working as a flight attendant. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family, as well as to those of all 228 souls who lost their life in this tragic accident.