My Experience With Flying For The First Time

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Jetblue. Please buckle your seatbelts as we are preparing for takeoff.

At this moment, I felt my heart racing; it was beating so loudly I thought it would burst through my chest. I was about to fly for the first time, and flying happened to be one of my biggest fears, or so I thought.

Last week I had to go to Boston for a work conference. When I first learned about this, I panicked. I’d never been on a plane before and I have a huge fear of heights. Maybe I could get the plane ticket refunded and just drive up to Boston, I thought. Yeah, my fear of flying was that bad.

However, as scared as I was, something in my gut told me to just suck it up and fly.

I got to Tampa International Airport and the first thing my coworkers and I did was check our bags. Fun fact, your bag can only weigh 50 lbs; thankfully this overpacker’s bag surprisingly only weighed 33 lbs. After checking my bag, we all sat down and chilled for a little. It was at this moment that I called my mom and dad and told them I loved them multiple times, just in case something did happen to me. Again, I was that afraid.

Then we went through TSA. Now I know why people hate it. I had to take off my shoes (always wear socks y’all), put my carry on in a basket and put all of my electronics in another basket. There was a lot going on. While I was scrambling to get all my stuff in the basket, the TSA worker kept motioning for me to come over. I had to walk through this machine to make sure I didn’t have anything illegal on me.

After TSA, we had to ride a tram to our gate. This part was pretty fun! If you’ve ever rode the monorail at Disney World, the tram was kind of just like that. Then, once we were at our gate, we waited a good 20 minutes before we began to board the plane. It was in this moment when my palms started to get sweaty and my heart was beginning to beat fast. When I first stepped onto the plane, I tensed up for a moment. This is actually about to happen, I thought to myself.

I finally got to my seat,which luckily was a window seat, and just started to take some deep breaths. Again, I’m a pretty dramatic person if you haven’t been able to tell by now. I was surprised how long it took for the plane to takeoff. I thought once everyone was loaded, the pilot would just begin taking off, but the pilot had to drive the plane for a good 10 minutes to get to a whole new location.

Taking off wasn’t too bad. Surprisingly, it was kind of exciting! Because I had the window seat, I could see how Tampa got smaller and smaller the higher we went. It was such a surreal moment, seeing the entire Tampa Bay Area from my seat. One big tip I learned from taking off is either chew gum or yawn a lot; it will help with your ear pressure!

The plane ride itself was mostly smooth. I was surprised at how quiet it was, no one was really chatting with anyone. Everyone was kind of doing their own thing like listening to music, watching TV, reading the newspaper, or sleeping. I tried listening to music, but I was kind of getting antsy, so I decided to doze off. I slept for a pretty long time because by the time I woke up, we only had 20 more minutes before landing.

We did end up getting some pretty bad turbulence near the end, but I wasn’t freaking out. The steward said it best, it just felt like you were on a boat and rocking back and forth.

The landing was a little jarring, but hey, I was just glad to be on the ground again! The moment my feet stepped off the plane, I smiled. I couldn’t believe I just finished my first plane ride. It ended up not being at all as scary as I thought it was going to be. It’s kind of like if you’ve ever gotten your wisdom teeth taken out; the anticipation/waiting for the surgery is horrible, but once you’re in surgery, it’s a piece of cake.

This experience ended up really inspiring me. It inspired me to not be afraid to try new things, no matter how scary they may seem. It also inspired me to travel more. The fact that I can be in a brand new place in a matter of hours is so exciting. I’m already thinking of where I want to fly to next.

While the concept of being 40,000 feet in the air still terrifies me, I’m no longer afraid of getting on a plane and flying. I guess I can check flying off of my bucket list now.


Kelli Carmack