Anyone flying stateside this summer? I am. And up until 2 week ago, despite my well-documented fear of flying, I was viewing my transatlantic flight in an almost positive frame of mind. After all, I flew to New York in March and the bottle of valium that has become my constant travel companion over the last few years returned unopened. It was a triumphant moment for the GW and one that gave me a much needed boost of courage. Then, one morning, my new found pluck and determination took an almighty nose dive.
It was a Thursday if I remember rightly, around 7am. I was upstairs straightening my hair and Craigy Boy was eating his breakfast whilst watching the news as he does every day - he’s a creature of habit that man of mine. I was barely listening to the news as the GHDs glided through my silky red locks when two words suddenly jolted me out of my reverie: 1) terrorists 2) planes. I called down to Craig and asked him to turn up the t.v. He ignored me for as long as he could (bless, he was only trying to protect me) until the tone and volume of my voice became unignorable. I put down my straighteners and gave the BBC my undivided attention.
It turned out that there were some new terrorist threats on the horizon involving the implantation of non-metallic explosives in smartphones, laptops and surgically implanted in the terrorists themselves that could potentially go undetected at security. The terrorists were upping their game, aviation officials were upping security checks and it appeared that I would be upping my valium dosage.
I still have every intention of flying but the nerves I had worked so hard to banish are back with a vengeance and my list of “things that terrify me about flying” has two shiny new bullet points. Here’s a look at the updated list if you’re interested:
- pilot error (supposedly the primary cause of 50% of all crashes)
- mechanical failure
- freak weather
- bird strike
- meteor shower
- ruptured bulkhead
- suicide bombers
- using the plane as the bomb
- *with explosives implanted in electronic devices
- *with explosives surgically implanted
Ever since the new threats came to light (via US intelligence) airport security checks here in the UK, particularly involving direct flights to the US, have been ramped up. David Cameron made it clear that:
"The safety of the travelling public must come first. We mustn't take any risks with that… I hope this won't lead to unnecessary delays but it's very important that we always put safety first, and we do."
Quite frankly I couldn’t care less how long I’m delayed if it means potentials terrorist plots are discovered and quashed before any damage is done. And I’ll tell you something for nothing, if, when I’m at Heathrow next Wednesday, I hear a single person moaning about how long it’s taking to get through security they’ll be getting a piece of my mind and make no bones about it! Let it be known that I, the GW, am willing to submit to any vigorous check that comes my way. Heck, strip me naked and probe me in public! All I care about is getting there safe, sound and in one piece. Am I’m sure I will. Not 100% sure but enough to get me on the plane with my unopened bottle of valium close at hand.
Ginger Warrior, over and out.