Home TIPS Turbulence Tips: How to Deal With Bumpy Flights
Turbulence Tips: How to Deal With Bumpy Flights PDF Print E-mail

Comments by your elder travel4seniors.com editor: "Fasten your seat belts. It's going to be a bumpy night!" The famed line is from "All About Eve," spoken in her gritty style by the great Bette Davis. Of course, she wasn't talking about airplane flights, but commenting on a flighty Hollywood love affair.

Remembering her line when your airplane is bouncing all over the sky may give you a bit of comfort. Or not. Start by just following the first simple rule. Keep your seat belt fastened tightly when you hear the announcement about bumpy air ahead.

I've been on many up and down flights, both as an airline passenger and, in younger days hitching rides on all kinds of Navy aircraft. I was only air sick once, and for a good reason. The old PBY flying boat was bouncing all over the winter sky like a moth caught in a wind storm. Before the flight, I had stupidly eaten a big fried chicken lunch, topped off with two bottles of beer. I lost it all. After we landed, the air crewman made me swab up the gun bubble I had soiled. It taught me a lesson: don't drink or eat excessively before you fly bumpy. It never happened again.

If you have a history of motion sickness, be sure to check with your doctor before flights. Meds can help ease the upset stomach and anxiety that cause them. Eat sparingly and simply for the 24 hours before, as well as during your flight, so your body will be more able to withstand the constant swaying motions and sudden jerks of a bumpy flight.

One alcoholic drink could have a calming effect for some people. However, almost every case of a fellow passenger losing his cookies too close to me during flight, invariably involved his/her loading up on many more than one drink at the airport bar before boarding, as well as drinking heavily during the flight. Go easy on the booze.

The same abstinence applies if you're traveling with a very old person or young child. On a recent flight, my companion stroked the cheek of a cute little one nervously slurping a bottle. Although milk is more gentle than booze, a sudden moment of bumpy air can gave it the same upchuck power. It cost $50 to get the clothing cleaned.

Other advice could be of help to seniors who fear flying. They’re frightened every time the airplane lurches a bit. In two words: cool it! If you’re a nervous flyer, keep that seat belt tight and do something to keep busy.

Read a book, watch TV, listen to music, surf the internet, or do it all on your smartphone. I always take along print or virtual  crossword puzzles, and they help in rough moments and to pass the time.

Have a positive attitude, keep busy, moderation in food and drink, and something to keep your mind busy. Of course, always be ready with a barf bag. I may be sitting next to you.

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