Home TIPS Turbulence: How to deal with a bumpy flight
Turbulence: How to deal with a bumpy flight PDF Print E-mail

"Fasten your seat belts. It's going to be a bumpy night!" The famed line is from "All About Eve," spat out in her typical style by the great Bette Davis. Of course, she wasn't talking about airplanes, but more likely commenting on some flighty Hollywood love triangle. However, remembering her line when you’re bouncing all over the sky may give you a bit of comfort.

I've been on many bumpy flights, both as an airline customer and in my younger days as a crewman or hitch-a-ride passenger on all kinds of Navy aircraft. I was only air sick once, and for a good reason. I had been to a boozing event before a flight, and the old PBY flying boat was bouncing all over the sky like a moth caught in a wind storm. There were no barf bags available.

Bumpy flight


The Navy pilot made me clean up the two gunnery compartments I had soiled. It taught me a lesson: don't drink before you fly bumpy. However, not everyone needs to be punished for getting air sick, and there are ways to prevent, or at least try to prevent it.

If you have a history of motion sickness, be sure to check with your doctor before your next flight. Medication can often help ease the sickness and the anxiety. Another bit of advice is to eat sparingly and simply for the 24 hours before your flight, so your stomach will be more able to withstand the anxiety, motions and jerking of a bumpy flight.

I don't advise booze. Although it could have a calming effect, almost every case of a fellow passenger losing his cookies too close to me during a flight involved loading up at the airport bar before boarding. Go easy on the booze.

The same abstinence applies if you're traveling with other sensitive souls, such as a very old person, a child or a baby. On a recent flight, my spouse was admiring a cute little one who was quietly slurping a milk bottle next to her. The explosion of undigested milk cost $10 to get my spouse's clothing cleaned after we landed.

Other advice could be of help to some people, particularly those who fear flying ... the white knuckle squad ... and will be struck with terror every time the airplane lurches a bit. In two words: cool it! Take along something to keep you busy, such as a book, CD or DVD player, games, crossword puzzles and, today's best therapy for turbulence, your laptop. You can work on that upcoming school exam, the next business plan or watch a DVD. Just make sure the DVD isn't about airliner crashes.

The main secrets of dealing with air turbulence are a positive attitude, moderation in food and drink, and something to keep your mind busy during the flight. Of course, always be ready for that little barf bag, just in case I may be sitting next to you.

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