Flying for the First Time~Yikes~ - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 29 Old 07-25-2012, 02:27 PM Thread Starter
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Flying for the First Time~Yikes~

So in one week I will be going on a plane for the first time in my life. I am extremely, extremely nervous even though it is a short flight (NJ to FL). I have some questions if anyone could give me some of their own personal experiences. Funny experiences would be awesome because laughing is the best way to calm me down haha.

First question- I had a metal plate and screws surgically put into my wrist last September when I broke it. There is a still very noticable scar there. Is this going to cause any problem going through airport security? Should I bring documented proof of my surgery? I also have copies of the xrays before and after the plate would I need them? I don't want them freaking out on me for setting the metal detector off haha. I asked my Dr. if I needed a card or paper stating I had it but he said it shouldn't set the metal detector off.

-What am I allowed to pack in a carry on? What about my normal suitcase?

- What should I expect when arriving at the airport and going through security and everything? Are they normally nice? WOuld I have to take my earrings out and my necklace off?

-What should I expect during the take off and the flight itself? How bad can turbulance get? And what should I expect during the landing?

Sorry for the questions I've never been on a plane before. I am going with my dad (who has been on planes a ton of times), my 15 year old sister(who has been on planes a few times) and my 6 yr old brother.

My brother and I have never been on a plane(I'm 20 go figure haha) He is very nervous as well. He wants to sit next to me on the plane and I don't want to be nervous and make him more nervous so I'm trying to prepare myself the best I can so I can be calm for him. Would you be allowed to bring coloring books and crayons on the plane? My brother loves to color and if I color with him it might keep us both calm.

One funny story I already have:
My dad actually told me of when he and his family were going to the Phillipines to live(where they lived for 4 years because my pop was in the Navy) and when they were taking off my mommom was gripping the tray in front of her so hard she ripped it off the seat =P And Also one of the engines cut out on the plane. The pilot came over and said that they were having electrical difficulties so they were going to have to land in Washington and my Aunt(my dad's sister) actually jumped out of her seat and screamed "We're all gonna die!" cause she was so scared(even though they weren't in any real danger. My Pop (RIP POP) jumped up(and I guess you have to know my Pop to think this is funny) and smacked her in the face and said "Calm the (bleep) down" My dad said it made everyone in their part of the plane laugh.

Thanks in advance
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post #2 of 29 Old 07-25-2012, 02:53 PM
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I would still bring a Doctors note along with his contact information, just in case. The TSA are horribly anal and if they have no problems frisking babies, they'll have no problem giving you a hard time if the metal detector goes off.

List of prohibited items:

If it's not on that list, than you can bring it carry-on or in your luggage. You will have to check with your airline though as a lot of carriers limit the size + weight of carry-on and could charge you extra. Basically, be extra cautious of liquids and of course nothing sharp or flammable.

Make sure you allow plenty of time to go through airport security. If your flight is at 10:00 then be at airport security for 8:00. I would suggest checking the airport you're departing from to see what time frames they recommend as it will vary from airport to airport. Nothing worse than waiting longer than you have to, but on the other hand you definitely don't want to be late. Some screeners are nice, some are straight up a-holes. Just hope you don't get selected for 'enhanced screening' where they can basically see your body using a special machine, but you can opt out of that instead for a pat down... and whatever you do, don't joke about terrorism or crashing. Airlines and airports have very strict policies on that and it's a good way to find yourself missing a flight, or worse.

What to expect going through security:

Severe turbulence isn't a very common thing, most airlines will try and fly around it if possible. If you do find yourself in turbulence, it could be anything from a little bumpy to terrifying. Just keep your seatbelt on at all times, unless of course you need to get up and go to the bathroom. I was on a flight a few years ago where the turbulence was so bad people were screaming and praying, it was an interesting experience to say the least.

Expect your ears to pop when taking off or landing. Bring some gum if you can, I found it helpful in popping my ears and relieving the pressure. You will of course be pushed back in your seat a little bit during take off but nothing too startling. For the most part flying is very smooth and a non-issue. It's one of the safest modes to travel and can even be enjoyable if you get a window seat to see the world below.

Just have fun, I flew for the first time 6 years ago, since I was a young child, and I was terrified leading up to the actual flight. It was nothing like I expected and now I actually look forward to it. :)

Last edited by jinxremoving; 07-25-2012 at 02:56 PM.
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post #3 of 29 Old 07-25-2012, 03:27 PM
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Bring the doctors note. You'll have to take off your shoes but mos jewelry doesn't set it off. Check the airline website for their rules for carry on luggage - there are size limits too. You can absolutely color while flying! You just have to wait until the pilot takes off the seatbelt sign so you can move around freely.

No one can predict the turbulence because it's weather dependent. Keep your eyes on the stewardesses. If they are calm looking then all is normal.

If you're really worried you'll freak out, get a doctors appointment and ask for something like Xanax or Valium to prevent anxiety attacks.
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post #4 of 29 Old 07-25-2012, 03:55 PM
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I always get nervous before flying but then I like it and wonder why I got nervous!

Taking off is the best part, if you have ever ridden in a really fast car or a motorcycle you will love it!

The first time I ever flew was when I was 19, I flew from Reno to Phoenix by myself. I was really lucky and sat next to a WW II pilot! How cool is that! He explained everything that was going on as it happened and what all the noises were. It made my trip enjoyable and I got to her some amazing stories. I couldn't of asked for a better first flight experience.

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post #5 of 29 Old 07-25-2012, 07:31 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by COWCHICK77 View Post
I always get nervous before flying but then I like it and wonder why I got nervous!

Taking off is the best part, if you have ever ridden in a really fast car or a motorcycle you will love it!

The first time I ever flew was when I was 19, I flew from Reno to Phoenix by myself. I was really lucky and sat next to a WW II pilot! How cool is that! He explained everything that was going on as it happened and what all the noises were. It made my trip enjoyable and I got to her some amazing stories. I couldn't of asked for a better first flight experience.
That is AWESOME! What luck! I am such a history buff so I would have eaten everything up!

I'm not too too worried to the point of freaking out but it feels like getting on a roller coaster I've never been on for the first time(I love roller coasters) you never know what it's going to be like. I'm nervous-excited =P
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post #6 of 29 Old 07-25-2012, 07:39 PM
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i love flying!

the first time i flew 1st class ( i was in uniform hooray for free upgrades for military ahhahahaha) i fell asleep for the entire flight. i woke up 8 hours later in hawaii and i was completely tucked up in my seat....slept through all the perks of 1st class, like food, drinks movies etc...but i made god use of my free pillow and blanket!
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post #7 of 29 Old 07-25-2012, 07:43 PM
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After awhile, it just feels like a bus in the sky. Take off is the only fun part, of course landing is ok, means you get to leave the bus in the sky!
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post #8 of 29 Old 07-25-2012, 07:56 PM
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My first flight was went I went on my 1st honeymoon at age 22! LOL

Every airport is a tick different so I'll share with you what I know about Newark as I fly out of there fairly often.

You should bring some documentation on your surgery just to be on the safe side. But I'm sure that bit will be fine.

You will have to take off your shoes, any kind of sweater/sweatshirt you might have on, a hat if you have one and your belt. Those can go in one of the bins through xray.

If you take a computer, iPad or Kindle, that has to come out of your carryon and go in a separate bin through xray.

Earrings and a necklace should be ok to wear, unless they are huge. I have a watch with a chain band so I usually tuck that in my purse and put it on once I reach the other side.

In your carryon, no liquids. They have to go in a separate plastic bag and be of a particular size which I'm sure is in the tsa links above. I'm a smoker so sometimes I make it through with a lighter if I forget I have it, sometimes I don't. So try not to bring matches or a lighter. Hehehehehe

I think you can pretty much pack anything in your checked bags (regulations should also be in that tsa link) other than firearms, flamables or other dangerous liquids. Hairspray is fine.

In Newark, I wouldn't say they are not nice, but they aren't overly nice. They are kind of neutral. After you go through checking in for your flight, which is pretty straightforward, you then go to the queue for security. You should have your photo ID and ticket in hand (or ticket up on your mobile device) and before they allow you in line, they will check that, you can just show it to them.

Then right before the xray machines, there will be a TSA agent sitting there and you hand him your ticket and ID. He will check everything matches, scribble something on your ticket and then you get on line for xray. I would say at that stage, you should show him your paperwork from your surgery and explain the metal in your wrist.

Once you've got all your stuff sorted in the bins to send through the machine, you'll go through a machine. If you do set it off, and I've done it a few times, they might tell you to take off jewelry and walk back through again. Or just wave a wand all around and over you to see what is setting it off. You probably won't be able to take your papers from your surgery through the xray with you (they don't even let you take your ticket through...that goes with your other stuff in the bins). So thats why I suggest asking the TSA guy before you get to the machines for advice.

And yes, you can bring coloring books, crayons, reading materials or whatever you need to pass the time. And if you're lucky, they might be playing a decent movie for you to watch!

For me, taking off is the best part!!!! I love racing down the runway!!! And landings are fine too, just not as fun as taking off.

One of the other things I love love love is looking out of the window during take off and landing. I live about 50 miles west of the airport and depending where I fly, I can sometimes pick out my house from up there!

You will be fine Phantomcolt and I'm sure you will wonder what all the fuss was about once you're up in the air! I know that was how I felt the first time!

I hope you have a lovely lovely trip and a great time in FL!!!
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post #9 of 29 Old 07-25-2012, 08:30 PM
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Congrats on your upcoming trip. I did not fly until age 18. I was scared, but ended up just loving it! the feeling of taking off is just intoxicating. The speed, and you rumble and bounce, but you think, now? are the wheels leaving the tarmac now? Then you will feel the rumble and bounce cease and feel the increased G's as the nose picks up in front and the plane goes upward. Its a stomach tingling feeling. Think of it how you would feel as you approach a difficult jump, but all goes well, horse;s muscles bunch under you and push! he's airborne and your flying, and then down. You did it! and you feel that the fear was out weighed by the fun.

Wear shoes that are comfy to walk in and easy on/off. Wear minimal jewelry. I find that I rarely change my jewelry when travelling, so wear something simple like gold hoops.

Take a good book, and coloring books for your brother are a great idea. you can buy food and drinks AFTER going through securty. Dont take drinks with your before it, you will have to throw them away.

Don't rush. I mean, in all your travelling, don't rush. you will end up forgetting something if you walk away from the desk without slowing down and doing he mental check "do I have everything?". I always touch my purse, touch my boarding pass, or what ever things I have.

you can buy anything you need, except stuff like your medications, or mouthguard or contacts or very personal things. other things, you can buy them in FL if you happen to forget them.

If in doubt, leave it at home.

All your toiletries that have liquids or gels should be in one QUART size clear baggie. So, if you need to you can go to the drug store and get travel size shampoo and such. OR, pack in checked luggage, where it doesnt matter.

My son flew home from Germany recently with a sword in his checked baggage!
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post #10 of 29 Old 07-25-2012, 09:21 PM
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For airport security, You DON'T need any medical records, ID cards, etc for the plate/screws in your wrist. In fact it's illegal for them to ask you for that. Your medical history is considered private due to HIPPA regulations. The TSA follows that. If it makes you feel better to flash it, fine. But it doesn't get you out of any screenings, searches, etc regardless of what paperwork you show.

Some scanners may catch it, others won't. I tell patients that they should just go through like anyone else. If the detector catches it, just state you have a medical implant. If it doesn't, you just saved yourself an explanation and pat down/additional security screening. It's not a big issue with TSA agents. You may have to get the pat down routine if the detector goes off. Takes an extra 5-10 min.
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