The massive kudos I’m giving myself (and btw, am also bringing back kudos, except I am giving it the new meaning of “double high-five handjobs,” so re-watching the original WALL STREET should be funny) are for the simple fact that up until about two years ago I had a MASSIVE fear of flying. Like HUGE. I mean take six clonazepam and four shots of vodka to get to the Tarmac, potentially with tears.
When I flew into Toronto from Halifax after touring a few years ago in order to make the MuchMusic video awards I was not-quite-Jonathan Rhys Meyers-fucked-up (I wasn’t racist and I don’t recall kicking anyone), but the whole plane had to wait for me while they called me over the PA (in an airport the size of a postage stamp) to make my plane, and I showed up in sunglasses and a leather jacket (so cool) wasted and with a Paddington Bear under my arm, asking which seat would either make me die first or not at all when we crashed (so not cool). The FULL plane was all looking at me with disgust and I was looking at them with YOU’RE ALL GONNA DIE, STOP JUDGING ME. Side note: the flight from Halifax to Toronto is approximately 48 minutes and I’m not actually an alcoholic.
Embarrassing-songs aside, this was obviously made no better by the prospect of longer-haul flights. When I arrived in London to meet my then-true-love-forever (MASSIVE FAIL), it was so romantic to be driving into Chelsea practically drooling with my forehead resting on the passenger window being all “now I live in London and am IN A RELATIONSHIP.” I’m sure it was really attractive, as was flipping the fuck out the first time I had to walk on the tarmac to get on an EasyJet flight from Inverness to London that sat on the runway for eighty million minutes and had me going “OMG WE’RE DONE. STREET PIZZA IN THE COUNTRYSIDE,” but less vocally, and with more unintelligible mewling.
The fact that I have repeatedly had AWFUL airport experiences on several occasions probably hasn’t helped much either. (Shout out to the emergency medical services at JFK International and Manchester International where we had fainting episodes and some kind of horrible virus, respectively – although I managed to meet half the cast of Coronation Street in the latter episode.) Pearson International in Toronto (my other-home airport) has shitty wifi, terrible vegetarian options, and has difficult customs people (not to mention they don’t even sell CHAMPAGNE in their duty free… International MY AUNT FANNY), so I think I was pretty much screwed from the start.
This all being said, I’m writing to congratulate myself on having flown over FIVE TIMES with full sobriety (or like, two drinks, which is pretty much the same thing, and they happened on the plane, because I was BORED-drinking, not SCARED-drinking). Barcelona? NO drinks/pills. Amsterdam? NO drinks/pills. Greece? Two bottles of Prosecco, but that was because it was SUCH a boring and hideous flight, and also the first time I’d flown RyanAir, which incidentally, is the only airline to make you WISH you were flying on EasyJet, and which you should SO not fly if you are bad at flying, because it is hellish beyond belief, especially when you’re seated next to the guy who spends all takeoff crying and making the sign of the cross. (WHO DOES THAT? Should have offered him free clonazepam.)
Anyway, THANKS, crying Greek man, because you totally sponsored my feeling-awesome-about-conquering-my-fear-of-flying feelings! Here are some fear of flying top tips for you scaredybitches out there.
Nikki Awesome’s Fear-Of-Flying Flying Tips
Fear of Airports
First of all, are you really afraid of flying or are you afraid of airports? I totally support fear of airports for a number of reasons; they’re shitty, busy places with bad fashion and generally unhappy workers (because they have to work in a shitty, busy place with bad fashion and everyone around them is GOING SOMEWHERE. They’re probably only happy when they find out someone’s on a bereavement fare), they’re full of Jennifer Lopez perfume, customs people are freaky, the drinks are really expensive and the bathrooms are gross.
If you are scared of airports, I recommend you do two things. First of all, get some really nice hand-sanitizer, and secondly, get yourself an EU Passport, one that has a chip-thing in it, as this will make negotiating a lot of that less bothersome. It will be like the McDonald’s drive-through without the gross food or the calories, and of course, make sure you are wearing dark sunglasses, which will cut down on the having to look at people. Of course, this also makes you look a tad suspicious, but you can remedy this by having whoever’s escorting you to the gate tell people you’re famous. Make a face when someone asks you for autographs and say something like “OMG, you’re not even familiar with my WORK,” then roll your eyes and demand a pen. Problem solved.
Know when to start drinking
The problem with fear-drinking is anxiety can tell you “dude, things will be SO cool if you just do eleven shots of Grey Goose RIGHT NOW,” and while that totally makes the sacredness float away, it almost inevitably leaves you in the position of having to defend your right to fly.
The key is to know your limit (generally), and then make sure you divide the flight time by the amount of time spent trekking through the airport(s… you WILL land, damn it!) in order to find the perfect recipe for each flight’s pill-popping/drinking. This requires some serious math and a basic knowledge of pharmacotoxicology – everyone’s hobby interest – in order to do properly and not kill yourself and die before even getting to that holiday hotspot. Sidecar: I do not advocate the misuse of pharmaceutical drugs, or taking other people’s prescriptions, especially without asking, because that’s just rude. I’m simply giving tips from my own life, and it’s kind of your own fault if you have blatantly seen this ridiculousness I’m labelling LIFE and end up doing what I do. And actually no longer do because I’m such a good flyer now.
The point of all of this is you want to be sober enough to keep your boarding pass in one place, which is where a Smythson travel wallet really comes in handy because you’ll probably be wrecked by the time you have to hand it to someone. Believe me, it’s £350.00 well spent if you’re not shitfaced and panicking about having left your passport on the counter of the Getaway Cafè. Also the loveliness is very soothing and distracting. I used to take 0.5 Clonazepam in line for my baggage drop-off because it made security much more pleasant. Then pop another 0.5 after getting through security, before having a vodka-water (hydrate!) and one more just as you’re about to walk into the scary fake hallway to the plane. By the time the drinks trolly-dolly pops round you’ll be cool as a cucumber when asking for that mini baby bottle of Belvedere, and this should keep you nicely sedated for an 8-hour flight, with little to no daytime hangover upon arrival.
fear of security
Again, how can we not be scared of security in this day and age? I mean, first of all they’re all disgruntled with working at the airport (see above) and secondly they’re just itching to taser you for that over-100mL tube of L’Occitane in your handbag. THEY’RE JUST SCARY.
While in line, remember your fabulousness, and try to be their best friend. Not OVERLY, just enough that they let things slide a bit (like that oversized brand new tube of L’Occitane). Do NOT act like YOU know you’re a magical and special rainbow, just let them perceive your awesomeness. Also, ALWAYS get in line behind the oldest, most crotchety woman you can find. If you can’t pretend she’s your grandma, at least you can make a “we’re all in it together.. OLD PEOPLE, HUH,” face. Don’t forget to smize.
FEAR OF FLYING COACH
Take a deep breath. Deal yourself the angel card of acceptance. Then, when boarding a discount airline where there is no other option, make sure you put as much of your stuff on as many of the seats around you as possible. Pretend a pen or bottle of perfume or whatever has broken in your really expensive handbag and loudly blame airport security and those stupid ziploc bags that never hold anything. People will sympathize because it’s so true. Look really frustrated and pissed off, and like you are so gonna complain about it for the entire flight. Avoid eye contact with ANYONE.
If the horrible polyester-suited stewardess FORCES someone on you, look stressed out. As she is being smug and ushering someone into the seat beside you, reach over their body to grab her by the uniform (they love that) and say “look, can I just get an air-sickness bag? I didn’t want to have to put anyone through this.” Then look at her all like ‘whatever happens, I TOLD YOU.” Your body language? Zach Morris freeze frame circa Brandon Walsh is ALWAYS RIGHT.