The thing about flying is that it is awesome. I love it. You can travel at 500 miles per hour without having to do anything but sit and do idle tasks––yet you feel like you’re being productive. When you get off the plane people say things like, “You must be tired,” and you get to rest even more.
For me it is especially nice since although I have motion sickness riding any other mode of transportation (train, car, bus, boat, horse, piggyback) on an airplane I feel nothing except for when we land.
At least that is what I thought until last Wednesday when I flew Southwest Airlines from Florida to Oregon. I had a layover in Denver so I was prepared for two unsavory bouts of nausea during my day of guilt-free vegging out.
But by the time I realized we were landing in Denver we were a foot from the ground. My stomach was not queasy but my mind was blown. That was quiet possibly the best landing I had ever experienced in my life.
I wanted to congratulate someone, give him or her an award. They wanted to shuffle me out of the flying apparatus in a succinct and timely manner. Luckily for me the cockpit door was open when I exited the plane. The captain was leaning nonchalantly against the door.
“Great landing,” I said incredibly sincere. (I may of even given the thumbs up sign.) But the pilot (or co-pilot or some dude just chilling in the cabin in a uniform) looked at me like I was crazy and said, “Have a good night.” I realized I may have sounded sarcastic, but seriously Southwest Airlines Flight 330 on Jan. 11, whoever was flying, thank you.
For the sake of science I thought, well, maybe this smooth landing had something to do with Denver’s elevation.
I paid special attention to the landing when I arrived in Portland. Usually the same tailwinds that get you in 20 minutes early when approaching from the east make it a bumpy ride. Although not as smooth as the last one I felt no nausea at touchdown.
Not wanting to freak this pilot out I said nothing but goodnight on my way out of the airplane.
Are the pilots of Southwest Airlines just that much better than the rest? Maybe. Am I inexplicably cured of my motion sickness for life? I wouldn’t sit behind me on a roller coaster if I decide to find out.
All I know for certain is that I got to sit down for about 9 net hours to read, relax, listen to music and enjoy one hell of a beautiful landing.