I’m terrified of flying. I have to be hopped up on some serious Xanax to board a flight. Yes, I’m the person who gives up 1500 dollar plane tickets at that last minute, and not see one single penny of it refunded. (I did this right before going to Thailand several years ago.) I’m the girl who prices cars from faraway airports because getting on a return flight makes my stomach fill with bile and my head with tears. I am the girl who chose to drive to and from San Francisco with her three cats instead of board an airplane.
I would rather visit the dentist and get a gynecological exam every day for a month than have to fly somewhere. I’d rather drive, take a train, or walk for that matter. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always work. We don’t get a lot of time away from work to warrant tacking on two days at the beginning and the end of a trip just for travel. And if you cut into the actual vacation time, you’re left with two days vacation. And even if we did take more time away, it’s hard to find someone to devote the time we’d like to our feline roommates for that long. Unfortunately, most of the time, flying is the only option.
We’re supposed to take an extended family vacation down to Orlando in March. My folks even gave us money in order to do so. We have Emory now and the idea of bringing him on a plane makes me want to run in the opposite direction. But I know we can’t keep this up for long. One day, we’ll want to take him someplace awesome. We’re already flirting with future World Cups, trips to England to visit The Dans, and trips to the West coast to see friends. I know we can’t keep him from flying forever. Hopefully, he won’t inherit my fear of air travel. But for now, I was hoping to find another way down south, a less fearful way of getting there. It’s not looking good.
I have priced planes, trains and automobiles and it’s looking like we’re going to have to fly and that makes my tummy turn now, two months out. I’m sick to my stomach just thinking about it. I really, really hate this. I hate that I’m so afraid to fly. I hate that it keeps me from going places. I hate that i can’t rationally wise up already.
Here was our Amtrak quote, this includes a bedroom so we don’t have to bug folks with a squealing baby:
I was blown away by this. Perhaps I’m a newbie when it comes to travel but doesn’t this seem excessive?
I wrote to Amtrak. Here’s only part of the mail, so you can get the gist. (I’m hormonal, give me a break.)
We love using Amtrak. My husband uses it for work. I need to state as much right away. We are heading to Florida in March and I thought maybe my husband, myself and our 8 month old son might take the train down instead of flying. I priced out your bedrooms. All I know what to say regarding the price is WOW. I’m shocked by how pricey it is! I guess you fill them, but wow. I’m not sure how most people can afford that price. It seems excessive to me.
Here is a little bit of what she responded with:
We are sorry that you feel our fares are too high. We firmly believe, that our prices accurately reflect the value of the services we provide. Nevertheless, we have not ignored the need to remain reasonably competitive with other carriers, and we have responded to this need by establishing several carefully constructed discount fare programs.
Some of the discounts we provide are to members of AAA and Student Advantage. We also have promotional discounts advertised nationally throughout the year. We are confident that you will be able to find affordable fares and look forward to the privilege of serving you soon.
Here is part of my response:
Actually the amount I was given after our AAA discount was 2,251.80. It’s 417 dollars via JetBlue.
Am I missing something here? Why is it so much more expensive? She writes: “reasonably competitive with other carriers” What carriers is she referring to? Air Force 1? The Concord?
I realize that those like myself who live in fear of flying can and will pay exorbitant amounts of money to avoid an airplane, but even I won’t justify a 24-hour train ride for that amount of money just because I’m too much of a chickenshit to fly. It’s not even a direct trip. We’d need to transfer in DC.
So, unless I can figure out another way to travel from now until March, here we come JetBlue. I guess I’ll use the remaining 1,834.81 to buy Xanax.