New Meaning For Fear Of Flying
I really don't have a fear of flying in the traditional sense but I have a travel fear that was brought home recently. This fear takes a bit of explaining. While stationed at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey I sometimes took a commuter train to get to the base for training/work. Being new to the whole commuter train thing I had a fear that I would doze off and miss my stop and have to backtrack on another train to get back to the base. Of course I would then be late for morning formation and then for class. Not a good thing in the Army.
Falling asleep on the train was always a possibility due to late night partying some weekends so don't discount sleeping on the train. I've never worried or feared falling asleep on a plane because I assumed the flight crew would wake me at our destination even if the flight continued. Surely the clean-up crew would wake me if the flight crew left me behind? Seems like I was too trusting! Recently a woman left Lahore, Pakistan on a flight to Paris, France and did indeed land in Paris. Problem is she fell asleep and the flight crew and ground crew made sure she was tucked in and left! The pilot turned the plane around and the woman slept through the flight and landing in Rome and then slept all the way back to Lahore, Pakistan! Eighteen hour nap and 7,200 miles later she is back home. Can you imagine the head-spinning? See, I was right to be scared of overshooting my destination if two international flight crews and two ground crews can forget a woman on an airplane. Instead of going from Asbury Park, New Jersey to Fort Monmouth I could have wound up in another state with no return ticket or money to buy one! I was a broke GI with enough money to get me to the base and back with no side trips in the budget.
The woman who slept through her flight and more will be flown free of charge from Pakistan back to Paris and I'll bet this time someone will wake her. She must have been really tired to sleep through people getting baggage out of overhead storage and another batch going in before take off.
I'm pretty sure a friendly conductor would have roused me at the proper station but this woman's roundtrip will give me something to worry about on my next flight.