Fear Of Flying

By Jane Mountain | June 11, 2014

Why am I so stressed? This is the question I wrestled with as we rode (as passengers in an air-conditioned van) towards the airport.

Even though am not consciously worried about today, last night I had all kinds of flying nightmares. No, not the kind where you are falling through the air or involved in some kind of disaster in which your fellow passengers eat your arms. The kind where you are late, you are trying to leave, but things keeps going wrong, and as hard as you try, you will never get to the airport on time.

I’ve Got A Little List

You see, I am not a nervous flyer. I don’t mind the take-off, or the turbulence. It’s everything that goes along with flying that I hate. The schedule, the red tape, the taxis, the traffic, the check-in lines, the security x-rays, the departure lounge… all that crap stresses me out.

Why? Because (and this is especially true when you throw bikes into the mix) there are just so many things that can go wrong.

This morning, waiting for the taxi, I made a list.

    • Our taxi could be late to pick us up.
    • Our taxi could not show up at all.
The bikes might not fit in the taxi.
Wrapped up, our bikes might not fit in the taxi.

Wrapped up, our bikes might not fit in the taxi.

There might be a traffic jam, which will make us late.
The driver could take us to the wrong terminal, or the wrong airport.
The driver could try and cheat us.
We could be hassled by touts at the departures hall.
Maybe there won’t be any luggage carts available.
There are lots of luggage carts at KLIA2!

There are lots of luggage carts at KLIA2!

Our luggage might be overweight.
The airline could reject our bikes because of improper packing.
Wrapped in plastic, just like the Air Asia website says.

Wrapped in plastic, just like the Air Asia website says.

  • We might be refused our Visa On Arrival in Indonesia.
Our bikes might be damaged, lost, or broken beyond repair.
  • There might be hassle on arrival in Jakarta, with touts and pirate taxi drivers grabbing our luggage.
The taxi to our hotel might be overpriced or dodgy.
Maybe no taxis will be big enough to take our bikes.
The taxi driver might not be able to find the hotel.
The hotel might not have our reservation.

There are just so many hurdles to get from where we are now to where we will be tonight, I guess it’s no wonder I’m a little stressed.

Side note: You’ll notice that nowhere on my list of worries is mechanical failure of the plane or any of the disasters that may ensue as a product thereof. That’s because I have absolutely no control over any of that, and I never worry about things I can’t control.

After making this list, I considered the consequences of any of these things coming to pass. Not exactly dire, I must admit. It’s not like anything vital depends on our making it to Jakarta today, or at all. In fact, I don’t even want to go to Jakarta! We are only going there so Stephen can teach yoga. This is one of those times when I have allowed what I want to take a backseat to what Stephen wants.

Marriage, ain’t it grand?

Worries Are Worthless

So, even though my mind was awash with all the things that could go wrong, nothing did. Nothing at all. Which is pretty rare on a day filled with numerous possibilities for error.

Our taxi drivers on either end were reliable and honest. They even went out of their way to fit our bikes in their vans, which is not something they deal with regularly.

No one at Air Asia cared about our bikes or how they were wrapped or how much stuff we carried on the plane. Nor, somewhat disturbingly, did they seem to care if we were carrying any weapons, banned substances, or any other potentially hazardous material.

Obtaining our Visa(s) On Arrival was a joke. Stephen got them while I was in the bathroom. He just handed the guy our passports and $50 and was handed back two visas. He didn’t have to show a return ticket, and I didn’t even have to show my face.

Despite reports online, not a single tout or unlicensed taxi driver approached us at the airport. In fact, no one approached us at all, even though we had piles of luggage and were clearly clueless about what we were doing. It was quiet, clean, and totally calm. I guess they must have tightened up the regulations at the airport recently.

Cyclist tip: If you are travelling into the city with bikes (and don’t fancy a smog-chocked danger ride, go to the Golden Bird counter at the transport desk (which is a circular desk in the middle of the arrivals hall, just opposite the ATMs). It cost us a flat rate of around $25 to go 50km to our rather obscure hotel in South Jakarta. The driver was great, the SUV-style van was brand new, and their service was amazing.

The only minor hiccup is that the hotel room we’d booked is a little grungy and overpriced for what it is. That’s a problem we’ll worry about tomorrow.  


  1. Comment by Cassie

    Cassie June 16, 2014 at 8:23 am

    Jane, you and I sound like worry twins. :)

  2. Comment by Scot

    Scot June 15, 2014 at 5:46 am

    “I’ve had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened.”
    Mark Twain

Comments are closed.

Go top
Share via