I believe I can fly. Sometimes I just have to. It is no better way to get from point A to point B that are quite distant from each other. So, how is this for song lyrics:

"I believe I can fly if I rely on Airline"?

You need to rely on airline to conquer the fear of racing through the skies in a hassled metal tube, and to make your journey from point A to point B safe, affordable and comfortable.

Let’s follow your engagement with airlines step by step.

First, you need to choose one. The one that best fits your schedule and budget. You are wandering through a labyrinth of travel sites, offering totally different prices for the same exact flight, and finally – bingo – you find the right deal. By pressing a button you declare your commitment to a specific airline.

Now it’s time to travel. You arrive to the airport in point A.

The first thing to check: is your flight arriving on time and flying where you expect it to. Let’s assume, you are not dealing with bad weather, airline employees strike or airport computer system failure. Your flight is here, and so are you.

Now, your ID. Hopefully, your name on the ticket is spelled correctly and your picture has slight resemblance to your current face.

Go on. Your luggage. Be ready for a surprise. Even if your suitcase was labeled ‘carry-on’ luggage when you’ve bought it, it is suddenly not accepted for carry on. Too tall, to wide, too heavy, too many… Not only you have to part with your stuff, you may be charged for overweight bags. A nasty thought is coming to your mind: why a 300 lbs person is charged for luggage same way as a 100 lbs person? Could skinny people have more allowances for excess baggage? That’s really discriminatory, but you can’t help but thinking about it.

Parting with your luggage is nerve-wracking. Usually it has not as much monetary, but sentimental value for you. You’ve packed it so carefully and considerately, and now you have no control of what can happen to your stuff. Will it accidentally go to Japan, while you are flying to Sweden? Could it be placed next to a hot exhaust port on a belt loader and caught on fire? Can someone get in your bags, steal, damage or abuse your personal items (this horrible thought of a stranger trying on your underpants)? You have two bad choices: separate with your luggage or cancel your flight. Your pick.

Now, you are inside the aircraft. Maybe you boarded a couple of hours later than the flight was supposed to depart, or maybe you are sitting in this shiny vehicle for hours and still did not leave the ground, but the fact is – you are inside and ready to fly. There is some entertainment – a popular pantomime performed by flight attendants, that is kind of fun. Did you ever watch it seriously? Maybe you should. Okay, some instructions sound silly. If you don’t know how to operate a seatbelt, you probably should not be allowed in public unsupervised. But floatation devices and oxygen masks are worth practicing. You may, god forbid, need them. Remember to put the mask first on yourself and then on your child (or an adult acting like a child). If you travel with more than one child, decide which one you like the most.

Finally, you took off. You are flying. You are excited. Flying is not scary, crashing is. Sip your drink, watch a movie and trust your pilot. Hope that your pilot is good not only in jet driving, but also in psychology and aircraft public speaking. Public speaking on the ground emphasizes importance of long pauses. Aircraft public speaking should prohibit the pauses. Imagine, your movie is suddenly stalled and you hear "Hello, this is your captain". And then a long pause… All the passengers, optimists included can’t help but thinking: "we are probably going to die". Drop the pause, dear captain, don’t give people time to build up on this thought. And captain, be careful with choice of words. Example: a pilot told the passengers that the weather is breaking and a plane in queue ahead of them was going to try to land. If that plane will do ok we would try to land after it. Twenty minutes later the pilot announces the following: "Well folks, I have some bad news, (PAUSE) they didn't make it so we are going to continue to circle the airport". When an hour later, exhausted people who went through hysteria and quiet farewells to the loved ones, finally made it to the airport, they learned that the pilot meant "first plane tried to land but had to pull back". Psychology and aircraft public speaking.

Flight attendants. They are supposed to keep you calm and comfortable. They know CPR and location of emergency exists. But they have a right to be scared too. Especially with terrorist attack threats. They may suspect anyone – a five-years-old Shirley Temple and a grandmother in a wheelchair. They can suspect you and become unpleasant and mean. They can restrain you from frequent bathroom usage – that’s suspicious. You would not take a diuretic right before the flight, but you can have this specific reaction to the fear of flying. Tough choice: either irritate the flight attendant or piss yourself.

Flying with children. Children are miserable on the plane. They want to go outside and play. They cry and make everyone angry. Everyone is suffering. Being nice, no one thinks of smacking a kid. Everyone wants to kick the crap out of kid’s parents. Parents are suffering the most.

Children under two can travel free if they sit on parent’s lap. Nice rule. But be advised, this rule may only apply to domestic airlines. You may bring your baby to a foreign country, and on your way back be required to pay for the child’s return flight. (Probably, for the extra gas it takes to transport a baby). Tough choice again: pay or leave your child in a local orphanage.

Landing. You are back on the ground. Be thankful if you arrive anywhere. All things considered, flying is not that bad. Sometimes even enjoyable. Dangerous? Statistically, your chances of being involved in an aircraft accident are about 1 in 11 million. On the other hand, your chances of being killed in an automobile accident are 1 in 5000. So be extra careful driving from the airport. That is the most dangerous part of your journey from point A to point B.