by Melinda Gallo

My flying prayers have been answered

Itís not that Iím afraid to fly, but I honestly didnít feel safe in the Avro RJ85 that took me between Florence and Paris. It felt a bit like an economy car that was certainly efficient, but just wasnít as sturdy. When we hit turbulence, it felt more like we were in a car racing over a speed bump. I dislike, however, thinking that my last moment on Earth could be while sitting on an airplane with a bunch of people I donít even know. I probably wouldnít think so much about my mortality if everyone would stop saying, ďHave a safe flight.Ē I used to cringe at the words and once said, ďOf course I will; Iím not flying the plane.Ē Even though my friends mean well, that seed of fear lingered in my head for an hour and a half (the length of my flight between Florence and Paris).

I had been hoping that I could feel a little ďsaferĒ during my flights even if flying is already incredibly safe. When I was checking into my flight on-line the other day, I noticed that the seating appeared differently. When I noticed that the flight was arriving at terminal 2F at CDG instead of terminal 2G, I knew something had changed.

When I saw the plane, which was an Airbus A318, I almost jumped for joy. Itís only a little big larger, but it feels more like a luxury car. The seats are sleeker and thereís more space to put our luggage overhead. In the Avro RJ85, they used to take peopleís carry-ons and load them in a compartment on the other side of the plane. We used to always wait for them to get the luggage out in front for people to pick them up before allowing us to disembark.

There are numerous advantages besides the actual plane. One advantage is that now the flight is only one hour and twenty minutes. Florence is now 10 minutes closer to Paris than before. Another important advantage is that I will now take off from terminal 2F. Itís not that I didnít like terminal 2G, but it felt more like a bus terminal. There arenít very many shops and only one restaurant. After the first couple of flights, I stopped going into any of them except the magazine shop where I bought a bottle of water.

While it has been three years (and a couple of months) that Iíve been going to Paris for work, I embrace these new improvements. I had been praying for a better flying experience, but honestly I didnít think it would ever change. Now, it will definitely be more of a pleasure for me to fly back and forth because at times I did dread it.

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