Statistically, bad experiences are very rare
Despite what we see on social -- and traditional -- media, the flying experience really isn’t all that bad. Images of people sleeping in terminals and videos of fights in coach are easier to find because of camera phones. But with more people flying than ever before, statistically the number of unfortunate incidents, including canceled flights and lost luggage, keeps going down.
“We’re programmed to notice the horrible things, whether it’s delays or somebody getting dragged off the plane,” says Dr. Randi Mackintosh, a Tallahassee psychologist who deals with anxiety and depression. “But they’re so few and far between. If you look at how many people are flying each day, almost all are having positive experiences.”
Dr. Mackintosh has noticed that people are consciously making flying more enjoyable, treating it as a short break from reality. “We so rarely get time to just sit. So whether it’s listening to their favorite podcast or downloading a book, if you look at flying that way instead of as something stressful, it’s a lot more satisfying.” And with many airlines offering 500+ movies on demand, it’s a whole lot easier to forget about minimal legroom and $3 bottles of water.