I’m sat on a tiny, tiny plane with just space for one seat on each side of the cabin. It must have just 12 seats in total, there’s no space above for anything larger than a wash bag, we are having a decidedly hideous flight and worst of all, the plane has actual propellers.
It’s so bumpy and rattly you just know it’s bad when the stewardess hasn’t left her seat despite the fact we’ve been going for 45 minutes.
I’m actually a very good flyer. I’ve been on 16 flights already this year and by the time I finish this 5 day trip to the States I’ll have clocked up another 6. I don’t mind cramped seats, I have no problem with the odd delay, and I’m pretty calm when the food resembles dog food. I’m absolutely fine with the odd stomach-churning drop on a big chunky Boeing 737, but this plane we are on sets my over-active imagination into overdrive.
I absolutely cannot bear small planes.
If I think about it too much I do struggle with how we are even kept up in the air. It’s always bewildered me how this huge metal tube can stay up and whenever I’ve tried to read about it I’m none the wiser. I’ve come to accept it just ‘works’. But for some irrational reason, planes with propellers give me minor panic attacks. Completely ridiculous given I love the thrill of helicopters and suspect they are significantly more dangerous.
I think when I see a propeller I imagine it could just…stop. Mid-air. Like planes in cartoons with Dastardly and Muttley in.
It’s not helping that the turbulence is so awful and I find myself doing nothing other than plotting my escape should it go down. Can I get to the exit quickly enough? Is the turbulence normal? Why don’t we have parachutes on small planes? And this is a budget airline I’ve never heard of…do they buy old planes? When was the last time it was checked?
All completely ridiculous but the woman next to me closing her eyes, playing with worry beads and gasping every time we take another dip isn’t helping.
I’m on an almost non-stop tour of 5 cities on the hunt for some fabulous people to represent JoJo in parts of the USA my team and I simply cannot reach on a regular basis.
First stop: Chicago – a truly handsome city with awesome architecture and beautiful waterways throughout the centre that feed off the huge Lake Michigan which give an overall coastal feel to the place. Windy and cold for most of the year, our amazing outerwear and knitwear will do brilliantly here.
Next is Atlanta with a very different climate and taste level. The Rep we have here already covers as far as Florida so our autumn ranges will struggle a little with all-year average temperatures beating probably our best summer’s day in London! Swimwear and our spring line are already doing well here though.
I then fly to Dallas. A first for me. I have visions of everyone wearing cowboy hats and related to someone in the oil business with ranches and horses. I’m undoubtedly completely wrong – there’s a huge childrenswear trade show here that attracts thousands of retailers so I’m excited about meeting several potential Reps who are super-enthusiastic about JoJo.
I then fly to New York to meet with a few customers and chat with some potential Reps. At the recent Trade Show we were inundated with excitable companies really, REALLY wanting to take on our brand, all adamant they had 100s of extra accounts they could introduce us to. Given we are doing so well on our own in the North East I’m unconvinced but let’s see.
Final stop is Miami to meet potential Reps who are based in South Beach covering the very lucrative markets in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean. Now why do I not have to fly to the Bahamas for this meeting although I’m pretty sure they definitely have propeller planes and probably ones that land on the water which is also very wrong (in my mind!)
What has occurred to me however, is whilst I’ve written this to take my mind off the still-bumpy journey, there is a very strong likelihood that all these flights may involve equally tiny planes with propellers!
Of course – I’m being embarrassingly dramatic and if you’re reading this then I quite clearly landed but…why hasn’t the stewardess unbuckled yet?