Frozen With Fear

May 5, 2010

in Weather Stories

I would say that I used to be a regular flier. I would fly about once a month. Turbulence and thunderstorms never really scared me, until this flight.

I was flying from Sioux Falls, SD to Chicago a few days after Christmas. The flight was horribly delayed because of the massive snow storm that was surrounding O’Hare, so I sat in the tiny Sioux Falls airport for over 4 hours just waiting. I was worried about missing my connecting flight to Pennsylvania, so I made the change to another flight just in case.

As the plane was taking off I noticed that there was some turbulence but nothing I wasn’t used to. But as we settled to our cruising, I noticed that the turbulence wasn’t getting any better, but was getting worse. We were going up and down, side to side and it never stopped, even for a second. But the worst part of it was, was that when I looked out the window I couldn’t see anything but white. Nothing above the plane, nothing below the plane. So I thought to myself  “If I can’t see, how can the pilots see?”

I was completely frozen with fear and I was sweating horribly because I thought we were going to go down. The flight attendant tried to make it better by telling us it was like a “roller coaster,” but I would feel MUCH safer on the roller coaster.

Luckily we landed at O’Hare OK but all of us were incredibly shaken. After that flight whenever I get on a plane I have mini anxiety attacks every time there is even the littlest bit of turbulence. Thanks a lot United!

{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

Clare May 5, 2010 at 10:14 pm

How was it United’s fault, or for that matter, any other airline’s fault that there was turbulence?

Turbulence happens fairly often when flying. If you can’t deal with that fact then maybe you should find some other form of transportation.


Hugh May 5, 2010 at 11:11 pm

Let's see…the pilot got you there safely. The turbulence was caused by weather. You blame United. You sir are an imbecile. Just because YOU don't know how to fly in clouds and turbulence doesn't mean the pilots don't. Quite frankly, the list of things you don't know could fill several warehouses. My advice, if you get anxiety attacks getting on flights…don't fly. What an absolute A-Hole you are.


paul May 6, 2010 at 6:01 am

Hugh you're a dumbass……grow up


Hugh May 6, 2010 at 11:22 pm

You're right. It was Uniteds fault for the poor weather conditions. I am so sorry anonymous internet guy, I really care what you think of me. How could I have been so wrong?


Bob May 6, 2010 at 2:24 pm

Come on now Paul, Hugh is not a dumbass he is a douche bag, give the creep his due.


Hugh May 6, 2010 at 11:24 pm

Thanks Bob for stepping to my defense. It's about time people realized the difference. Oh, by the way, would you mind explaining to me where I went so wrong in my post? Could you dispute any part of it, factually? Yeah, thought not.


Josh June 2, 2010 at 4:06 am

I don't think it was the message, rather the delivery that people have a problem with. You may be factually correct, but you lack interpersonal skills.


Hugh June 2, 2010 at 8:09 am

Thanks Josh. Thanks also for completely failing to point out the stellar interpersonal skills of Paul and Bob.


Laura May 6, 2010 at 3:24 pm

How is Hugh a dumbass in this case? He's spot on. Blame God.


Ahole May 7, 2010 at 5:51 am


You are correct. In this case Hugh is not a dumbass or a douchebag for that matter. However, he is usually both, so it is probably force of habbit that caused those users to call him such terms.


Love It! May 6, 2010 at 3:57 pm

If you could see me, you would see me rolling my eyes right now.


Anotherguy May 9, 2010 at 6:43 am

I agree with everyone here Hugh it was most probably very unpleasant to fly like that but thank united for getting you to your destination. If u gonna get attacks if u get on a plane then dont get on one. Really not rocket science.


jane May 10, 2010 at 11:11 am

"Thanks a lot United!"

I believe the OP said that in jest.


iloveflying September 7, 2015 at 1:38 am

yes he meant that in a sarcastic way


joe May 13, 2010 at 8:11 am

You people are all beyond stupid it probably was united's fault because in their classic american corporate greed they put profits before anything else probably forcing the pilot to fly in bad weather for profit's sake


Amber May 20, 2016 at 4:10 pm

Yet the passengers would be bitching if they delayed until better weather. It's a no win situation, fly in bad weather and people bitch about that, delay the flight and people bitch about that.


david May 13, 2010 at 12:27 pm

joe maybe your beyond stupid………….they wouldn't put people at risk especially knowingly, the pilots are professionals and know what they are doing and planes are able to handle the weather

besides it would be the pilots call not the airlines and if the airlines punish the pilot in anyway then the airline would be fined heavily and would have to go to court………easily enough to prove if the weather was too dangerous to fly in by checkin the weather maps/dop. radar


Pilot May 24, 2010 at 9:06 pm

Aircraft have instruments that allow them to fly and land safely even in dense fog. Remember that pilots are on the same airplane you are on. They are not about to get themselves into a dangerous situation. They like life just as much as you do. If the weather is too bad, they will divert to a different airport.

Turbulence is mostly a comfort problem, as long as you keep your seatbelt fastened. Pilots try hard to find smooth air, usually by changing altitude, but sometimes there is just no smooth air to be found. Grin and bear it. It is not a safety issue.


Brandon June 23, 2010 at 9:32 pm

How is it United's fault? Get a grip!


ber July 24, 2010 at 4:18 pm

This is me, the writer of the story.

First off, thank you Jane, I was just saying "Thank you United" in jest and also for getting me there safely. I applaud all pilots for handling bad weather conditions and getting people to their destinations safely.

Second, I understand completely that pilots can see through the thickest of fog but seriously, it was just a thought process that I had at the fearful moment.

Before that point I had flown overseas numerous times and have on several domestic flights, this was the first time that I had experienced something that intense. So do not talk to me like a beginning flyer.

I was being dramatic when saying that I have mini panic attacks when I get on a plane, I was just trying to get the reader to feel how bad the turbulence was. So don't take it so literal.

So again, I do not BLAME United for the weather, that is insane because nobody can control the weather. So please everyone just calm down and remember, its just a personal experience that is being told as a story,nothing more, nothing less.

Thank you for all your comments.


iloveflying September 7, 2015 at 1:39 am

im glad that you don;t have those things! I'm sure one of those people might have one though


Amber May 20, 2016 at 4:10 pm

Planes pretty much fly themselves these days.


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