Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Air Travel Non-smoker Style

Today is Smoke-free Day 205, and after a false start on Sunday pulling out of my own wallow, then sinking back in on Monday (because I sometimes have very good reason to get pissy), I really think I've turned a corner today. Tom has his fingers crossed because I think I've been a little, um, difficult. Yah, I know, it's really hard to believe. Sorry, my Sweetness (I think he still reads my blog...). I hope I never again experience anything quite like the mini-depression or whatever it was that had hold of me because I am way too much of a happy girl for all that noise.

None of that has anything to do with my little splash of happy coming up later this month, and that's what I was thinking about this morning. You see, later this month I'm finally, finally taking a little trip. We typically go to Reno every February, but simply put, just as I posted in November, I'm still feeling a bit fragile and just not ready yet to be in smoky places, especially with free drinks in hand, especially since I once went to Reno as a non-smoker of a few months and returned a smoker. Sure, I could probably do it and probably would be just fine even without bringing the leftover Chantix, but I need to go away to relax, not go away to constantly feel tempted. Plenty of people are more than ready to be in smoky places much sooner, but I'm just not one of them, and I'm perfectly OK with it - again, it's the whole each of us walking along our own paths thing. Maybe we'll go next February, though a lot of things could be very different by then, hopefully, if this year goes at all like we are hoping. In that case, perhaps a new annual trip tradition will be in order... (wheels turning).

So, nope, not Reno, but we will be traveling, and what I thought about this morning was how nice it will be to not have all the additional pain in the ass that usually goes along with being a smoker trying to fly somewhere, which is hassle enough most of the time. Here's the comparison:

Air Travel as Non-smoking me:
Go to airport. Go inside. Check in (well, OK, doing that online this time). Go through security. Hang out because we got there early. Get on plane. Get off plane. Repeat at layover airport.

Air Travel as Smoker Me
(after smoking was banned on international flights and lighters couldn't go on flights):

Go to airport. Smoke before going inside. Go inside. Check in. Go outside and walk way, way down to the bad kids corner to smoke, without lighter since they are banned and hope wind doesn't blow out match. Repeat even if I don't want another right then, just knowing next smoke could be awhile. Go through security. Wonder if there would be enough time to smoke again and make it back through security while Tom sits alone with carry ons concerned if I'll make it back. Hang out because we got there early. Decide to take that chance to go out and smoke, again with the matches that the wind will blow out because I'm denied a lighter (and pissed about it), standing in the cold, hoping the security line isn't longer because missing the flight would suck. Go through security. Again. See Tom sitting alone when we should be enjoying our holiday time together and feel like a total addict. Worry about when I'll get to smoke again or if the plane is delayed. Get on plane. Do OK on plane the first hour. Start counting the minutes during the entire rest of the plane ride (or what big people would call a flight). Hate every-slow-one in front of me for being in the way when the plane lands. Get off plane. On tarmac. Light up. Oh, crap, I can't smoke here? Sorry. (Yes, I did that once - was too young or dumb to know) Go through airport like a crazed person obsessed with getting outside to smoke. Repeat at layover airport.

Of course, places like Salt Lake City Airport have areas where you can smoke inside a glass enclose room with super blowers at the doorway (I *loved* flying through that airport as a smoker and thought ventilation was fine, but apparently not everyone feels that way), but we won't be flying through there anyway...


  1. OMG -- ROFL!!! Yep, yes, yeah, YES! I am flying to Las Vegas later this month, and it'll be my first trip without the trips outside to smoke, or -- worse -- the stinky smoking lounges inside the Atlanta airport. I finally have something to like about flying!

  2. Flying is nice without being tied to that cigarette, completely different experience.
    Reading your feelings about Reno, I'm still wondering if I can go to Vegas like I want. Traveling in general feels different being a non-smoker, better definitely but also something to get used to (kinda like eating and then not smoking).

    I really am sorry that you've been feeling....what did you say, Pissy - hahaha You are the champion of encouragement to everyone Maggie, you deserve a crappy day once in awhile.

  3. We took the kids to Disney World this summer and I can't wait to go back as a nonsmoker. It was horrible, trying to find a "designated smoking area" and smoking more often because who knew when you'd find another one. Our flight out of Orlando took off at 6am and when we got to Atlanta for our layover there was not a single smoking lounge near our terminal and the walk to find one or to make our way outside would have was too long to risk missing our flight. It was the longest, most crankiest travel day I'd had in my life. That and taking turns leaving the kids so we could go smoke when there was a place to go made me feel like the worst parent in the world. I am so glad that part of my life is over.

  4. Oh, Bay, I hope you have a blast in Vegas! I bet you are seeing Amy, no?

    MamaFlo, everyone is so different, and Vegas has a lot more to do outside of smoky casinos, so it might be different. You just have to go with what feels right, I guess, but I hope you'll do something fun no matter what!

    Lynda, yep, exactly. That's exactly how it goes, isn't it? So much nicer not to be tied to an addiction.

  5. I love flying through Atlanta...smoking lounges there made my return flights from Florida MUCH MUCH in Chicago they make you smoke in the median of the road at the airports in some cases as that is the only place that's 15 feet away from an entrance or exit.


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