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How old?!?!?

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How old?!?!?

After not flying for almost 20 years, and being a nervous flyer, to say the least, I thought I would look into what plane I might be on my holidays with my family in August next year.

I contacted Thomson to ask what plane they thought I might be on. As you would imagine, this far out, they are unable to confirm the exact aircraft, at this stage. However, based upon our destination, they have said that the likely aircraft would be a 757.

I then checked out the fleet of 757s on various websites. I am horrified to see that some of these planes are around 20 years old. I am also disappointed to see that flyer ratings are extremely poor.

Any comments?

UK
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1. Re: How old?!?!?

Most planes are that old or older. How old do you think 747's are?

FWIW the last major air disaster, the air france one, was a shiny new plane which crashed due to pilot error caused in part by unfamiliarity with new stuff, plus issues with the aircraft.Then there were the Qantas ones which had exploding engines, again, relatively shiny new planes.

Older aircraft have pretty much had all the issues ironed out of them over the years, so they are at least as safe as newer ones, as there is less chance of unknown issues appearing, and they are rigorously inspected, and from time to time undergo massive refits to keep them up to spec.

So, your fears are not only groundless, but misplaced, in that with a 757 you are flying something with an collective history of probably many millions of flight hours, as opposed to relatively untested by experience newer planes.

p.s. most of the poor reviews will be due either to misplaced expectations (eg wanting all the latest in flight entertainment, or leg room, or food, or being late, none of which is safety related. People pay peanuts and then expect an IMAX cimema entertainment, Heston Blumenthal food experience

Edited: 18 December 2012, 12:41
Lancashire, United...
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2. Re: How old?!?!?

I'm a nervous flyer but I do know that age of the aircraft isn't an issue. As long as it is well maintained. I flew to Cuba last year on an aircraft that was getting up for 20 years old, and Lanzarote in September on one that was a few years older than that. Thomsons 757s aren't all that age. They have some a lot younger as well.

Go with realistic expectations and it will be ok. Based on experience, do not 'over think' about the aircraft and flight. It will prove far less stressful if you don't!

uk
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3. Re: How old?!?!?

Appreciate the straight to the point info. All valid, I can see that. It's just that my phobia was so bad that it would've been on my mind. I went on a BA Flying With confidence course in September. To be fair, it was pretty good. Although, still very scary experience for me. I then followed up with a scheduled flight from Heathrow to Newcastle just last week. As it happens, I will still pretty scared, but nowhere near as bad. It was a bit of a strange experience. It was just full of commuters, like me. Many who were grumpy two hour delay and couldn't wait to get home. A bit of a strange atmosphere, really. But nothing different to what I would normally experience on the train.

I do expect my holiday flight to be a much better atmosphere, bearing in mind people going on holiday as opposed to going home just for the weekend.

Thanks again for the replies

Geneva, Switzerland
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4. Re: How old?!?!?

Excellent post, joeintheuk!

Edited: 18 December 2012, 13:17
Lancashire, United...
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5. Re: How old?!?!?

Have you thought about hypnotherapy? It didn't 'cure' me but I am an awful lot better.

Somerset, UK
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6. Re: How old?!?!?

It is said you are more likely to die on the road on the way to the airport than you are flying.

Mind you the way those airport taxis dash about it could be they are being paid to keep the statistics favourable!

uk
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7. Re: How old?!?!?

I agree. Certainly put me in my place!

Very happy with that.

uk
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8. Re: How old?!?!?

I agree jointheuk put me in my place!

Very happy with that.

No need for further treatment. I just need to keep flying. Got a return domestic flight booked in four weeks. I'm actually starting to look forward to it, even!

I just keep telling myself that avoidance is the life-blood of all fears!!!!

New York City, New...
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9. Re: How old?!?!?

Some of the US carriers have been flying around aircraft built in the 1960s, Northwest then Delta's DC9s were of that age and were only retired in the last year or so.

It's all about maintenance rather than the age of the aircraft.

Wigan, United...
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10. Re: How old?!?!?

As you said you haven't travelled on a flight for your holidays for almost 20 years and in that time a lot has changed!

The major changes are the much enhanced security measures which usually means longer queues , low cost airlines have started up (which have forced most airlines to start charging for everything from check-in to bags and meals), many people don't just go away once a year now as there are more destinations more frequently which means they're not all jolly and happy especially after the stress of getting to the airport, check-in and security!

I agree with the previous post about realistic expectations and would add go with a lot of patience especially if you go in August! Treat the flight just as a means to get to your holiday destination.

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