My Unusual Fear During Air Travel


Amanda Burkett, Violet Vision Editor

During spring break, I took a vacation to London — but this isn’t really about that. This is about the great game of chance that we all play during air travel. This is about the risk that occurs when we relinquish control to perfect strangers. This is about checking bags at the airport.

I hate to think that I am an unlucky person, but like most people, I constantly think I am getting the short end of the stick. Handing over my bag feels like a grave mistake – the people who handle the bags don’t care about me, and I am one person in the scheme of millions who travel through the airport every day. During my stream of cynical thoughts, I begin to think that it’s impossible for my bag to make it across the Atlantic in one piece. One of my travel partners tries to shut me up by telling me that the airline, my insurance or someone will compensate me for the loss of my bag in the unlikely event that even happens. I try to find solace in this but cannot — everything in my suitcase is priceless.

While I watch my bag coast onto the conveyor belt out of sight, I mentally catalog my goodbyes.

One pair of red cowboy boots that my mom gave to me.

Three pairs of vintage Levi jeans – two blue, one black – that all fit me like a glove and were never tailored.

One white blouse with a graphic of a horse head on the left breast and miniature horseshoe designs on top of each button.

One pair of oatmeal colored overalls.

A black angora cardigan with shiny round buttons and multi-colored stitching.

One black velvet headband.

Two perfectly snuggly cashmere sweaters – one bubblegum pink and one beige.

One neon green beret.

Two jackets from my dad – one is his red felt boy scouts uniform covered in achievement patches, the other an army green four-puff puffer removed from the interior of a raincoat.

A pair of gold-plated dangling heart earrings from the ‘70s.


Of course, like all the other airline customers, I did not lose my bag. Instead, I gained an appreciation for the unknowingly sentimental collection I had been building for years.  


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