CoFlying: Yea or Nay?

Caroline and I may soon be confronted with a situation we’ve yet to encounter as parents. We may be travelling far, far away from our friendly confines, both headed for the same destination, one which would require a flight, which prompted my wife she asked but one simple question:

Do you think that we should take separate flights, you know, just in case?

At first I didn’t get it, but I soon figured out what she was really trying to ask: Should we take separate flights in case the plane goes down and we both meet our fiery death thereby instantaneously converting our five, well-loved children into orphans?

And I must admit, now that she’s brought it up, the thought is a daunting one. And I get it. I get why people would ask that question. What’s more, we know plenty of parents, both from our generation as well as the one before it, who are staunch proponents of the separate-flight policy.

So what say you? Is co-flying a reckless breach of the parenting code? Or is it standard operating procedure?

Call me a nut if you like, but as I bother the flight attended for an extra bag of my namesake, I hope my wife is sitting right next to me. And here are six reasons why:

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  • Car Rides 1 of 6
    Car Rides
    Are Caroline and I really living on the edge when we go to say, Target, without the kids? What about that weekend we went to the mountains? Or the time we drove all the way to the beach (400 miles) by ourselves? Because the odds are far greater we'll meet our make maker behind the wheel than they are in the friendly skies. Photo Credit
  • It’s Not Up To Us 2 of 6
    It's Not Up To Us
    I know. Someone will argue that the vast majority of plane crashes are fatal ones for virtually everyone on board, but that many car wrecks are very survivable. With which I'd still take exception because I'm pretty sure the numbers back me up. But forget the numbers. One key thing that doesn't sit well with me with the separate-flight approach is that it presumes we have control over what happens to us. And while we do to an extent, that extent is much more limited than we'd like to believe. There's a little something called fate, and when your time's up, your time's up. It's just not up to you. If it were, most of us would live forever. But we don't. Because we're not the ones in control. Photo Credit
  • What If? 3 of 6
    What If?
    Another thought: what if Caroline and I decided to take different flights? And then what if hers went down? I'd likely spend the rest of my life wondering what would have happened if we'd just decided to take the same flight. If we'd chosen the safe one, our kids would still have their mama. But we tried to take control by flying separately. Yet spending your life wondering "what if" hardly sounds like control to me. Photo Credit
  • Fundamental Flaw in Logic 4 of 6
    Fundamental Flaw in Logic
    Here's a question: what about when parents are traveling with their kids? Wouldn't it be better to split the crew in half in that case as well? At least that way, if a plane went down, some of the kids and one parent would still be alive, right? What would you say if one of your children suggested such a travel strategy? I'd say this: NO. Like traveling with the kids isn't a big enough pain in the ass that you need to add an extra layer of complication to it! Besides, you can't spend your entire life trying to tip toe around worst-case scenarios. It just doesn't make sense. And if it doesn't make sense for the entire family to fly separately, does it really make sense for the parents to do it? Photo Credit
  • The Wrong Side is Winning 5 of 6
    The Wrong Side is Winning
    Not to mention that when you start living your life in constant fear of worst-case scenarios, you're not living your life nearly as well as you could or should be. Life is meant to be lived in pursuit of all that's good. Not in avoidance of all that's bad. When that happens, the wrong side is winning. Photo Credit
  • Faith 6 of 6
    Faith
    And I don't know about you, but I don't want the wrong side to be winning. I want the right side to be winning. And for me, the right side has faith that whatever might happen will happen for a reason. And that those reasons, even if they transcend my mortal understanding, will all work themselves out in the end. Photo Credit

Plane Photo Credit

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