That Time I Thought My Plane Was Crashing Into The Sea… Trapani, Italy

Flying from Malta to Trapani (Sicily), Italy, was probably the worst flight of my life. Mostly because we were making an emergency landing in the sea (or so it seemed).

The plane took off normally, but being sat next to two extremely nervous neighbours, I got stuck into worrying about what could go wrong during take off. The idea was to make myself seem more approachable and less like an arsehole, frequent flier that was so sure Ryanair’s young fleet would never let us down. Of course, this backfired, as I ended up believing my own ‘fake’ fear and then became the most panic stricken passenger on board the flight.

I sat as far back into my seat as humanly possible until I heard the welcoming ding of the seatbelt sign being switched off.

Relax. Take it easy. No stray geese taking down this plane today.

I flicked quickly through my inflight magazine, annoyingly missing the section that told me how to do Rome on a budget (I didn’t find that until my flight home from Rome). I sat, for another ten minutes, gawping at the heads of other passengers and wondering why the flight attendants were steering behemoth trolleys down the aisle at the speed of light. If they were on commission, they’d have earned nothing.

The seatbelt signs donged back on.

Are you kidding me? Was I really on the shortest flight of my life and preparing to be knocked out of the sky by a freak tornado/ rain cloud/ mega shark?

This is for you, Jodie – Borrowed from

I sat and waited for the bumpiness to start and cease. But it didn’t stop. It just kept bumping. The seatbelt signs were still on… and then the flight attendants took their seats for landing.

And then the pilot mumbled something about landing.

Landing? WHERE?

There’s nothing but water between Malta and Sicily. And we hadn’t reached Sicily in just twenty five minutes… surely? Panic set in.

Fuck. We’re crash landing into the sea.

Where’s my life jacket and oxygen mask then… eh, RYANAIR? WHERE’S MY FUCKING RUBBER DINGHY?

I could see no sprawling cities or glittering lights out of the window. Fat Head in seat F had taken care of that. No one else seemed particularly perplexed by our imminent ocean landing either, which just made me sweat more.

No one knows what they’re doing. They don’t even know we’re crashing. I don’t even know which door is my closest exit!

My ears began to fill and pop with the pressure.

GASP! It’s the middle of the night! I’m going to be eaten by sea urchins before anyone even knows I’m missing. 😥

The lights dimmed.

Oh man, the sea must be close. Where’s my nearest exit? Why is all this stuff on my lap? I need a quick escape, this plane is going down… and then down, down, down into the depths.

I shoved my stuff frantically under the seat in front. The boy next to me had tears in his eyes.

That’s it… That proves it. He’s crying. This is the end.

I remember thanking Fat Head in my mind for stealing my window seat. Aisle seats were probably more likely to survive.

Oh God. What do I do? And is this the slowest crash to ever happen?

Ten minutes later, Fat Head sat back… Flashes of orange and white spun past the window.

We’re on fire. Why is nobody else upset about this?

Before I could think about anything else, I headbutted the seat in front and bit my tongue. We had made impact.

But, I was confused.We weren’t on fire. Which is a good job, because we weren’t in the sea either.

What. Just. Happened? Where is the sea? Where the hell am I?

The Ryanair fanfare burst into life and popped my unequalised ear for me.

Whaaattt? We’re here? We’re here… we’re in Sicily and we are no less than fifteen bloody minutes early! And we’re alive?

I was so sure that this flight was going to end with me choking on seaweed and drifting on an airplane door a la Kate Winslet style.

But no. There was no crash landing. No swimming. No screaming passengers. Just a very normal and early arrival. Which was disappointing… actually.

I got off my plane. I assumed my duty as a carousel wanker and waited for my suitcase to return to me. Then I caught my bus to Trapani centre. And that was the end of that.

Categories europe, italy

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