Fear of Flying Causes Families to Split Flights

"Most people think I'm crazy, but I view my husband and I as the CEO and COO of our family and in most corporations, those two executives travel separately," she told ABCNews.com.

The couple typically flies with their two children, aged 6 and 3, but never as a couple.

"We already do this even with car travel," said Sarram. "If we go out on a Saturday night without our kids to meet adult friends for dinner, we drive separately."

Others, like Pankiewicz, find the idea of losing half a family as "unbearable" and travel together.

"Why would a family split up?" asked Kelcey Kintner, 38, of New York City. "Wouldn't it better to just all be together in the event of a horrible tragedy like this?"

"I would never want to lose half my family," said Kintner, who writes the parenting blog The Mama Bird Diaries. "That is a lifetime of pain and sorrow."

Close Your Eyes and Say I Love You

"If the plane is going down, then just wrap your arms around each other, say I love yous and close your eyes," said Ellyn Saunders of Seattle, Wash., "What else can one do in such a tragic situation that is out of one's hands?"

"I never even consider that we'll be the unlucky ones," said mother Nicole Greenfield of Plano, Texas. "I think our chances of being on terrorist targeted plane are equal to our chances of hitting the lottery, which I don't play because the odds are astronomical."

But others are more cynical about separate flights.

"We never talk about this," said Piyush Mittal, 47, of Naperville, Ill., who has two girls, aged 16 and 13. "But I feel that part of the fun, especially for a vacation, is getting there, and if you split the family up, part of the fun is lost."

And those who fly for a living are skeptical of those who go to extraordinary lengths to prepare for a remote disaster.

Mary LeRose of Independence, Mo., raised her children while working as a flight attendant.

"We always travel together," she told ABCNews.com. "I needed to be there to make sure they did everything they could to stay safe."

Julie Angarone, of Trenton, N.J., has planned a trip to Disney World in August and she and her 9-year-old son will do the 16-hour drive and her husband and younger child will fly.

"My 6-year-old gets sick and I don't like to fly," she told ABCNews.com.

But retired American Airlines pilot Al Sinesky says that choice is "irrational" because driving a car is statistically more dangerous than flying.

"In a car you are flying at someone else at 60 miles per hour or faster, only separated by the paint on the tarmac and you think nothing of it," the 61-year-old Chesterfield, N.J., resident told ABCNews.com. "Flying is safer than ever before."

"You learn to have trust in your instruments and your training," he said. "I have as much regard for my safety as yours, maybe more."

Gone are the days when flyers bought flight insurance at airport kiosks. "They have done the threat analysis and done the calculus and come up with the conclusion that you don't need it," said Sinesky, who always flies with his wife and two daughters, now grown.

Still, air accidents do happen, like the disappearance of the Air France jet this week.

"Life is unpredictable, and stuff happens," said DeBroff, who was orphaned at the age of 12.

"We all assume that it will not happen to us, that the odds are a billion to one," she said. "And if it happens, the consequences for kids can be overwhelming."

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