Kate Winslet and Sam Mendes: Flying Solo

With Revolutionary Road scoring so many awards and nominations, actress Kate Winslet and her director/husband Sam Mendes are doing a lot of traveling lately.

Just don’t expect them to travel together.

The Daily Mail reports that Winslet, 33, and Mendes, 43—who starred in and directed Revolutionary Road, respectively—avoid being passengers on the same airplane whenever possible.

Marital discord at work? No, they just want to make sure that Kate’s kidsMia, 8, and Joe, 5—aren’t orphaned in case one of them is in a plane crash.

If it sounds like paranoia on the couple’s part, it’s a partially justified paranoia.

According to a friend of the director’s, Mendes was booked to fly on American Airlines Flight 77, which was crashed into the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. Prior to the flight, the director was forced to change plans due to scheduling issues.

Winslet, meanwhile, was on a British Airways flight from London to Dallas with daughter Mia in October 2001.  A passenger claiming to be an Islamic terrorist stood up on the plane and bellowed, “We are all going to die!”

(The passenger, 29-year-old Youri Kanounnikoff, from France, was eventually charged with creating mischief, endangering life and uttering threats.)

Consequently, the two are understandably skittish when it comes to air travel.

“Where possible, Kate and Sam do prefer to travel in separate planes,” says a spokesperson for the couple. “It is not always possible but, for obvious reasons regarding the children, they do travel separately when they can.”

Why not just stop flying commercial? If a self-professed lousy actress like Nicole Kidman warrants a private jet, surely the eternal star and director of one of the year’s biggest hits do too.