From the moment I saw her I was besotted. It was more than love, it was lust. She looked so good and I can remember every minute that I've ever spent with her. She's never complained that I've spent quite a lot of our time together working, drinking or sleeping but she's getting old and the competition is younger, lighter, quieter and far more economical. It's time to say goodbye - unfortunately I never got to plan one last ride as it's all happened so suddenly. But I'll always have my memories of the queen of the skies - the Boeing 747, which British Airways have just announced the retirement of.
Now I'm not one to look at the past with rose tinted glasses - one of my favourite activities when I spend time with my mother is asking her to name one thing from the past that is better than the present day (the nights are long and there's no pub in her village). She came up with diseases! Yes, polio sounds like a wonderful way to have spent a childhood. Modern diseases are rubbish by comparison. Who wants to benefit from modern medicine and vaccines when we could all be worrying about catching something preventable that will kill or maim vast swathes of the population? But it's not like there's anything going on at the moment that's relevant is there? Oh. Hang on.
But due to the current situation BA have worked out that there's going to be a drop off in demand for global flights, especially in the premium sector of which their 747s are pretty heavy caterers to.
Now I'm lucky enough to usually sit in the pointy end of an aircraft when I fly - it's a necessity rather than a luxury really as I often need to work on flights and I'm just getting too old or useless to be able to miss a night's sleep and be slightly productive after an overnight flight. And one of the most special places to sit on any plane is upstairs in the bubble behind the cockpit. It's solely business class but on a nighttime flight I actually prefer it to sitting downstairs in first class as the bed is just as easy to sleep on and there's a lot less noise and foot traffic.
There are other aircraft that do the same job for lower fuel and maintenance costs but none of them feel as special as the 747 - most flyers won't notice the difference but I certainly will. So next time my mother tells me that everything was better in the past I can add the first item to her list.
On a more positive note I have actually booked some travel - it's not until next year but there are some amazing fares at the moment but I have no idea if the travel restrictions will have been eased by then so I'm not getting my hopes up too much.