Monday, September 14, 2020

A farewell to the queen

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.


  1. First Class in the A380 might take your mind off the 747
    Especially if you take say Emirates or Qatar instead of BA


    1. Thanks for reading and commenting WEC.

      I’m not really a fan of the Middle Eastern airlines as it’s just over the top bling - Emirates is just shiny gold everywhere although the personal mini bar is a nice touch. When a rich Emirati gets on they make a huge fuss about not having alcohol in the mini bar but will forever order “just plain coke” in a really loud voice so everyone else thinks they’re not drinking but they’ve already primed the flight attendant to put vodka or whisky in it. They all do it and have no idea that everyone is doing the same thing!

      I’ve heard good things about Qatar though - will have to try the Doha to LAX flight although I’m not sure my liver could cope with 16 hours of drinking. I rarely travel through the Middle East though - most of my flights have been to the US although I may need to have a rethink if I can’t enter the country

      I do love the A380 though - purely because it’s just so ridiculously big but it’s lovely onboard and so quiet compared to the older planes. BA usually have at least one flight a day to LAX which I’ve been a regular on for the last few years.

  2. Ah yes, I wrote a similar post a while back but I've never been on the second deck. I saw one of the largest cargo airplanes in the world at a US airport, I was a bit surprised since it was the Russian Antonov An-124!

    As for your mom's list, I agree with Jeff Allen and let's add playground slides to the list! Check out Jeff's comedy bit on this topic

    1. Haha. That’s pretty funny although I’m not sure even my mother could argue that more danger equals better!

      That aircraft is pretty big - I’m also surprised it was at a US airport. I thought only the Russian military had those so would be banned from US airspace but I’ve just looked it up and there are a couple of civilian operators. Looks like the designer was a 12 year old child who hadn’t done his homework on time and just though he’d copy the 747 design and hoped no one would notice! Check out the An225 - 6 engines is pretty bonkers