The Anonymous Widower

When Airlines Knew What Service Meant

I was just talking to a friend, whose son  had got mixed up in all the delays at Stansted. He had got no sense from an Irish so-called airline and had had to come home.

It got me thinking about how airlines used to know what service meant.

Many years ago all five of us went to St. Lucia on an all-inclusive holiday with British Airways.

I think we were due to come home on the Thursday, but due to an engine failure on the incoming flight, it became obvious that we would have an extra night on the island. We were moved that night to another hotel and were told that although we would get home on Friday or Saturday, they couldn’t be sure how long we’d be stuck.

We eventually heard that it would be the Saturday, as although there would be an incoming flight on the Friday, it would be coming in late as it was carrying the spare engine and the crew to change it, and because of the extra load, it would be refuelling in Bermuda. We did get a view as it flew in to land of one of the strangest sights in aviation; a Boeing 747 carrying an extra fifth engine under the wing root. There’s a video of one here.

So we ad two extra nights on St. Lucia and very late on Saturday, we boarded the 747 to go home. I can’t remember if it was Thursday’s, Friday’s or Saturday’s plane, but it was one of the then new Rolls-Royce powered 747-200s.

The pilot did announce though, that it would be a direct flight to Heathrow, instead of via Barbados, so he apologised if the take-off was a bit noisy, as he’d be using full everything.

I remember he was followed down the runway by a tug and they backed the plane as far towards and over the fence as they dare. It was a noisy but safe take-off and we arrived much earlier than expected non-stop into Heathrow.

The one thing that spoilt the flight, was rather a heavy landing, for which the pilot apologised and blamed the new auto-land system, which as he said needed a bit more tweaking.

February 5, 2012 - Posted by | Transport | ,

1 Comment »

  1. […] is also this personal story, tells how British Airways got a very heavily-loaded 747 out of St. […]

    Pingback by getting A Jumbo Out Of A Tight Spot « The Anonymous Widower | November 22, 2013 | Reply


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