So, British Airways are retiring their fleet of Jumbo Jets officially known as the Boeing 747.
The End of an Era
Following the majority of airlines after the chaos caused by the Corona Virus, B.A. has made the decision to drop their hugely bloated four-engined monster for aircraft that are more economical and efficient. Hey, this almost sounds like a serious post. Apologies, I hope it doesn’t get any more serious from this point on.
I Don’t Like Flying
I haven’t flown on many jumbo jets, I don’t like flying, but I realise that if you want to get to somewhere that might be close to the other side of the world, then flying is probably the best way to get there. However, a lot of my early travel was around mainland Europe, so flying for me was usually onboard a Boeing 737, a two-engined jobby.
Off To New York
Back in 2005, I entered a competition to win flights to New York. It was one of those simple things whereby you send an email and they pick the winner at random. There was nothing clever or academic about it. You didn’t have to write a fantastic headline-grabbing quote that the company could use. No, just enter your email address and cross your fingers. Lo and behold, I won!
How Many Passengers?
I received my tickets together with dates of departure and return. Wifey and I set off for Heathrow airport in London for a 1:30 pm flight to JFK airport in New York. Booked in and luggage sent off to the handlers, we made our way to the waiting area to be called for the flight. Imagine my fear when the announcement came over the tannoy to board our waiting jumbo jet and what seemed like the entire population of a small town stood up! There’s no way all these people are on our flight, are they?
What a Monster
It turns out they were. I’d have expected this number of people to be boarding a cruise ship, not an aircraft. We had the last but two seats at the rear of the plane. The very last seats are reserved for cabin crew. Ok, the tickets were free so I can’t really complain, but once we were sat in those seats, there was no getting out of them for the entire seven and a half hour flight. There’s an almost ‘fairground attraction’ to take off sitting at the rear of this gigantic metal monster.
As you roll down the runway and reach take-off speed, the sight of what looks like hundreds of rows of people in front of you all lifting into the air while you seemingly drag your bum along the ground for what feels like a lifetime until you join them in the sky. So scary, well, to me it is. How these monsters ever get off the ground is way beyond my comprehension. We’ve been back to New York on numerous occasions since, but flying in the Boeing 757. I always book seats away from the rear of the plane too.
The full story of B.A. retiring the Boeing 747 can be found here: