Last time I set foot in England was late August 1972. I was twenty-one years old, had a thirty-four inch waist and wore size medium shirts.
I was on my way to Ireland with my Irish born girlfriend from Tullamore. We chose to fly aboard BOAC so we could leave from Philadelphia instead of taking an airport limo to Newark to fly Aer Lingus. I am glad we did.
I hadn't flown much before going to Ireland in '72 except to fly Eastern, with my older sister, to Expo '67 in Montreal, and Eastern in '68 when I met my family in Miami after my college orientation.
The flight to London on BOAC was heaven compared to the Eastern flights. I was most impressed when, as we approached London, each passenger was offered a hot face towel so we could freshen up after the long flight. Difficult to compared to our connecting flight via Aer Lingus to Dublin. On that flight an attendant handed a basket of hard candy to the passenger sitting closest to the front of the plane and the basket was passed from passenger to passenger around the cabin without an attendant in sight. If my memory serves me well, I think we were asked to change seats to balance the load before take off, too.
So here it was, late October, 2011, on my way to London via British Airways renamed from the old British Overseas Air Corporation of thirty-nine years ago. The flight was quite good. This time I was given a set of headphones to listen to my chose of on demand movies, TV shows or music without charge. I was also offered free alcoholic beverages and my choice between two hot dinners. Last I flew anywhere was round trip to Phoenix on US Airways in 2000.
On those flights I was offered free soft drinks and my choice of two entrees to purchase. If my memory serves me well, US Airways charged to use the toilet, too. I could have chosen US Airways to London. I didn't.
Hot face towels were not offered on any flights I have taken since my first flight to London via BOAC. I hear they are now only offered in business class and first class on long flights. I missed them this trip, thirty-nine years later. I guess I will need to save up to sit in business or first class my next transatlantic flight. It will hurt my wallet but my fat ass will be comfortable in the wider seats.
©Damyon T Verbo - all rights reserved