Back from London. The British Airways flight in both directions was an absolute joy - leaving on time and arriving early both coming and going.People always love to criticize airlines but BA and Lufthansa both make an effort. I'd been a bit worried that the recession might lead to BA trimming flights from the schedule - some of the flights in February were less than 40% full - but the lure of the eternal city seems to be working again with the aircraft close to being full.
I've managed to fly for more than three decades without anything exciting happening to me at all. That's not quite true, I was once on a flight in the Middle East that ran into a ditch that had been dug across the active runway - but that was in the late 1970's and I was of an age where it was exciting rather than scary to go hurtling across the runway sans a large part of the undercarriage . I also once had to be evacuated out of the rear door on a Boeing 727 on the Boston Logan to La Guardia Shuttle when a fire alarm went but I'd had a gin and tonic or two and barely noticed it. Oh, and I remember being on a DC-10 of some cheap and cheerful budget airline when I was a student that had to make an emergency landing en route from Kennedy to London. Of all places we landed at Gander in Newfoundland.All in all it's a sign of how uneventful flying is.
These days it seems to me that the danger lurks in the cabin. You may remember my recent trip to Switzerland when a young drug crazed boy came rushing screaming to the front of the aircraft , collapsing in front of the cabin crew as we were taxiing out. Well. a rather strange thing happened to me on the flight from London. A sharply dressed Italian businessman in the seat in front of me reclined his seat as soon as we had taken off from Heathrow. Not a problem as BA gives you lots of legroom and I was happily immersed in reading all the London papers. When it came time to serve breakfast I let down the table in the back of the seat as the stewardess was passing me my tray ( the English breakfast on BA is worthy of the airline, or as worthy as anyhting can be at 35,000 feet ) at this point the aforementioned businessman went ape**** , undid his belt, leapt to his feet , turned 180 degrees to me and shouted : "Don't kick your feet on my ******* back". I don't know who was more alarmed - the stewardess or me. Thankfully the crew are clearly well conditioned in handling 'stress' and diffused the situation with great aplomb - explaining that seats have tray tables built into the back of them! I kept half an eye on him for the rest of the flight in case he tried to stab me.