Leaving on a British Airways Jet Plane
On a Saturday morning in June 1973, I boarded a British Airways 747 Jumbo Jet at London’s Heathrow Airport. 47 years later British Airways has this month flown its last 747 passenger flight.
As I climbed the steps (there were no elephant trunk boarding bridge in those days) I wondered how this plane is going to get off the ground let alone cross the Atlantic to Washington Dulles Airport.
The Boeing 747 was called a Jumbo because it was the world’s first wide bodied aircraft when it came into service in 1970.
In 1973 flying across the Atlantic was not commonplace – it was verging on romantic luxury unlike today when we jump on a plane as we do on bus.
There was no in-flight entertainment as we know it today. The main feature film was shown as if you were in the cinema and after the food service.
Whilst at Heathrow’s duty-free, that Saturday in June, I bought a pocket cassette player to record my thoughts and also to listen to music of my choice – Sixties Pop.
To rewrite what John Denver wrote (how dare I?) in 1966:
“All my bags are packed.
I’m ready to go… It’s early morn
The taxi’s waitin’. He’s blowin’ his horn…
Cause I’m leavin’ on a jet plane…”
We all look forward to the time we can get on a plane to come to the UK or elsewhere in the world with – or to be with – our loved ones as the most natural and easy thing to do.
That day will come.