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» Airport Stories

What me - paranoid?
So there I was, earning a crust as an actor working for a Vienna-based English speaking theatre company. Not the happiest of fliers at the best of times, but travelling in a tin tube at 30,000 feet comes with the territory of working abroad (unless you like spending 30 hours on a train - meh.)
So on the way back for the Xmas break in 1988, chatting with the cabin crew of Austrian Airlines; as we were interesting passengers (for some reason, actors are assumed to be 'interesting') the stewardess wangles a trip to the cockpit for us. (Remember back in the innocent days before 9/11, when cockpit security was a bit of an afterthought?) Not only that, but on the approach to London, the pilot invites me to stay there for the landing, pulling a little slot-away seat out from behind the co-pilot's seat. We thunder into Gatwick, (half an hour late but what the hey...) and lo! My fear of flying is nigh-on cured - what an experience!

Then the pilot makes the announcement: "Would all passengers remain seated until those transferring to Pan Am 103 have disembarked - the flight has been held for you." The passengers concerned happily pile off the plane and head off to make their connection...

2 hours later, I get home, turn on the tv to see the first reports of Lockerbie, which only blew up over Scotland because it had been delayed half an hour - it was 'meant' to explode over the Atlantic. I am convinced that the people on my flight making their delayed connection ended up on Pan Am 103.

To top it all, the day I flew back, January 8th 1989, there was the M1 Motorway crash - just because I'm not paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get me.

Can't bear flying anymore, unsurprisingly...
(Tue 7th Mar 2006, 14:46, More)