Kevin Farnell

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United-Kingdom
Something that I've long wondered about, is what aviation experiences people have encountered. Good, bad or indifferent, this could be anything from aerobatics in a DH Chipmunk (as an Air Cadet), to a first class review of an airline. It could also be good or bad experiences at airports. There must be a million stories.

One of the most annoying (for me anyway) is flying back to BHX in J after having gotten off an F flight in Dubai as you are not permitted to use the first class lounge in Dubai as you are only getting onto a connecting business class flight.

Despite having purchased a flex or flex plus ticket for F. Wished they offered first as an option from BHX but hey ho, Emirates know their customer base better than their customers I suppose.

First world problems, I'll see myself out :D
Some years ago, I had the good fortune to fly first class with Malaysian Airlines from LHR to KUL (as part of a journey of LHR to AKL,
on the special livery 'Hibiscus' B 747-400, 9M-MPD). We used the first class lounge at LHR. The onward flight from KUL to AKL didn't have first class, but we were told that we could get access to the first class lounge at KUL if we explained that we had arrived first class from LHR. As it happened, we just used the business class lounge at KUL. On the return journey, we used the first class lounge. I can honestly say that I preferred the business class lounge (this was busy, but not to the point that you couldn't get a good seat with a table and the food and drink options were excellent). The first class lounge by comparison (looked to be about the size of a football pitch), had me and my Dad and about 3 other people in it. I somehow missed having other people about.
I've also been lucky enough to fly business with Singapore airlines (LHR-SIN-ADL and return) and found it more than adequate, to the point that I would book business class over first class any day, especially considering the saving.
 
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I’ve never been lucky enough to fly either first class or business class, the nearest I got was an upgrade to Premium Economy flying United Airlines to San Francisco but apart from extra legroom there was absolutely no difference. Two standout flights were AMS-EWR on Northwest and we got the back row to ourselves so we could recline our seats all the way feeling no guilt. The other was Thomas Cook BHX-KGS when the scheduled 757 went tech so an A330 was brought up from Gatwick and we were allocated the emergency exit rows and could stretch out the entire flight. We were offered a free alcoholic drink and they even turned on the IFE.
 
By coincidence we had the same experience on a flight from LHR to JFK with United on a 777 they offered a later flight with £200 compensation or upgrade to Premium Economy which we chose and as you say the only difference was the leg room.

Our nicest experience was with good old Monarch on a return flight from Gran Canaria. We had booked seats in row three and I had a young lad sat next to me who it quickly became apparent was mentally disabled. Immediately after take off a member of the cabin crew asked for a quiet word and explained they had been unable to seat him by his mother as he needed by the door and she was near the back of the aircraft she then asked that she new we had paid for the seats and were entitled to them but would we mind moving to an empty row of three seats elsewhere which we did.This turned out to the emergency exit row and shortly after moving we were offered a complimentary wine and later another two appeared much to my wife's delight as I cannot stand the stuff.

I do miss Monarch and so does my other half!

P.S. they were miniature bottles.
 
Probably my best flight was a Finnair MD11, Helsinki to Bangkok. I loved the MD11, huge windows for viewing out of, which I still enjoy. In-flight service was very good and after the meal, I decided to skip the entertainment, and as I was lucky enough to be in business, I fully reclined and awoke just before Bangkok refreshed.

Some other memories are a Sabena Beachcraft from Ostend to Heathrow
Brymon Twin Otter Gatwick to Exeter
HPH and a Viscount on different occasions Lydd to Ostend and Lydd to Beauvais, Janus Airways
TWA 747 Gatwick to St Louis, TWA Baltimore to Gatwick 767, Ambassador Class, upgrade
KLM 747 Amsterdam to Cape Town, business class upgrade
LAKER DC10 LGW - JFK....my first ' BIG PLANE ' , amazing
 
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I've not had the privilege of flying outside of Europe so my experiences have all been on short haul routes and not really with any flagship carriers. My best airline experiences have been with Air Malta and Monarch Airlines back in the 90's. No extra leg room or any specifics but I always remember the service being second to none where the crew couldn't help you enough. Those were as a passenger. Working at an airport I always thought Sebena World Airlines were superb and they used to always invite me on-board for a sandwich and a cup of coffee during their turnaround. Happy days.
 
I've not had the privilege of flying outside of Europe so my experiences have all been on short haul routes and not really with any flagship carriers. My best airline experiences have been with Air Malta and Monarch Airlines back in the 90's. No extra leg room or any specifics but I always remember the service being second to none where the crew couldn't help you enough. Those were as a passenger. Working at an airport I always thought Sebena World Airlines were superb and they used to always invite me on-board for a sandwich and a cup of coffee during their turnaround. Happy days.
Sabena had a large network in their day, operated DC10s and 747s. Sad they are no more.
 
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LAKER DC10 LGW - JFK....my first ' BIG PLANE ' , amazing
My first widebody flight was also a Laker DC-10 (G-AZZG), LGW - JFK. I was 10 years old and already 'plane mad'. There were 2 Laker aircraft boarding at the same time (the DC-10 and a B720), both via steps. It wasn't until we showed our boarding passes that we new which aircraft we were going on. The flight was excellent, as were the crew and I even got a flight deck visit.
 
I dont remember my.age.tbh, but probably similar. I know I was ao excited about the trip. A few years after that we.went.with Laker again from Gatwick to Miami DC10-30 this time.

I dont remember my.age.tbh, but probably similar. I know I was ao excited about the trip. A few years after that we.went.with Laker again from Gatwick to Miami DC10-30 this time.

I remember the flight home was a DC10-10 , I told my dad this aircraft didn't have the range to do MIA-LGW. We stopped off at Halifax Novascotia
 
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Our nicest experience was with good old Monarch on a return flight from Gran Canaria. We had booked seats in row three and I had a young lad sat next to me who it quickly became apparent was mentally disabled. Immediately after take off a member of the cabin crew asked for a quiet word and explained they had been unable to seat him by his mother as he needed by the door and she was near the back of the aircraft she then asked that she new we had paid for the seats and were entitled to them but would we mind moving to an empty row of three seats elsewhere which we did.This turned out to the emergency exit row and shortly after moving we were offered a complimentary wine and later another two appeared much to my wife's delight as I cannot stand the stuff.
That was very good of you to move, to allow the mother to sit with her disabled son. I saw a similar situation some years ago while flying on an Emirates B777. A few rows ahead, was a young man with a tiny baby. The mother was sat elsewhere on the aircraft. One of the flight crew asked the guy (in the aisle seat) sitting next to the man with the baby if he would move so that the mother could join her husband and baby. The guy flatly refused. This obviously irritated the man with the baby, so for the remainder of the 7 hour flight, the man with the baby would get up about every 30 mins (forcing the guy who had refused to move to get up to let him out) to walk up the aisle with his baby to see his wife, therefore denying the uncooperative man any chance to watch the inflight movies or get any sleep (I can't say I blame him). I'm not sure why the passenger sat next to the mother didn't swap places, as she was sat too far away to to see what happened.
 
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Strangely, as an aviation enthusiast, I get anxious about flying (but then I'm prone to anxiety anyway), but I'm fine once the aircraft gets moving.
Similarly I get somewhat anxious when I'm flying particularly during the initial stages. Getting on the aircraft to getting airborne is probably the worst point for me but once we've reached cruising altitude I settle down and feel fine. I always feel fine for landing too which is odd really as take off and landing are equally critical.
Similar to me, it's the getting onboard to getting airborne where I get most anxious. This is the reason I hate 'priority boarding' when I've flown Business or Premium Economy. Some years back, I was returning from San Diego, transiting at San Francisco to a Virgin B747, on which I'd paid to upgrade to Premium Economy.. There were still around 100 people to board, but they kept announcing my name calling for me to board. 'no thanks', I thought. I'll wait out here where I can still walk around, rather than being stuck in a seat waiting for everyone else. The aircraft still left on time.
Also, having watched numerous flight review videos on YouTube, it seems that a lot of airlines are removing the overhead vents. If I am feeling anxious, I find one of the most calming things is a cool flow of air onto my face.
 
One of my earliest experiences was a Cruzeiro do Sul flight on the 125 mile route from Maceio to Recife. A sign above the entrance door of the DC-3 said 'Misto' (mixed). Inside there were only 14 seats, in doubles down the starboard side. The port side consisted of a long bench covered in assorted freight packages and parcels. The outbound flight in an all- passenger DC-3 had been quite turbulent. This flight was fortunately calm as I could not see any netting over the freight to secure it. Coffee and alphabet biscuits were served by the steward on the short flight.
The main airlines operating in Brazil at the time were Cruzeiro do Sul, Loide Aereo, Panair do Brasil, Real-Aerovias, Varig and Vasp. All have since been replaced by new carriers.
Recife was at the time the gateway to Europe on the eastern South America route. European services were provided by Air France, BOAC, KLM, Panair do Brasil, SAS, Swissair and TAP. The route continued to Rio-de-Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Montevideo, Buenos Aires and Santiago de Chile.
 

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