Saturday, 3 October 2009

The Prologue

In a surprisingly well-trafficked side road of the World Wide Web can be found an unusually-specific, yet remarkably informative website, called FlyerTalk (FT).

Wander around its concourses of soaring airlines; its parks, beaches and boulevards of 5-star resorts; its forecourts of gleaming rental cars, and you'll find a country aerodrome, staffed and visited by brave, stiff upper-lipped souls, models of tradition and natty style who, underneath their cravates and epaulettes, are battle-scarred, authority-challenging and not a little mad.

They drink hard (mostly vintage champagne), queue with single-minded enthusiasm, complain yet more focussed vigour, and generally regard the sight of a particular fluttering flag above a foreign field to be the most heart-lifting sight imaginable. As long as it's attached to a vertical stabiliser, of course.

And when those flags are linearly abundant, as they are in a copiously-concreted corner of Hounslow, their stiff lips tremble with loyalty and love.

For they are the good folk of the British Airways Executive Club Board, and it was to them that the following was reported, mostly live, over recent days as their lately earthbound talisman's title, their mascot's moniker, their icon's identifier - has taken to the skies again.

Yes, the most toe-tinglingly tantalising flight number ever to have illuminated an airport departure board, anywhere in the World, is once again gracing a select few boarding cards each day.

So, ladies & gentlemen, please ensure that you seat backs and tray tables are upright, your personal items are stowed and that your seatbelts are securely fastened, as British Airways flight number BA001 bound for New York Kennedy Airport is now ready, once again, for departure.

Just in a slightly more leisurely fashion than it used to be....

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