In the days when you could still fly, I had to travel from Heathrow to Luxembourg City. I was cutting it fine with my time, so I rushed to the check-in desk and put in my bag. I proceeded towards security when I suddenly realised, I had left my passport in the bag – which was even now travelling around the airport. At this point my journey started to become a bit surreal. The people at passport control said, “Are you sure the passport is in your bag because we can let you out of the country but you’d need it at the other end?” I assured them it was there, so they told to make a dash for the plane as it was in final call and they were waiting for me.
I boarded the plane and my seat was between two ladies. Shortly after sitting down the stewardess came up to see me and said, “The pilot would like to see you as soon as we are airborne.” I felt the two ladies’ eyes on me and my mind allowed me to believe I was a kind of 007 character but I acted coolly as if this sort of thing happened to me all the time.
The plane took off and sure enough the stewardess returned and asked me to go with her. Off we went to the cockpit – it wouldn’t happen today. “Well,” he said, “You’re in a bit of a scrape, aren’t you? I tell you what, it’s quite a small airport. When you get off, I’ll see to it that you can watch the bags as they come off and you can look out for yours and retrieve the old passport. How’s that?”
“Thank you, “I said, “That’s really helpful.”
I went back to my seat and the two ladies looked me again. Shortly afterwards the stewardess returned and said,” I’m sorry to trouble you but the captain has decided that he would like you at front of the plane. Would you mind flying club class today?”
Would I mind? The ladies’ eyes were now practically out of their sockets. As far as I was concerned it couldn’t have gone better for me. Off I went to enjoy a different level of service.
Inevitably there was a downside. Luxembourg has a very long runway and as we landed there suddenly appeared a huge snowstorm. I stepped off the plane first but I was hit by the nightlights and the cold; it looked like Siberia.
Sadly, the two ladies later saw me covered in snow saying, “No not that one, that one there.”
My 007 world was short-lived, but it did wonders for my creative thinking!
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