A story

There was initially a promise in this blog of some good stories. Here is one:

The US eastern seaboard was in the early eighties hit by sensationally bad winter weather. All three major airports in New York as well as airports in Washington, Philly and Boston were closed. All flights diverted. The herd of European westbound airliners were scattered all over northeast Canada, some to military airport. One unfortunate Scandinavian 747 ended up at a place where they didn’t even have a stair to unload passengers. Just as well since they didn’t have a terminal building either, just some small military installations. Then the waiting started.

There was absolutely no information to be had regarding expected time of delay. That was in turn the only information available to the passengers. To some that was just not good enough and irritation spread, despite the crews efforts to keep people reasonably happy. Then they ran out of things to keep people happy and no catering was available. After nine hours there was not a drop to drink and not a crumb to eat. Small children started crying and things were getting desperate. The only consolation was that there was fuel enough to keep the cabin warm and since there was nothing to eat or drink, the toilets could keep up with the demand.

The co-pilot was sitting in the cockpit hanging over his control wheel having a hard time finding something to be enthusiastic about. The cockpit was high enough for him to have a good view over the Canadian wilderness mainly consisting of pine trees. Then the clouds shifted and the sun did what it could. Something caught his eyes at the distant horizon, causing him to yell for his colleagues. ”Do you see it, can you see it? Over there in the distance. Can you see the little gleaming yellow M?”. The were looking at the Mac Donald sign in Goose Bay.

A fork lift brought the Captain and co-pilot down from the aircraft after a PA announcement WE WILL GET YOU FOOD. The second officer was left to tend the aircraft systems. After close to half an hours drive in a borrowed jeep they entered, stepped up to the counter where the Captain brought out his VISA card and uttered what was to become an airline classic; ”Good morning! Could I have 350 Big Macs, 350 big fries and 350 big cokes?” The response was inevitable; ”Are you mad?” Things were sorted out, the record frying started, and eventually the success was total. Arriving at the aircraft  distributing what was Mac Donalds most Happy Meal ever.

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