The best airplane meal I’ve ever
had was, conversely, on the ground in a place called Rocky’s, located
downstairs in the Marine Air Terminal at LaGuardia Airport New York, the
place Air Cargo News FlyingTypers saved in 1980, and maintained an office
for 30 years, turning the historic airline passenger facility into a landmark
for all time.
The food that day at Rocky’s was a
reproduction of what people were served aboard the 100-ton Boeing B314
flying boats that once operated from the MAT after taking off from the
waters behind the building in 1940, when service was opened between New
York City and Europe.
We had consommé soup with tiny pasta
balls and cold cucumber and butter sandwiches, sans the crust.
Thor Johnson, who ran Pan Am Clipper Cargo
at the time, put up the lunch.
I remember that Thor also gave everybody
commemorative, first day 50th anniversary air mail covers and a reproduction
of the event menu to take home.
I’ll never forget that lunch.
I still think of that simple soup with its
tiny pasta balls to this day.
Or should I say until the time we flew First
Class aboard an A380-800 from Dubai all the way to New York City non-stop.
A380 Style of Travel
They say, looking back at your memories
is like looking at life through the bottom of a shot glass, and I can
understand what they mean from being on that luxurious flight.
The era of the legendary and romantic Clipper
Flying Boats, when people got as dolled up to fly as they used to when
going to the theater, is comparable to the experience offered today aboard
any A380 first class cabin.
A380 Lifted The Bar
To my mind, in addition to being a true
masterpiece of an airplane, A380 changed the style and quality of modern
The A380, with its over the top onboard
showers and private suites and even lounges and service bars with banquettes
and other services, set a new bar for a style of flying, thought long
Today, most all-commercial aircraft feature
enhanced cabins, comfort plus economy, better seats and more services.
The question of whether A380 was too late
to the skies or even too early (better, more efficient engines or should
have had an all-cargo variant?) will be debated.
One simple fact is that A380 continues to
deliver a better passenger flight experience, that will endure up and
down the line worldwide.
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