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Today's Flight to Korea

Today's Flight to Korea

Who's First?

There's a lot of flying involved with this job and over the years, in the background, a devious game is being played. It takes place in departure lounges all over the world. The players involved can be seen positioning themselves for any advantage they can get. Its like watching a chess game.


The game: Who's first onto the plane.

The players: LSO Leader Carmine Lauri and LSO Fourth Horn Jonathan Lipton.

The Rules:  Anything goes. Limited only by ingenuity.

When did it begin? I wanted to interview them separately.

"Carmine, as a leader of the LSO, I notice that you're often last onto stage.  How does this feel being last given your passion to be first on to an aeroplane?"

Carmine. One move ahead today? 

Carmine. One move ahead today? 

Carmine.  "Strange, but at least on the platform I know that there's a seat reserved."

"How long has this been going on?"

"Maybe over 15 years."

It started with Warwick Hill and Mike Humphrey. They worked as a pair. Cunning.  One on each side of the shuttle bus so that one could be first up the steps onto the plane and save seats; usually by the emergency exit for the extra leg room.

The problem was with charter flights.  The free seating.  First come first served.

Jonathan. Today's winner?  

Jonathan. Today's winner?  

Our 10 hour flight today is from London Heathrow to Seoul in Korea. I'm talking with Carmine who sitting across the aisle in row 32. Nobody has seen Jonathan. Perhaps he's booked himself on another flight.

No he's been spotted up the front in seat 1D. Business class!

One nil to Jonathan?

Carmine "He's fritted away his airmiles!!"

Four more flights on this tour. Game on..  




Going to the Dark Side

Daylight but murky grey, acrid air.  You can taste it.  

On the way to a rehearsal..

But no this isn't China yet. This is London.  We're getting ready for the tour. 

Masks are being handed out. One time we were in China they'd moved 6 power stations out of the centre of Beijing to improve the air quality for the Olympics. But still the sun never managed to cut through the grey-yellow pollution.  

This morning the live feed for Air Quality in Beijing is almost off the scale.  Beijing Real-time Air Quality Index (AQI). 302 Hazardous Updated on Wed. 21:00 Temp.: 1°C.  So definitely pack some thermal underwear! 

But looking on the brighter side., the masks are the Aura 9332+ which we have a special little thing on the front to stop your face from overheating.  

Also there may be some marvellous photo opportunities.  LSO players doing Darth Vader impersonations.

I miss blue sky.  I miss clean air.  I miss peace and quiet.

Provence is looking good.

The garden in Provence   

The garden in Provence