[Dixielandjazz] Re:Terror in the Skies

Tom Wood zenith at ans.com.au
Sun Jul 25 00:33:15 PDT 2004

Dear David & DJMLers,

Although realising the seriousness of the predicament I am sorry but I had a
quiet snigger :) after reading the
Terror in the Skies article headed The Syrian Wayne Newton.  This in turn
caused me to extract an incident headed fancy flights (from the book I am
writing) which occured with our group one year.  Some may find musician
travel yarns boring, if so, please delete.


On the initial Sydney/Tokyo leg of the 'over the pole' trip to Europe, in
1995 the band got their flights upgraded to business class.  The stopover in
Japan was included in the air ticket and for this economy airfare most
travellers were usually accommodated in modern, efficient but somewhat
claustrophobic 'filing cabinet' type multi-storey beds at Narita airport.
Apparently when one climbed into the coffin type 'drawers' and pressed a
button to close them, a light could be switched on and off from the inside,
all highly technical stuff.  What about going to the toilet at night?

Some of the band was quite upset when told that we would be taking the TCAT
direct into a Tokyo city Hotel instead of being 'stored' in the huge filling
cabinet cubicles.  The band had arranged to play at the HUB Club that same
evening where the Dixie Jive jazz band was in residence covering the gig
with the audience till we arrived.  This was because they had been told that
the bus ride from Narita airport to Tokyo was about 4 hours.  Arrangements
had been made previously with the Zenith travel agent to advise ground staff
that the band had to be let off the plane first to catch the fast bus into
Tokyo.  Hence the upgrade to business class somewhat offset the
disappointment of missing out on the experience of those special "double
deck" drawer beds.

All this was arranged and finalised with ground staff before they got on the
plane.  Meanwhile John E. (Band leader) sat in isolation in a corner reading
the newspapers asking anyone who passed 'If flying is so safe, why do they
call the airport the terminal'.  He had complete faith in Tom as an
organiser extraordinaire.  Finally they all boarded and were ushered
upstairs in the 747 jumbo jet and given champagne.

John Edser set our minds at rest by showing us the entire article that he
had been engrossed in from that morning's newspaper.  It had the headline
Airlines told to reinforce 747's.  Basically it said that the US Transport
Ministry had ordered All Nippon Airways (ANA) to reinforce the connection
between the main wings and the engines on all of their Boeing 747 jetliners
because of three accidents involving jumbos shedding engines, ministry
sources said Wednesday.  That was today, by Christ (!) and we were on an ANA
Boeing 747 flight for Gods Sake!! The article was immediately passed round
the plane which also urged the carrier to complete reinforcing conventional
jumbo jets with calls for structural reinforcement of the part linking the
main wing and the pylon that holds the engines beneath the wing, they said.
So the band were in panic mode, off to a good start for the 1995 tour with
thoughts of a major disaster triggered off by John's well-timed piece of
technical news.  As the 747 taxied for take off, they went through the
in-flight 'safety lecture' announcement which went like this.  "To operate
your seat belt, insert the metal tab into the buckle, and pull tight.  It
works just like every other seat belt; and, if you don't know how to operate
one, you probably shouldn't be out in public unsupervised."  This was
followed very quickly by "Should the cabin lose pressure, oxygen masks will
drop from the overhead area.  Please place the bag over your own mouth and
nose before assisting children ..... or other adults acting like children."
A nice touch, which immediately relaxed everyone including the band, panic
mode now over, with smiles all round.  Armed with champagne, this
immediately set the tone for the trip.  Everyone tried to out do everyone
else with his or her reported flight announcement stories.  A few take-off
welcome and landing arrival messages have been listed and selected as
suitable real intercom announcement examples for readers.


(1) On a flight with very 'senior' flight attendant crew, the pilot said,
"Ladies and gentlemen, we've reached cruising altitude and will be turning
down the cabin lights.  This is for your comfort and to enhance the
appearance of your flight attendants."

(2) In the event of a sudden loss of cabin pressure, masks will descend from
the ceiling.  Stop screaming, grab the mask, and pull it over your face.  If
you have a small child travelling with you, secure your mask before
assisting with theirs.  If you are travelling with more than one small child
just pick your favourite.

(3) "Zenith airlines is pleased to have some of the best flight attendants
in the industry.  Unfortunately, none of them are on this flight!"

(4) During a take-off announcement a pilot suddenly interposed " OH, MY
 GOD!"  Silence followed and after a few moments the pilot came back on the
intercom apologising if he had scared anyone but had just had some hot
coffee spilled on his lap.  "you should see the front of my pants".  A
passenger retorted, "that's nothing, you should see the back of mine."


(1) On landing the stewardess said, "Please be sure to take all your
belongings.  If you're going to leave anything, please make sure it's
something we'd like to have."

(2) "Thank you for flying "Zenith" business express.  We hope you enjoyed
giving us the business as much as we enjoyed taking you for a ride."

(3) "Weather at our destination is 50 degrees with some broken clouds, but
we'll try to have them fixed before we arrive.  Thank you, and remember,
nobody loves you, or your money, more than Zenith Airlines".

(4) "As you exit the plane, make sure to gather all your belongings.
Anything left behind will be distributed evenly among the flight attendants.
Please do not leave children or spouses.

(5) "Last one off the plane must clean it."

(6) "We'd like to thank you folks for flying with us today.  And, the next
time you get the insane urge to go blasting through the skies in a
pressurized metal tube, we hope you'll think of Zenith Airways."

Tom (touring musician born 9/11) Wood

----- Original Message -----
From: "David Richoux" <tubaman at batnet.com>
To: "dixie" <dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com>
Sent: Sunday, July 25, 2004 12:17 PM
Subject: [Dixielandjazz] Kinda OT,but interesting story about a group of
travelingmusicians causing (or not causing) a Homeland Security "flap"

> Hi all,
> having been on many international airplane trips with large groups of
> musicians, I found this article (actually a follow-up to a previously
> published story) to be very interesting...
> while it does not specifically relate to OKOM bands I thought you might
> be amused or confused by it!
> http://www.nationalreview.com/comment/taylor200407211921.asp
> Dave Richoux
> Dixielandjazz mailing list
> Dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com
> http://ml.islandnet.com/mailman/listinfo/dixielandjazz

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