Chapter 14

About this time, I had gotten heavily involved in the Corporate market and needed to visit the New York area to visit the many Corporate operators at the Westchester Airport near White Plains, New York.

Barbara accompanied me on this trip. The 747's were now being operated by the carriers, and I asked Barbara if she wanted to go back to New York on the 747, with its related problems, or on the reliable stretched DC-8. She opted for the 747!

We were to fly to New York on American Airlines. We arrived at the airport with sufficient time to catch our flight and arrived at the gate to find that the airplane was not there and would be delayed one hour. Number one prediction completed. Upon departure, we relaxed in an over loaded 747 with anticipation that we would be 1.5 hours late, but we would arrive - wrong! Over Denver, the captain informed us that he had to shut down number one engine due to low oil pressure and we were returning to Los Angeles. Prediction number two was complete.

I was beginning to feel like a prophet. After two hours of mass confusion and anticipating cancelling todays attempt to get to New York, we were given the last two seats on the one o'clock 747 to New York. At this point, we were exhausted and glad to get seats anywhere.

Soon after reaching cruise altitude, drinks were served and the movie presented a Walt Disney flick, title un-remembered, when the multiplex system began to cause problems. This was another problem well known for the early 747s. What happens is that the lights in the overhead randomly begin to flash, causing a Pavlavian effect; in other words, it drives you crazy with a constant blinking of the light. I had one directly over my head causing great discomfort when, to add to the experience, the passenger in front of me moved his seat forward causing the tray to jerk upward flipping my drink directly onto my lap. Upon asking for assistance from the stewardess and sponging myself off, I settled into a position of discomfort for the remainder of the trip in the realization that I had predicted all that was happening and the future did not look bright.

We arrived in the Big Apple airport at 9:30 p.m. only to get our luggage at 11:30 p.m., another prediction. We sped into the city utilizing one of the taxi cabs so well known throughout the world. However, this was a pleasant ride compared to what we had been through on the aircraft.

The room at the Summit Hotel, where we arrived at 12:30 p.m., was the size of our closet at home, and I am not bragging about our closet. To add to our discomfort, it was the smoggiest week ever recorded in New York.

Alot of people enjoyed the movie, "The Out-of- Towners", with Jack Lemon. I did not; it was too similar to our experience and only opened up a sore subject, but I do laugh at it today because it was predicted.

Barbara and I flew home on the reliable stretched DC-8 and enjoyed the flight all the way home.