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Topics: Space, London

Wednesday, 17 August 2005

image for British Airways pilot flippantly tells passengers they'll probably die
Bring your kids to work day goes horribly wrong

London. England. A BA pilot was at the centre of yet another scandal yesterday after his terrifying message to the passengers was recorded and leaked to the press. The scandal comes in the wake of two plane crashes in the space of three days - one in Greece and another in Venezuela. A transcript of the pilot's message is printed below:

"Good morning ladies and gentleman this is your Captain speaking. I'd like to welcome you all onboard this British Airways flight from London to Baghdad, in association with Axis of Evil Holidays. My name is Tony and flying the aircraft today will be our co-pilot, David Blunkett. The time here at Heathrow is currently half past some ungodly hour in the morning and the temperature, like any of you really care, is too bloody cold to mention. The temperature at our destination is 50 degrees so I hope you've all brought your sun block and sombreros. Well, we've just a few last minute checks to run through with our flight engineer, John Prescott, before taxiing for take-off in roughly, ahem, forty-five minutes time. We do apologise for the slight delay this morning - this was caused by an Air France jet blocking the runway but I can confirm that an American Airways flight has just managed to shunt it out the way so I'm sure we'll be off very soon! Your head flight attendant today is the lovely Peter Mandelson! He will shortly be making a few pointless safety announcements in an unemotional tone of voice whilst mincing up and down the aisles. Together with the cabin crew he'll be demonstrating how you put on a very old-looking life jacket for when we come down in the water. You can listen to this if you really want but, between you and me, your bodies are quite capable of floating without any sort of buoyancy aid. Our aloof flight attendants will then come round to check your woefully inadequate seatbelts and have a really good moan at you about your hand luggage. Again, this is more for your peace of mind than any actual practicality - I mean when did you ever read the headline ‘air crash passenger saved by seatbelt'? I tell you now that a small buckle and a strip of fabric are gonna do sod-all for you if we hit the ground at 600 miles per hour! But at least you lot are at the back where you can't see the full terrifying horror unfolding as we hurtle, uncontrollably towards the ground at breakneck speed. Oh and please don't be alarmed by the large amount of make-up worn by the flight attendants - if they didn't wear it they'd all fall over backwards. I'm sorry to inform parents that we no longer allow our younger passengers to visit the cockpit at any time during the flight. This has nothing to do with fears of hi-jacking - it's just that none of us up here can stand kids. Coming in here and asking me all sorts of complicated questions…'what does this button do' and ‘how does that work?' ‘Should that large mountain be there?' It's just not on! And before you ask - no we don't have any bloody model planes to give you! As we taxi to the runway we will be testing those flappy things out on the wings - you'd think we'd do this before we left but we quite enjoy frightening the crap out of those of you with a window seat. This will also be the time for the claustrophobics amongst you to really start panicking - it's quite literally the point of no return so have those prayers ready! I should also warn you nervous flyers that I will be taking a smug walk round the plane during the flight and flirting outrageously with the cabin crew. Whilst I do this a computer that none of us understands will by flying us through electrical storms and untold amounts of turbulence. If you need something to take your minds off things you can always sit back and enjoy one of our in-flight movies which today are: Alive, Die Hard 2, Con Air and Passenger 57. We'll be cruising at 40,000 feet today - for those of you are afraid of heights: this is really, really high - probably much higher than anywhere you've ever been before. Just a few other things for me to mention…there's been a lot of talk recently about deep vein thrombosis and quite rightly seeing as how deadly it is…err, passengers in first and club class don't need to listen to this bit…if you will insist on travelling economy you do run the very serious and likely risk of huge, dangerous blood clots in both your legs. To combat this you can wear a special pair of socks that the airport shops sell quite cheaply. So well done if you bought some! If, however, you were too busy buying booze we do have some onboard which our flight attendants will be happy to flog to you at a vastly inflated price. Terrorism. This, quite simply will not be tolerated anywhere on my plane. If you want to do that sort of thing please go elsewhere. America is always nice. Fat people. Please feel free to eat all the leftover meals that no one else wants but do try and keep to the middle of the plane if at all possible. I'd like to remind you all that this is a no-smoking aircraft - unless we crash. Birthdays. Happy Birthday Margaret Tucker who's 60 today, that's from your husband Jim who says he's sorry he couldn't come with you. Ah!!! And happy 35th birthday to Jeff Campbell, from all your mates in D Wing. I'd like to thank you for choosing to travel with us today so please sit back, relax and enjoy your flight. Right, David, are you ready? No not that button, that one there, and turn the intercom off will you?"

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