Welcome friends, my name is John Reitmeier and I've been so fortunate to have experienced a lot of travel starting back in 1972. It's time to put the memories in some sort of order, and to add text and pictures to share with our friends and the many listeners to our radio programs. Thanks for coming along on this ride!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

2B or not 2B

I guess you finally accept the fact that you're getting older when you realize that things you miss weren't from last year, or a few years ago, not even in this century...and something I miss the most is the 747's that North West Airlines used to fly from Minneapolis to Amsterdam (and also to the Orient) were the greatest planes flying, then and now!  I've been on all the newer planes, but there's something about the 747, of which I liked the model 200 the best, that just is missing on any of the big Air Bus (380 exempted...haven't been on that one yet) jets and other Boeing such as the 777.  Very nice, but you know you're not on a 747!

Over the years I now have accumulated over 1,500,000 air miles on NWA and continuing on Delta.  I have spent 1,200,00 of them by the way.  Most of the spending has been in 100,000 or so, mile units to book a first class (OK business class, or world class or whatever you want to call it...to me if I'm not in the narrow no recline cattle car section, it's FIRST CLASS!)  Mix those flights with a few freebies, some buddy passes from a NWA pilot and several from a United Pilot and you can see that I've been back and forth across the pond more than every few years.   I remember one year I managed to get to Europe 4 times in 8 months.  AHHH the good old days!

Of course time and marketing strategy have marched on and first NWA stopped flying 747's to Europe in the winter, substituting various DC-10 type models, and finally only DC-10's and now mostly Boeing 777's.   All fine planes, but not the 747.  Early on I ended up sitting in Row 2 Seat B.  It is in the nose of the plane just one row back from the very front.  If you remember that's the lower level as the pilots and a few passengers are above us.  And then Seat B which is an aisle, with a HUGE GAP till the other 2 seats on the other side of the plane.  Because of the nose coming to a point, you can actually look over the shoulder of the person in 1A and look down the runway.  It's the most awesome seat on the plane in my opinion.   And then the top off to the seat is that it's 2 B.   As in Shakespeare's famous soliloquy that begins, "To be or not to be, that is the question..."  I guess no one else had figured that out over the years.  As I'd get on the plan and take a left at the entry door I was always met by the purser (the person in charge of the passenger portion of the flight) who always did the meet and greet with front cabin fliers.  I would always say, "I'm in the Shakespeare Seat, and would get 1 of 3 responses.  Some got it right away and just beamed and you could tell they had never figured that before, others took a while but when you did the famous line for them would give some response of happiness, and then there were some who didn't get it...and sometimes another flight attendant would lean over and explain it to them.

I wish I could have bought one of those seats!  What great memories, I even would change flying dates to get to sit in that seat.  NWA had about 8 of those planes at the time, I wonder if I ever sat in the same seat more than one time.

One purser came by my seat one day and said he had thought about it and decided that every seat on the plane was a Shakespeare Seat...."To be or NOT to be." (2B or NOT 2B) covered every seat in the plane.  We had a good laugh about that one.  I understand Delta now flies 747 400's only from Atlanta to the Orient.  Just one more time I'd like to book 2B and feel the power behind those 4 thunder jets and we lift off, knowing it will be almost 10,000 miles of distance and perhaps 40,000 feet in the air before we touch down.  747-200's are mostly in the bone yards now, or flying freight from some second rate carrier in a far off micro country.  But they'll always be new and red and shiny in my mind and I know that somewhere, some day there's a seat named 2B waiting to carry me to a distant land.  Goodbye old friends, thanks for your support over the years...and good years they were!

No comments: