The Buzz: Direct flight from Austin to London could be just plane fun

By Dale Roe - American-Statesman Staff

Wheels up, old chum!

Beginning in March, travelers will be able to book direct flights on a 787 Dreamliner aircraft between Austin-Bergstrom International Airport and Heathrow in London, British Airways announced last week. Operations and facilities at ABIA will expand to accommodate the additional traffic. These additions will include added security, customs and baggage-handling capacity.

Some commenters on Austin American-Statesman reporter Helen Anders’ story about the new route last Tuesday were leery of the flight’s frequent $1,000-plus price tag, while others thought it would be worth it for a nonstop trip.

Whatever the fares convert to in pounds, it does on first glance seem to be a hefty price tag. But, perhaps skeptical readers haven’t considered the following hypothetical perks:

  • Extra ABIA security checkpoints will help capture Goldfinger, Oddjob and other James Bond villains
  • Passengers allowed to address the pilot and co-pilot as “Bangers & Mash”
  • Inflight entertainment consists of “Benny Hill” reruns
  • ABIA expansion includes magic brick wall passengers must run through to reach the flight’s special gate
  • Accompanying accommodations available at Fawlty Towers
  • Passengers are finally able to choose between Toad in the Hole, Black Pudding or Cheerios as their inflight meal
  • No football hooligans allowed in first class
  • Flight attendants provide instructions on proper use of flotation devices in case of water landing and umbrellas in case passengers have to bail while in the air
  • Beverage choices: Tea
  • Cabin periodically filled with fog to help passengers adapt to their destination’s atmosphere
  • Plenty of room in the overhead compartments for everyone’s bowler hats

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