Top Ten Things Not to Do on The First International Airline Service in 1919

Ten things not to do

 

This week marks the occasion of the first international airline service inaugurated on a weekly schedule between Paris and Brussels. The service was established by Lignes Farman. If you want to be part of this historic occasion, don’t forget to take your list so you can avoid some of the pitfalls of time travel.

10 If you take a flight, do not think you can get first-class treatment. If you do, at best you’ll be lucky to get a seat. At worse, you’ll be freezing and caught in many cross drafts. (You see, Knox the first plane used was a Farman F60 Goliath which was built as a bomber. Your seat is wicker and, you should have read the instructions about dressing warmly. Yeah, that’s your breath you see in the unheated cabin.)

9 If you take a flight, do not ask Tiny the WWF champ and your steward today for anything. If you do, at best, he will tell you to sit down and buckle your belt. At worst, he just found out he is being replaced by a female. (It looks like Tiny is going to show you how it feels to skydive, Kade. Don’t forget to ask to borrow Tiny’s parachute. It’s worth a try.)

8 If you take a flight, do not ask “are we there yet.” if you do, at best, no one will answer you. At worst, the pilot will walk back and explain the realities of air travel in 1919. (The next question is “Who is flying this thing,” Kenan. With the pilot standing there giving you arrival information, you may wonder. Breathe easy buckaroo the first autopilot was invented in 1914 by the Sperry Corporation. Of course, we don’t know if this plane has one.)

7 If you take the flight, do not forget to exchange your money for the fare of 365 francs. If you do, at best you won’t get on the plane. At worst, since this amount is about $50 dollars in 1919, you may get charged 365 dollars instead. (You should have known there wouldn’t be a money exchange at a 1919 airport, Kaapo. All they want is 365 of anything. The fact that the $50.00 value in 1919 is $679 today should give you an incentive to exchange to francs.)

6 If you take the flight, don’t ask about the customs declaration process. If you do, at best you’ll get a funny look. At worst, someone will think you are a member of the treasury department. (Since customs for international flights were not established for the first two flights, Kadar, whoever you asked, is now opening the cabin door. I think I would worry since the plane hasn’t landed yet.)

5 If you take the flight, do not expect meal service. If you do at best you’ll be hungry when you land. At worst, since the plane has lightly structured wings, it is susceptible to turbulence. (Can you just see it, Kaelan, you’ve just wolfed down a baguet with Fois Gras, and you hit an air pocket.? You and your Fois Gras will be reunited after a 500 foot fall. Hot meals were started in 1936 and sandwiches in October of 1919.)

4 If you take the flight, do not let the crew talk you into a high altitude record. If you do at best, you may get to 20,000 feet which was done in a Farman F60 later in the year. At worst, no one understood that the oxygen starts to thin at 10,000 feet. (So here you are, Kaemon, having all kinds of fun setting a record and meanwhile, your pilot passes out from the lack of oxygen. Yes that screaming you hear is you.)

3 If you take the flight and are a white knuckle flyer, do not grab the back of the seat in front of you. If you do, at best it is well bolted to the floor. At worst, the seat comes loose and you now have the passenger in front of you in your lap. (Don’t worry Kaga. The flight is two hours and fifty-five minutes. Plenty of time to make friends.)

2 If you take the flight, do not grab any of the control wires running through the cabin. If you do at best it is not important. At worst, you’ll grab the main control cable just as the pilot needs it. (Now the left full rudder has bee stopped, Kai. Y’all are headed for a very big mountain. I would suggest letting go of that cable very slowly so the pilot can maintain control.)

1 If you take the flight, do not say anything derogatory about the airplane. If you do, at best no one will hear you. At worst, you’ll be sitting next to Lignes Farman the builder. (You are now invited to go outside and settle the matter like gentlemen, Kaila. Too bad you are still 6000 feet in the air.)

87 comments

  1. Number three cracked me up, John! LOL! Happy Monday!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Jill. Hoe you have a super day. (or at least try) Are you working from home?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, thankfully I am working from home.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Excellent. How about Derrick?

        Like

      3. Yep…we are both at home!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I’d probably have to take a Valium to get through that. Especially since you can see and touch the wires.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’d need something stronger than Valium to get in that thing!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hahahah. Thanks. Liz.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Not to mention the holes and wind whipping through the cabin. The plane itself was very safe. Thanks, Charles.

      Like

  3. 0. If you take the flight with a friend of the opposite persuasion, do not try to establish the ‘mile-high club’ when the plane gets above 5,280 feet. No, seriously. Don’t. It won’t go well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So cold. Did you know the guy that invented the autopilot also came up with the mile high club? I guess he had to prove the autopilot was a useful tool. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. He must have had a lot of faith in his invention!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Nice test though.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. These are great, John. But where will I find francs these days? The French only use euros as do most European countries. Will my euros work, I wonder. I better through on a big sweater as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No Euros either. You need to visit the currency exchange in 1919. A big sweater and warm boots are a must. Thanks, Darlene

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Hey, Tiny, my hot towel is frozen” . . . β€œStop hitting me with the frozen towel!” I hope my luggage arrives, John. That’s where my first aid kit is.

    Good job! You captured what must be the seed-thoughts of modern air travel.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahahaha. Thank you, Dan. πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  6. WHAT? NO warm peanuts, cookies or champagne?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nope. We don’t want to see warm peanuts, cookies and champagne on the bulkhead. Thanks, GP. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Jeez – spoilsport!

        Like

  7. Hubby would have issues with #3. Even though he flies a lot for work, he’s still one of the white knuckle people, lol.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That flying feaver is the worst. When I first started travelling for work I had the same feelings. I finally got into a WTF space and went on for another 35 years with no problem.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. “why jump out of a perfectly good airplane” is the second question.

    “why fly into the air off a perfectly good planet” is the first question.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. All good questions, John. Why indeed?

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Thanks, Pal. Once again you’ve sent me to the internet to look up stuff I didn’t even know existed a few moments ago. By the way, that was some airplane.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was. Very safe though.

      Like

  10. Can’t I just transfer some BitCoin? They must have a PC around here somewhere.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sure. There is one over there by the windmill. (I think)

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Gwen M. Plano · · Reply

    #3 had me in stitches. Good job, John. πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Gwen. I’m glad you liked it.

      Like

  12. Don’t think I’ll be flying for a while, John … either via time travel or today’s planes. Best to stay hunkered down and let this virus pass.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m not going to get on one of those petri dishes in the air. no way.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. “Petri dishes” — great terminology!

        Liked by 1 person

  13. What a monumental day! I can’t imagine wicker chairs on an airplane. It’s amazing how far we’ve come. Thanks for sharing, John!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is amazing. Thanks Jan

      Like

  14. These are hilarious! Thanks for the laugh! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Rachel

      Liked by 1 person

  15. I can’t get past the wicker seat. No food service I can deal with, but wicker seats? No.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha. Can you imagine?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No, I cannot

        Liked by 1 person

  16. I can see myself asking who is flying this thing.
    Good one John. LOL

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I was rather taken with the wicker seats, myself. If nothing else, you could put a couple together and make a picnic basket for your in-flight meal!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. D.L. Finn, Author · · Reply

    Fun! That is a flight I would have passed on:)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahahahaha. I can see that.

      Like

  19. Let us just say I shall not be time travelling so that I can ride in a wicker-seated, cables showing, aircraft with no food service… Not on purpose anyway… what were the coordinates already? πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lat 48Β° 51′ 52.9776” N Long 2Β° 20′ 56.4504” E

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Love it. Now tell me… If I were to look this up, where would I end up?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Paris, France with a glass of champaign and mouth full of fois gras.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Oooohhh… Paris! Champagne, I’ll skip the foie gras as it does not love me and gives me heartburn. OK if I go for baguette and brie?

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Baguette and brie is fine.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Excellent. I’ll share…

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Thank you. I will have some Pate though.

        Liked by 1 person

      7. PatΓ© is always a plus.

        Liked by 1 person

      8. It is a big plus.

        Liked by 1 person

      9. Mmmm. Now I’m hungry. I best get off my duff and make something.

        Liked by 1 person

      10. Liverwurst sandwich with mayo and onion.

        Liked by 1 person

      11. You think Imma make a face at that? No siree… I would like my onions caramelized, with that…

        Liked by 1 person

      12. No. I thought you would like it. Closest I could come to pate at this late hour.

        Liked by 1 person

      13. Smart one, you! And it’s delicious, I do admit.

        Liked by 1 person

  20. Reblogged this on Author Don Massenzio and commented:
    Check out another historical and hysterical post from John Howell titled TOP TEN THINGS NOT TO DO ON THE FIRST INTERNATIONAL AIRLINE SERVICE IN 1919

    Like

    1. Thank you, Don.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome

        Liked by 1 person

  21. I hadn’t been on a plane in over 20 years before a few years ago, then I took a bunch. Thanks for the history lesson, John!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are welcome, Barbara.

      Liked by 1 person

  22. I do love history. Just finished a short essay David McCullogh penned on Lindbergh, s your plane is timely.

    I’ve always been nervous flying. I can’t imagine how I would have been back then. I always feel, if God wanted us to fly, we’d have wings of our own.

    I wouldn’t have asked anything since, I’d be out cold from whatever alcohol I could have gotten my hands on. enjoyed this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. LOL. I think this airplane would have given anyone a fear of flying. Wind whipping through the cabin, wicker chairs, cables moving back and forth, and holes everywhere. Thanks for reading and the nice comment.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Lindbergh said, it was a shame aviation got so sophisticated since, we’d miss all wind whipping and cable moving, to blend Lindy with you. BTW..have you ever read Brave Companions by David McCullough? You’d love them, all historical essays he’s written for various publications and it’s got my favorite of his in the collection…Simon Willard’s Clock, about the clock at the U.S. Capitol that still, all these years later, ticks with a John Quincy Adams chaser. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I have not read Brave Companions. I will take your recommendation since it has been too long since I have read something for me. I love historical essays and I think I’ll get back to them with this one. David McCullough is a terrific writer. My latest book which is still at the editor has the two characters visiting several time zones and historical events in search of an eternal home. I so enjoyed researching and writing about these events. I bought Brave Companions just now. The opening grabbed me immediately. Thank you, Susannah. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Great. Hope you enjoy them.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Can’t miss. 😁

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Yeah, he’s pretty great. Rereading them after a long time made them fresh all over again. Love the 2 about the Brooklyn Bridge and when he talks about Washington. Also, the one about Teddy in the Badlands.

        Like

  23. Thankfully, no work from home in 1919. If you ask for the pilot, you will probably find him there.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There is a meme going around about the pilot coming on the PA during a flight and saying, “This is your pilot and today I’m working from home.” 😁

      Like

      1. Yes. That is the one I had in mind while commenting. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  24. I doubt they had those little white bags handy. Thanks, John!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nope. Had to bring your own pillow case.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hahaha! πŸ˜‚

        Liked by 1 person

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