Famous Fellow Passengers

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  • MarcusGB

    I was sat Next to Germaine Greer on a Singapore Airlines flight Ex LHR, as we were both travelling towards Australia in Business.
    She started off conversations, and we had a simply great fun time. She was relaxed and also greatly analytical, and full of common sense.
    We both parted thanking each other for a great pleasure to have met.

    Queen Mother of Tonga, about 15 years ago, who was in The Air New Zealand Lounge in Sydney (SYD-AKL), sat just in front of me in a private section, with several accompanying Military officers. She as i was able to hear and see, polite, friendly, yet knew her position, elegant and warm in her manner. As she left the lounge first she smiled towards me, and wished us both a “Hopefully good flight”

    Pieter Elbers, CEO of KLM, drew up in a chauffeured Mercedes to a modest KLM Embraer CityHopper aircraft, to sit alone in the Business section AMS-LCY about 6 years ago, just a couple of rows ahead and opposite.

    Caroline Aherne, as an established friend, we took several flights together on holiday, was and will remain a Joyous fun Spirit, full of fun, kindness, and talent, and a strong faith. She brought, and continues to bring Joy to Many, even though her passing was a great loss to Many. Her Comedy lives on…

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    I was flying Virgin’s Upper Class when the seats were in pairs. Sitting in the front row of the nose I started chatting with the chap sitting next to me .. very friendly. I was completely unaware who it was, which is why I think the conversation continued. When I was near the galley, a crew member expressed their surprise that the chap I was next to was so chatty. It turned out to be David Jason who the crew member said would usually be less then communicative.

    On a flight from London City to Bergerac, I was sat next to someone who I realised was well known. As I am usually unaware of famous faces, I had to admit to him that I couldn’t place him, but should have recognised him. He was absolutely charming, asked me a lot about my life, and as we disembarked, he asked my name, which I thought was very personable. He was Benedict Cumberbatch .. a true gent.

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    Flew from Singapore to London on BA 747 upper deck in Club.
    Seats were the facing ones.
    I thought my fellow passenger looked familiar.
    When the stewardess came to take the dinner order and asked “what would you like to order Mr. Lara the penny dropped.
    Brian Lara famous West Indian cricketer.

    I also once gave up my seat in First to Sting so he could sit with his wife.
    He personally thanked me.

    Also flew on VS with Deborah Meaden and on another flight Jerry Springer.

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    I forgot, I also bumped into the star Chris Farley of (SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE and BEVERLY HILLS NINJA fame) in the 1980s in the middle of a large empty area of grass in Central Park in New York. My daughter and I were walking across and bumped right into him and a friend, they were completely alone. We all stopped. I am a big fan of his and of course knew who he was. I said “Hi!” and smiled. He could see that I knew who he was. Chris looked very, very uncomfortable and a bit wary and barely mumbled “Hi” back to me. My daughter and I walked on and away straight away because I could see he really didn’t want to reply to me at all.

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    I generally wouldn’t recognise a celeb if they sat on my lap. Four exceptions-
    Ally McCoist next to me on a flight to Glasgow when he was Assistant Scotland Manager to whom everyone wanted to say hello. He was charming.
    Germaine Greer in the seat in front of me on a flight from Luton to Glasgow. I overheard her conversation and she was both charming and witty.
    Walter Smith was sitting next to me when he was manager at Everton. His coat there was on a shaky nail and he looked quite grim so I said nothing. As it happens I have the highest regard for him as a football manager.
    Finally, James Blunt sat next to me on a flight to Glasgow. He was inundated with requests for autographs and the cabin crew had great difficulty carrying out the service. I left him in peace until we landed and then asked him if he got fed up being pestered and his reply was that these people were his customers who kept him in a job and so he was pleased to be able to have direct contact with them.

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    In the late 80’s, I was on a flight Geneva to Nice, trying to work out why so many people were asking my neighbour for his autograph. When I realised who it was I became extremely keen to engage in conversation. At the time, he had just released “Arthur” a film which I had seen many time and I spent the short flight trying to persuade Dudley to make a sequel (the sequel flopped sadly). He signed a picture of himself with one of of my favourite lines from the film, which still sits proudly on my desk in my office.

    I also sat next to Benedict Cumberbatch on a flight from Doha a year ago. Only recognized him when the cabin crew addressed him by name. As Bullfrog said, an absolute gentleman, especially with the cabin crew.

    I went to a small boarding school in Wallingford, Oxon (which has now closed). It amazes me how frequently I have sat next to passengers from my now defunct school, whilst we never recognized each other, there is a habit of whistling the tune of the old school song amongst the old boys and girls, the shock when someone continues it in the next seat/row… it has happened 4 or 5 over the years, the last time 4 months ago from Malta.

    More latterly, I’am involved with flying the dogs of the rich and famous in PJ’s (probably the most bizarre work I have ever had). So I can add Scarface, Snowy, Whitey and many other 4 legged friends who have walked the red carpet and up the stairs into a PJ.

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    • Princess Anne on a flight to HKG. She was in 5A, I was 1A
    • Lord & Lady Howe were in First on the flight from HKG just after handover, Mrs FF and I were in the row behind them.
    • John Sessions from LAX. He was in 1A I was in 1K. He asked what I did, and I told him and, as I had no idea who he was I asked him. I am an actor he replied. Oh, in any films I would know? I asked. He picked up the in flight movie guide (remember them?) and turning the pages said This one, and this one, and this one.. Oh!
    • Dolly Parton was in F and peeping at us in Club. She smiled at me and I assumed that I must have met her at the trade show I had been to. At LHR I followed her up the gangway and noticed what incredibly slim ankles she had
    • Dustin Hoffman on AA from LAX. He was in F and I was front row business and chuckled to myself as he was unable to reach the overhead bin to stow his carry on.
    • Jacky Chan on CX business to HKG in the old 2 & 2 seat configuration. I had the aisle seat back row and he was window. The stewardesses kept trying to attract his attention. One did when she stood on my Sunday Times, on the floor while I had dinner, and she slipped and threw his tray onto his table. That attracted his attention!
    • Alan Davies sat next to me in Clube from SIN. Again I had no idea who he was until next night when, sitting with the kids, saw him on TV and said that I sat next to him last night. Didn’t know who he was.
    • Cliff Richard was front row economy to FAO and I was across and in back row of Club
    • King Abdullah II of Jordan on a flight on RJ from SIN to AMM in Biz, there was no First. I was front row, 1A, and I noticed a small group of ladies were escorted to their seats on the opposite side. They were escorted by men with bulges in their jackets then a guy came on and was kissed by the captain who had come out to greet him. I thought it was a little strange but took no notice. Some time before landing I notice the crew frantically cleaning to WC and then this guy went in. I went in immediately after. After landing he was escorted off via a special door and I went up to the lounge to wait for my connecting flight back to Europe. On entering the lounge I noticed a big portrait of the mystery guy who had been on the plane. I said: He was on my flight. We know came the answer, He is our King. I realised then that, an hour earlier, I had been first in line for the throne

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    Bette Miller Concorde room with her husband and daughter.
    MAJOR hollywood attitude toward staff.

    Sting. Concorde room on the 1st Concorde flight back to NYC
    Really nice and friendly. Signed a Concorde brochure for me.

    Sat in cockpit 747 for landing with Sir Richard Branson into
    He arranged a hangar visit so I could photograph a A340. Boeing 747 was not available

    Morgan Freeman sat next to me at the computer desks at Virgin club house JFK.
    Politely declined “I don’t sign autographs” ok.

    Macaulay calkin (home alone)
    Sat opposite me LHR-JFK Upper deck on Virgin.

    Signed a Upper class menu for me.

    Robbie Williams LHR clubhouse.
    Very friendly and shook my hand.

    Tony Benn Concorde room LHR.
    Very nice and chatty, signed a brochure.

    Sir Colin Marshall
    Very kindly sent me a signed Concorde brochure and thanked me for flying Concorde.

    Really approachable and chatty.

    Michael Douglas JFK clubhouse
    Very much Hollywood “royalty” attitude.

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    Mark wrote: “Bette Miller Concorde room with her husband and daughter. MAJOR hollywood attitude toward staff.

    Maybe it was because they also addressed her as “Miller”, rather her real name of “Midler” 😁

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    She was just being a DIVA

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    Sat next to Joanna Lumley in Club Europe to Milan (of course)

    Naomi Campbell First from LAX/LHR. I thought she’d been banned from BA for abusing a flight attendant but her leg was in a cast so maybe they thought she’d be less ‘challenging’ 🤷🏻‍♂️

    All of the Arsenal first squad from FRA/LHR in late 90s. A close colleague and lifelong Arsenal fan changed his flight at the last minute and missed them 🤦‍♂️

    The A-list cast of Cats (minus Dame Judy) in the JFK Concorde Room the day after the New York Premiere. They were all in good spirits …… clearly hadn’t read the reviews 🤣😂🤣😂

    Also one heart stopping moment. In old BA T4 Concorde lounge, Muhammad Ali came in. Must have been around 2000, in fact I think he was in London for BBC Sports Personality of the Millennium.

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    Mark Caswell

    Drum roll please…

    I once sat in first class across the aisle from Charlie Watts, on a flight back from Muscat to London.

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    This list gets better and better !


    Others to add to the list;

    Bryan Ferry and Barry Humphries in T5 First lounge.
    Bob Hoskins in AA T3 LHR lounge.
    Carol Vordeman BA MAN-LHR (original version before enhancements).
    John Major in BA F to HKG.
    Nigel Mansell in BA J.
    Tony Blair LHR-MAN.
    Len Goodman in BA F from LAX.
    Anna Friel in BA J MAN-JFK.
    Various footballers ex MAN.
    David Tang in BA F to HKG.

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    And this was a strange one I forgot.
    Sharon stone in the ANZ lounge at LAX
    Sat people watching when these individuals came in all very animated and faffing.

    An airline employee was all very gushy.
    Large winter coats were strewn over the chair arms and one of the woman is getting down on the floor.
    Another of the group starts massaging and pulling at the limbs of the individual.
    It was all very surreal.

    When the first woman gets up and sits opposite me in a chair, I’m
    Thinking …..I know that face?

    Ms Sharon stone. 😲

    We just looked at each other and I thought she looks high!

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