Piloting a Boeing Dreamliner can be less than dreamy

Mark Vanhoenacker dreams of my nightmares. Ever since he was a young boy, he fantasised about piloting airplanes. Ever since I was a young boy, well, let’s just say I’ve preferred to take the train. Of course I know that, statistically, flying is safe; but that knowledge doesn’t stop the unnerving sense that at some point the laws of physics will reimpose themselves and we’ll be punished for our former miracles. And let’s be honest, if God had wanted us to fly, would he really have invented airline food? Vanhoenacker has no such worries – which is handy, since he’s fulfilled his dream and now pilots Boeing 787 Dreamliners round

I pity the fools who queue to get on planes

There aren’t many pleasures left in flying these days, but one of them occurs even before you’re on the plane. What’s more it’s free. It’s the smug sense of satisfaction you get from watching everyone else at the departure gate stand up and form a queue as soon as the flight is called. Bags are grabbed, elbows are readied and the entire heaving mass arranges itself into a line. People rush to be first, manoeuvring themselves past each other, desperately holding places for the rest of the family while hissing ‘come on, Brian, hurry up!’ Flights are normally so full, and seating areas so small, that the queue has to