Leaving on a Jet Plane

My first time on a plane was about 30 years ago and I went to Malta. The last time on a plane was a week later flying back from Malta. I didn't like it. I've not been on a plane since.
It was a business trip on Mall Airlines, which served the New York State capital district. When you called the airline to make reservations, you spoke with the owner/pilot's wife. When you arrived for the flight, the pilot checked you in, carried your bags out to the plane and stowed them, used a garage broom to remove snow from the wings, then hopped in and flew the plane, using a road map for navigation. He owned two planes. The larger one was a retired Corning Incorporated company plane and the smaller one was a Piper Cherokee 4-seater.

I'd usually take the seat next to the pilot, because I was interested in how the plane was flown. People who were used to "proper" aircraft were so terrified that they scrunched their eyes shut and held gripped the armrests for dear life.
My first flight was in September of 1974 from Boston to Bangor Maine on Delta, then a puddle jumper to Bucksport Maine, to visit a paper mill on business. When I got back, I honestly filled out my expense report to the penny and submitted it. My bosses' boss tossed it back on my desk and asked abruptly "what are you trying to do, make us all look like liars?" With sage advice from a more seasoned colleague, I resubmitted and pocketed a tidy little profit for myself. The paper mill was demolished and the site re-forested some years ago, but I am still here.

I did toss back a couple or so in Bucksport, at the Jed Prouty Inn, but there was no Big Eric there trying to sell me rights to Christmas trees.
First flight 1965 to Majorca El Arenal with my parents had to get the train to London and fly from Gatwick no flights from Newcastle . Most of if not all the adult passengers were dressed to the nines . My dad wore a suit and tie with other suits in his case, my mum had a trouser suit on , everyone could smoke :eek: .

At the Hotel everyone had to dress for dinner, hence the suits and ties, yet its 30 degrees plus, bizarre. Only other memory were the Spanish bodegas in the main shopping area where you could go in a sample all sorts of wine and brandies perhaps this was the start of Brits on the hoy certainly seemed it .
First flight......1978.....into communist Prague !!!....to watch Everton against Dukla Prague......met at the airport by armed police.....put onto a bus with thick mesh windows....taken straight to ground......kept in for over an hour after the match....then put back on bus....with armed police....driven straight onto the tarmac...put on the plane...back to Liverpool....there for 5 hours and never spoke to a local !!!!.
I vaguely remember my trip to Italy in the early 80's with my parents, what stuck in my mind was being taken into to cockpit to meet the pilot and in awe at all the controls. Certainly not something that could happen these days......