his is the story of a flight. But it starts with a few caveats. Firstly, it is not a normal flight – the passengers are not your average travellers as they include ministers, CEOs and more journalists than politicians would normally be comfortable sharing a small space with.
Secondly, it is not your average payload – the luggage include cameras, tripods and special pyjamas – and it is a history-making flight. The first to connect Australia and the UK, non-stop. And thirdly, your Guardian correspondent doesn’t normally fly business class – so this is a dose of unreality.
Aside from all that, it is a story about a bit of aviation history, which – depending on your viewpoint – should be wildly celebrated or met with indifference.
Whatever your views, if you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to be airborne in a plane for 17 hours and six minutes on the first flight from Australia to Europe, then let this be your hour-by-hour guide….
A good airplane for the US Vice President and Sec of State, eh?