I tried to discard as much as possible which meant reading or at least looking at everything I have collected since 1950. This is where I found my travel orders for a trip to Egypt in 1984 and the reason for this little tale.
This would be my second trip. We had some bad experience with another airline the first time and six of us in Field Operations persuaded our travel office to book us on TWA. I had worked for TWA in 1953 and had always wanted to fly first class. Our equipment for the flight would be the fairly new Boeing 767.
From the moment we were seated, I knew we had made a wise choice. The Flight Attendants were living dolls, serving drinks before we pulled away from the gate and lunch before we reached cruise altitude. We had a two hour layover at JFK which we spent in the Ambassador Lounge soaking up more freebies.
The next leg would be that long non stop to Cairo. Soon after we finished another meal, I dozed off and slept for a couple of hours. I was awakened by a sharp punch in the ribs from Sonny Bowles, my seat partner. A passenger was attempting to open the door, not a good idea at 37,000 feet. He had pushed a Flight Attendant down as she wrestled with him and it was about that time that Tom, from Quality Control, grabbed him from behind and pulled him away from the door. He held him while they put restraints on him and put him in his seat. For the next hour or so he was either cursing the world, Trans World in particular, or crying, begging to be released. Just when we thought he had passed out, he slipped his bonds and was back at the door. Again, it was Tom to the rescue. This time the captain came back and they really hog-tied him face down in his seat. More ranting followed.
The captain announced we would be making an unscheduled stop in Athens, Greece. We landed but did not taxi to a gate but stopped on the taxiway. Two Greek security people entered the aircraft and took charge of the unruly one. We all breathed a sigh of relief having enjoyed about as much of his company as we could stand. I walked to the door to watch and the guy made one more bad mistake. As the policeman opened the door, he swung at him. The next thing I saw was the cop playing "Texas Drummer Boy" on his head.
We even enjoyed a bit of excitement on our return trip. We departed Cairo ahead of schedule and Don Dewveall and I flew tourist class on a Boeing 747. We had First Class tickets and had the good seats at the door on the 747 with plenty of leg room. A tour group of elderly people were on the flight and all at once one of the men stood up and fell on the floor. Don is also a mortician and if I am not mistaken, worked as an Emergency Medical Technician. If he can't help save your life, he can do a good job of laying you out. He went to the old man and started CPR. A lady arrived, announced she was a nurse and took over. They soon had the old man on his feet and cleaned up.
Now, don't tell me flying is boring.