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Excalibur Airways

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Excalibur Airways

Old 17th Jun 2002, 15:40
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Join Date: May 2002
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Post Excalibur Airways

It is around 6 years now since the spectacular demise of Excalibur.

The demise of this airline was again, another reminder of the power of the press and what they can do. However, in this case i got the chance to see the situation from "The other side", the side of the passengers and the press. you see, i was a passenger on the flight which triggered events, the MCO-MAN service where 90 passengers refused to reboard the DC10.

The outbound flight had been operated by lauda air 767 and was great! The inbound was the Excalibur (well, Skyjet) DC10. At the gate, beofre boarding we did watch 3 fire engines attend to the aircraft. when we did board, the plane was a state, ripped carpets, seats without fold-down trays etc. I was seated at the back of the aircraft where the light were continually flickering on and off, and the cabin crew could do nothing about it. When we began to taxi we DID smell burning and SOME smoke was een (the cabin didn't fill with smoke like some newspapers reported). Now my memory begins to fail me ( i was only 11 at the time, 17 now) but there was something to do with the cabin crew needed to open the rear door but couldnt, even with the help of some Pax!. In the end we all disembarked the aircraft and waited another 4 or so hours. We were told to re-board but all refused, then the captain appeared and the whole thing got quite heated, with security around etc. in the end we were told "board this plane or find your own way home". This tactic worked on many, and many peope boarded the plane, some crying etc, it was very emotional. in the end 90 were left, who still refused to board (including me, mum, dad and brother). the plane took off, we watched it, furthermore it had gone WITH our luggage!

the rest is history, after 36 hours Virgin flew us all home on 747 (great!), and after another 2 EVENTFULL weeks, Excalibur folded.

The collapse was a great deal down to the press, but this experienced taught me a lot. Sometimes you can't blame them for everything. As a passenger i saw the "other side". it was a terryfying experience for everyone, and EXC's attitude basically stank.

Since then i have learned that a few motnhs previous EXC had been taken over by some "cowboys" who didnt have a clue, hence the demise??

Anybody here care to comment? I know EXC were a good airline at one point. What was it like to work for them? especially near the end? Anybody else remember this incedent?

I am not here to bash excalibur or start any controversy, but i wopuld love to hear peoples comments, especially those who used to work for the airline.

Andrew (jmc757)
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