A bottle of red blows up!


I took this photo aboard a British Airways plane, flying Porto-London, January 1992. The guy standing up is family friend Jorge.

I had boarded the plane and been given a seat on the right hand side; soon enough, before take-off, I see a couple of friends on the left hand side, and ask the third passenger on their row whether he would mind switching seats. He kindly said yes, so I joined my friends.

The plane takes off and two minutes later EVERYONE on the right side of the plane jumps and yelps: there is RED WINE pouring all the way down the aisle. This was long before liquids were forbidden as hand luggage, and a “tuga” had decided to bring a 5-litre bottle of cheap, stinky red as his hand luggage, proceeding to store it above the seat. Possibly due to the air pressure, the big bottle burst, and, as the plane was still going up, quickly began dripping all the way down.

Stewardesses were running around grabbing towels and buckets, and handing them out to passengers; it was then I saw Jorge, whom I had no idea was on this plane, and had the misfortune of sitting on the right side of the plane. And I saw the poor man who had traded seats with me, staring me in the eye, ready to kill.


I couldn’t help laughing, the whole scene was hilarious, despite the obvious inconvenience to half the passengers… and decided to take photos. The BA Stewardess was clearly one blink away from strangling me with her bare hands, as the photo attests.

We landed in London two hours later, all stinking of cheap red. And mildly trashed from the fumes…


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