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The School of Flaunt

Back when "Flying Was Fun" Alexandra Smythe and Cate Clarke were Flight Attendants with a Major International Carrier. Prior to Private Jets coming into vogue, Alexandra and Cate traveled in the First Class World, meeting and greeting the top celebrities, politicians who would become Presidents, nouveau riche, and yes the occasional Headline Grabbing Criminal in Handcuffs!

What the two ladies viewed and experienced became fodder for the School of Flaunt, so much money, such bad taste and oh those terrible manners. Something had to be done! Hence, The School of Flaunt Handbook was born. Read More

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Cate's Emergency Landing!

Category: SOF Divas’ Diaries ®  |  Permalink

Published: Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Off to England for the Holidays!

The private jet terminal was a bevy of activity. Larger private jets all bursting with passengers, lucky passengers and their packages leaving for the Holidays to Islands and Mountains alike. One could tell if there was a load of skis or a load of beach bags. So interesting to try to pick where these flights were headed. (Without the Commercial Departures Listing, it is quite impossible to tell!) Unless the passengers are loud and obnoxious and trying to rub it in, so to speak, that they are headed for warmer climes.

This was our first visit back to England since our marriage last spring. (For those who follow, Mr. Clarke and I had a quiet ceremony in Naples, FL at the amazing home of a close friend.)

But getting back to our trip: We were so excited and entered the area, met our pilots and attendant and made our way to the tarmac! I was snapping photos of the jet as I never get tired of flying private and want to relive all the details! Boarding the plane was easy and fun. Seeing the beautiful interior of the jet almost brought tears to my eyes. Mr. Clarke was exited too and he asked the crew to start the champagne a flowing!

We rolled out and took off flawlessly. I won't bore you with the details, but we did the usual cocktails, dinner, and movie and then went to the private "Bedroom", yes this jet had one, and promptly fell asleep. I had packed our pajamas and slippers for just such an event. (Always think ahead, students. One would hate to wrinkle one's clothing sleeping and look like a mess when deplaning at your destination.)

We were deep in slumber, when we were awakened by the attendant.

Attendant: Mr. and Mrs. Clarke, you must take your seats and strap in, we are making an EMERGENCY LANDING!

Us: WHAT???

Pilot: We will be making a quick stop at the Azores, we have a light blinking and it could mean trouble. We have altered our course.

Us WHAT???

Attendant: Strap in and we will be on the ground shortly. The pilots are busy and will speak to us when they can.

Us: Is this going to be an episode of LOST?? (As an aside, I did watch the program religiously, and was disappointed in the Finale. Weren't you? After all, Polar Bears on a Tropical Island and Smoke Monsters? I wanted explanations!! Puhleese.)

I am frantically looking out the window as if that were helping us land safely! We are flying low over the water and it is beautiful. So blue, then I saw them, SHARKS!!

Now, many of you in the U.S. have never heard of the Azores. These are atlantic Islands 1000 miles off Portugal and known for SHARK INFESTED WATERS!!  GULP.

We did land safely. No big crackup in the ocean and then our Pilots came out of the Cockpit.

Pilot: We have mechanical support coming to take a look at the left engine. Should only be a short time. So sorry.

Mr. Clarke: No problem, Captain. Thank you for getting us in safely. He shook the pilot's hand. Then noticed he was wearing pajamas and dove into the bedroom to change.

Back in our traveling clothes, we had a lovely cup of tea and learned that all was well with the engine. FALSE ALARM. Better safe than sorry, I always say. (Wait until I tell Alexandra! She being a former Flight Attendant would be most interested.) Post Script, Alexandra had landed at the Azores many times and did indeed see the SHARKS!

We directly took off and made our way to London. I was so happy to see Big Ben!

Mummy and her driver were at the Private Jet Terminal to greet us! Everyone was so happy to see one another! Both my parents and Fiona had been notified of our Jet's detour due to a mechanical. Laughing and hugging we bundled in the car and made our way to the Cotswold's. All is calm all is bright. Merry Christmas to all and to all a Good Night!

Cate

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