I think you let British Airways off the hook a bit re the airline ending its Manchester-New York flights. Manchester is not a "Newcastle" or a "Bristol", but the most important UK airport outside London. And while it may not be a flight hub, it is, unusually for the UK, a public transport hub – with frequent through trains from the North-west, and the North-east, and even Edinburgh. Maybe, too, BA's word is accepted too easily. That BA have cancelled may not be just about the lack of custom, but their strategy of going particularly for the business market.
It's part of the spiral – too few business people travelling, so direct flights are cancelled, so fewer business people travel, and so on.
As a relatively frequent flyer, if I am going to have to change en route to North or South America I will avoid Heathrow. Instead I will choose Schiphol, or Frankfurt or Paris,depending on where I am going.
Cabin crew blues
I quite agree with your article about badly behaved travellers. When I do fly (as little as possible, for I don't enjoy it any more than anyone else) I always make a point of thanking the crew-member who sees me off the plane. They have a miserable job.
The age of the locomotive?
In the East of England supplement to The Traveller on 11 October the Nene Valley Railway article referred to passengers travelling on the locomotive and to Wansford station having a collection of steam trains. Passengers do not travel on a locomotive, they travel in (or on) a train, which is pulled by a locomotive. And the collection at Wansford is of steam locomotives.
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