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  • This is the Technical Difficulties, we're playing Citation Needed.

  • Joining me today, he reads books you know, it's Chris Joel!

  • Hello!

  • Everybody's favourite Gary Brannan, Gary Brannan!

  • Ultra-pure.

  • Silver plated.

  • And available from Lidl.

  • Is that just you? Are you just describing yourself there?

  • I don't want to know which bit's silver-plated!

  • And the bounciest man on the internet, Matt Gray!

  • Putting the butt into butter.

  • In front of me I've got an article from Wikipedia, and these folks can't see it.

  • Every fact they get right is a point and a ding [DING]

  • and there's a special prize for particularly good answers, which is...

  • And today we are talking about BackpackersXpress.

  • Vwhoomph!

  • Oh, it would be doing that, yes.

  • Is it named because you can avoid them?

  • Literally the opposite.

  • Named so you can find them!

  • You're obliged to touch them! All the time on the journey.

  • "Welcome to the Backpackers' Express!

  • "Sit on a backpacker's lap! Have him feel you up from behind!"

  • You are actually slightly closer than you may think there,

  • so I'm actually going to give you a point. [DING]

  • So is this just a dating site for backpackers?

  • No, definitely not a dating site.

  • Definitely a form of transport.

  • Is it a bus?

  • No.

  • Is it two buses?

  • No.

  • Is it a train?

  • No!

  • Is it a tuk-tuk?

  • You're all thinking a bit too small and too short-haul here.

  • Is it a gigantic camel?

  • Is it the overnight flight from Europe to... eastern... climes?

  • Yeah, I'll give you a point. [DING] It was the idea of doing

  • that sort of flight for backpackers.

  • It's the "gap yah" trip.

  • It is the "gap yah" trip. Yes.

  • So would there be hold luggage or no hold luggage?

  • -- Well, this... -- No holds barred!

  • Wrestling in mid-air!

  • Just to be clear, this is not just the name of a flight,

  • this was going to be an airline.

  • Oh, that'll be the s***iest most run-down plane you've ever seen

  • twanging up to the edge of the runway, won't it?

  • All painted up on the side.

  • -- Old DC-3 done in graffiti! -- Yeah!

  • They will have come up with this idea before 2006.

  • Right, so Gary's getting a point for 'old planes' [DING]

  • they were going to sub-lease them,

  • and you're definitely getting a point for '06 [DING], it was 2003.

  • Why do you think that?

  • Because it was about 2006-2008 where all of the airlines went dead,

  • because no-one had any money.

  • Yes, that's pretty much right. In fact, you're going to have a point,

  • the answer was it closed down in 2005.

  • Is this the kind of airline where your seat allocation would say 'rear gunner',

  • that kind of thing?

  • It was going to be Boeing 747s, they were actually going that far.

  • -- Okay, okay. -- Ooh!

  • What would you want if you were a backpacker on an airplane?

  • Really, really, really cheap.

  • Yes. [DING]

  • Yes. Two ticket types: in and out!

  • What's out? Strap them to the wing?

  • Really, really intense!

  • Strapping you to the wing with duct tape?

  • To be fair, wing walking is a thing, but I think it's normally...

  • Twelve hour wing walk!

  • It's not on a jet engine, is what I'm saying!

  • First-come, first-serve. Just a big space, rip all the seats out,

  • pile 'em in, have it on a weight thing, it's like,

  • "right, we are now full, you're on the next one. Go!"

  • Big pile of backpackers, even in the hold.

  • Yeah, I'm guessing it's no-frills, bring your own food, kinda stuff.

  • See, that's not... I'm going to give Chris the point [DING],

  • it was certainly cheap, pack-'em-in, put 'em all together,

  • essentially a bus...

  • -- Like an Air-bus(!) -- If only!

  • There were some other things they were thinking of,

  • and it wasn't that kind of no-frills, bring-your-own-food.

  • Oh no. It is tedious things that people...

  • I'm going to insult people who go backpacking now, brace yourselves.

  • It it things that tedious people who might've gone backpacking might enjoy,

  • so like crafts and things like that?

  • Hemp seating!

  • Yeah. Opportunities to exchange long stories about just how ethnic you got

  • when you were out there and off the tourist trail you went.

  • Y'all have some very nice stereotypes of backpackers.

  • -- I'm right! -- I'm going to give you a point [DING] for stereotypes of backpackers...

  • No, you've got the good side of backpackers.

  • Don't go through customs?...

  • Oh-oh! Yeah.

  • Erm, it's certainly something to do with what you get duty free there.

  • Smuggling anything you want?

  • "We're still three miles out, get down the rest of your joint,

  • "this is your captain speaking..."

  • -- Oh, is it free booze? -- Oh, that's a point!

  • It's not free booze, but I'll give you the point [DING]

  • it was having a small pub on board. The airline was going to have an official...

  • Brewery!

  • Brewery! Spot on! [DING] Not even... I thought you were going to go for beer,

  • but brewery was exactly right, have a point.

  • Well, 747-400s when they first came in, the top deck was...

  • -- It was a cocktail bar, wasn't it? -- A cocktail bar, yeah!

  • It was the kind of place that people like David Frost

  • would lounge about and philander in mid-air.

  • Mid-air philanderer!

  • That's a fair point! What are -- you know you've got, like, international waters?

  • Where once you get outside... is it a five-mile limit or something?

  • -- It's three miles. -- Three mile limit.

  • You can do whatever thou wilst, 'cos you're in international waters,

  • right, hence pirate radio. What are the laws when you're in the air?

  • Well, the three-mile coastal waters thing is how far you could hit someone with a big ol' cannon.

  • -- Right. -- From back in the day.

  • So if you extrapolate that you end up with all sorts of worrying things

  • like ground-to-air missiles!

  • So I can answer this. It's the 1944 Convention on International Civil Aviation:

  • "all aircraft have the nationality of the state in which they are registered".

  • -- Aha. -- So if you're on a US flag-carrying plane, you can't drink under 21.

  • -- Ah, okay! -- If you're an Australian one, you can't drink...

  • I thought births were registered over the country that you're over?

  • If you have a birth outside, in international waters,

  • your birth location is listed as "at sea".

  • -- Yes it is. -- Nice.

  • And if you're on a plane, it can be listed as "in the air".

  • Those are valid entries on birth certificates.

  • I have seen a baptism entry, 1780s I think,

  • where the place of birth was given as the lat and long.

  • -- Wow! -- That's cool.

  • -- The child was called Atlantica. -- That's nice. That's nice.

  • And we checked the lat and long and it did come roughly in the middle of the Atlantic.

  • BackpackersXpress was going to be an airline with a pub on board

  • where backpackers would get cheap tickets and go over

  • and presumably anyone not wanting to be associated with a load of backpackers...

  • Would get a different flight!

  • -- Go on a different airline, yeah! -- Different flight, yes.

  • The air crew would encourage passengers to socialise.

  • -- Oh, f*** off! -- Oh, f*** off!

  • Spot the British people!

  • -- No way, no... -- Gotta love a bit of enforced fun.

  • Oh no, they'd have getting-to-know-you games while you were on the tarmac, wouldn't they?

  • I've done a bus... when I was lot younger,

  • I did that backpackers' bus through the Australian Outback, and it's horrible.

  • Oh, f*** off! Honestly!

  • Did you have top bants(?)

  • No! No, I didn't.

  • -- They didn't exist back then! -- That's fair.

  • You were yet to become the Archbishop of Banterbury that you would later be!

  • God, it's like... the bus driver playing music over the thing and saying,

  • "right, well these are the actions you should do!"

  • These are the actions you're f***ing doing!

  • These are the actions... there we go!

  • How long would that flight be? It'd be a good eight, nine hours, wouldn't it?

  • -- Eternity! -- But it would feel like you were there forever. Just people...

  • And it's a 24-hour flight from London anyway!

  • I would go on that airline only if there was a dedicated misanthropes' cabin at the front.

  • That... that... that's generally called first class on most airlines, Gary.

  • But on this one, not so much.

  • No, I'd be quite happy with access to the pub and everything else,

  • as long as I didn't have to talk to anyone else!

  • Again, that is first class. You're literally describing first class there.

  • The beds on airplanes I'm most interested in are the crew ones.

  • It depends on the plane but a lot of them are right in the nose,

  • directly below the flight deck.

  • Yep. And if you're on an A380, they have two and a half decks.

  • There is another half deck up in the very top of the plane,

  • with half-height... you can crawl in and get sleep there.

  • I want that one! I'd be fine with that!

  • No you wouldn't, 'cos you're going to be down there,

  • and then you're going to get up and whack your head on the thing.

  • Yeah, but I'm not with them f***ing backpackers, am I?!

  • That's... not unreasonable!

  • So what you're advocating actually is that you'll sleep in the wheel well if necessary?

  • Yeah! I'm not with them!

  • That's not... I think previous news incidents have declared

  • that is not a good place to sleep!

  • That is a good place to freeze, die, and fall out into someone's back yard.

  • I'm not with them, am I though?!

  • Backpackers. Freezing to death. Back...

  • Everybody round this table is going, "you know what, that is a bit of a tough choice".

  • So what did some of the industry experts,

  • looking at this airline's plans, what did they say?

  • "It's just going to be a tin can full of arseholes at 30,000 feet."

  • Yes. What was the media term for "tin full of arseholes at 30,000 feet"?

  • Sounds like he's nailed it to me, to be fair!

  • If you can define it better, I'd love to hear it!

  • Get angry in a car, what do you call it?

  • Road rage!

  • What do you call it in a plane?

  • -- Air rage! -- Air rage. Have a point [DING]

  • -- Creative! -- Yes.

  • "Disruptive or violent behaviour perpetrated on an aircraft."

  • I actually have the first case of air rage here,

  • and I'll give you a point if you can roughly guess the year.

  • Is it ridiculously early? Is it like 1915 when two pilots have a dust-up in mid-air?

  • I was going to say, I seem to remember this chap called the Red Baron

  • upset quite a lot of people...

  • Not between planes, I mean like gunner and pilot...

  • No, it has to be on a passenger plane.

  • -- Sixties. -- 1920s.

  • Yeah. That's going to be closest. Stuff like the little twin engine De Havilland,

  • when there's just 16 people getting high on...

  • Going between London and Paris, stuff like that.

  • Getting hammered on marg... not margaritas, what's the phrase I'm looking for? Martinis.

  • -- Yeah. -- So when are you saying?

  • Ah, 30s. De Havilland.

  • 1938, Neville Chamberlain's flight back from Germany.

  • You said 30s first, I'm going to give it you. It was actually the 40s,

  • 1947, on a flight from Havana to Miami. [DING]

  • It was simply a drunk man assaulting a passenger and biting a flight attendant.

  • Bite attendant!

  • Ahh! I'm sure that person appreciated the gag,

  • as you stood there with your martini behind...

  • -- "I think you'll find...!" -- "Bite attendant!"

  • "This isn't helping!"

  • Which led to the second incident of air rage!

  • Which is a flight attendant glassing someone!

  • That whole plane lands full of fight-injured people!

  • Well, this goes back to something we said earlier,

  • because they didn't know whose jurisdiction it was in,

  • no-one at the landing area really wanted to prosecute,

  • and they frequently got away with it.

  • And it eventually came to be that the laws of the country

  • where the aircraft was registered take precedence.

  • Has the thing happened with planes like has happened with boats,

  • where they're registered in tax havens?

  • That's a fair point, I was wondering that myself just then.

  • It's difficult to do that for most airlines,

  • because they want to be the flag carrier,

  • and they want to be registered in a...

  • British Airways wants to be registered in the UK.

  • There are still a lot of national flag carriers up there.

  • So if I wanted to have a mid-air fight club with no repercussions...?

  • -- Aeroflot. -- I was going to say, what is the best country to register my plane?

  • Air Astana!

  • Yeah! Like, Cayman Islands or something like that?

  • That's if you want to avoid tax. If you want to avoid being punished for hitting someone,

  • I think there are very few jurisdictions which simultaneously

  • don't have a law against that and can register a plane!

  • I'm going to say this; somewhere out there, there's some rich bloke

  • who's investigating that right now.

  • That's true. "What can we do in international waters? Oh, I don't know!"