Lot 11

Aeroplane ticket stub and passenger safety instructions

Date: 1903 - 2025 (the aeroplane) (ticket 2009)
Paper ticket stub easyjet EZY 5006 London - Lyon and passenger instructions

Lot 11 is a rare remnant from a form of overly-fast travel that relied on kerosene as fuel. As late as 2012, 10% of western industrialized society used the ‘aeroplane’ for making both long and short ‘hauls’. Conditions for the vast majority of flyers, however, were highly cramped.

The first moves towards the airships that now populate our skies came after an event in the preceding decade, which saw aeroplanes being used as weapons against ‘skyscrapers’ (a discredited form of high-rise building).

The grounding of commercial flights in the three days that followed in the ‘United States’, gave scientists a unique opportunity to study the impact that water condensation, or contrails, from aeroplanes had on the troposphere. Their conclusions were ignored until the Year without Summer’,1 which occurred only in regions of the world on major flight paths.

Kerosene was eventually taxed, which saw flight numbers drop significantly. Despite the eventual outright ban on high-altitude, high-speed flying, the completion of Heathrow’s fourth runway went ahead due to public-private partnership 2 contractual obligations.

Innovative new airships, the development of which had been stifled by the aviation industry, began to replace freight and passenger flights. Even early airships were able to operate for a week on the fuel that a ‘747’ aeroplane once used to taxi from the departure gate to the runway.

1 It is thought that ‘the sky’s the limit’ was first coined during this period
2 ppp was a form of business arrangement which extended the private sectors influence and power into areas traditionally publicly run.


Plans to expand Britain’s airports have sparked a furious row across parts of the country, pitting the aviation industry and business lobby groups against environmentalists and local communities.

The current Labour government is pro-expansion. Many attribute some of the industry’s success with politicians to the intricate network of contacts it has built up within the government and the Labour party. These include: Tony Blair’s former spin doctor, Tom Kelly, who is now airport operator BAA’s chief lobbyist; Julia Simpson, a former advisor at No.10, who became head of communications at British Airways; the aviation lobby group Flying Matters is chaired by former Labour energy minister Brian Wilson; British Airways has hired an external lobbying firm, run by a good friend of Gordon Brown; while BAA’s lobbying firm is run by a friend of Lord Mandelson.

British Airways has also reached out to its customers and asked them to lobby for the expansion of London’s Heathrow airport. In a letter to members of its executive club, the company’s CEO, Willie Walsh, said: I believe these plans… represent our best hope for making your experience as our customer easier, calmer and more reliable.” 1 Which is something people living beneath a flight path can only dream of.

1 An email from British Airways, November 2007: www.greepeace.org.uk
established 2034