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!” Oh, I could break a really good
superinjunction right now, but I’m not going to. I really could. You could, but I’d have to edit it out anyway. Well, Er, so BackpackersXpress never actually got
to that point! — Good.
— They never actually managed to
lease any aircraft… Wow, that’s the first
stumbling block, isn’t it? They never even really got enough funding.
What did the industry think of them? — There were just massive arseholes!
— Not much! The Times phrased it as “it seems doubtful
to any sane observer “whether the project will ever
get off the ground.” I didn’t realise, as I read that, that was
literal and metaphorical… And that is a joke from the Times of London! And that the ‘party in the sky’ was,
and I’m quoting directly here, a “radical move”. — Not in the 90s “radical” sense, just in…
— No! And I think as the Times goes… — It’s like saying “well that’s brave”.
– Yes. I’ve just realised: is this the Venga Plane? This is actually Venga Airways, isn’t it?! It bloody is! — Sorry!
— Oh, we like to party! You’ve just remembered the songs, haven’t
you? It’s in there… No, fortunately I don’t know the words! So are they doing a
New York to San Francisco run? — There we go! That was the Vengabus.
— That was the bus. That was the bus. No, the plane
was going to Ibiza. The plane always… — Oh, god, now I remember!
— Yes, you’re quite right! It was going to Ibiza. No matter the mode of transport, it’s always
an Intercity Disco. No, wait, no that was the train. No, that was the bus!
That was definitely the bus! — Yes, but Intercity’s a type of train.
— Okay. You are no longer welcome in my house.
Get out! Some trains did use to have a disco carriage. — I’m not joking.
— In the 70s? — Yes! In the 70s.
— What?! In the 70s, some special trains, especially
Football Special trains, BR would put on a… This is the train for all the football supporters, so that the commuters weren’t
bothered by the football supporters. Just a sec! This is the BackpackersXpress
but for footballers on trains? It’s for, basically, if you’re going
somewhere for a match, you would charter a whole Football Special
train, that is s***ty old carriages, so everyone’s corralled in one place, the
police know when you arrive, but on the back of it they would put an empty
freight car, effectively, with a disco in it!
And you’d have the disco carriage. They used to have a pub carriage
on the Southern… — Blimey!
— They put a carriage, and they’d
fitted out inside like a country pub! — Fantastic.
— But it had no windows, that was the problem, — because they’d put pub seating in.
— It’s a shipping container! They’d put seating down the side, so you had
no idea where you were when the pub… when the train stopped! Also, do you really want that many drunk people who can’t see outside on a swaying train? It was for commuters! It was for people going
home on a Friday night, they’d put the pub carriage on. Oh, that’s belting! There is no better way to guarantee you’ll
end up at the terminus by accident. I know! But it was proper country pub, dimpled
pint glasses, hand-pulled booze, the lot. — Fantastic! — Great idea. That’s actually not a bad plan.
I mean, it’s now a bad plan, because you can’t fit that many people in
there, and… I don’t know, if you make it obviously a civilised, you are going to have one dimpled pint,
kind of real ale pub, it probably polices itself! — Copper-topped tables, yeah!
— Fireplace! — Fireplace?!
— Yeah! I think it had a fireplace! I’m not joking. It’s a steam train. I was going to say, let’s face it, if it’s
fired by steam, it’s not the least likely thing you could
put on there. Yeah! It’s already got a big fire
at the front of it, stick a little one in the middle, it’s fine! Hey, great way to get it lit as well! Shovel the coals straight from the firebox! It’s true, that’s how travel used to be, kids. Is it the end of the sliding scale, though? So you have the dining car, then there’ll
be like a snacking car, then they’ll have a soft drinks car,
then you’ve got the pub car, and then you’ve got the
club at the end of the night car. Imagine that! Roll out off the end
of the club car into the kebab van car at the back! Which is just a trailer being dragged along. “Salad and sauce?!” But it’s a steam-powered
rotatey-thing for the… “Chuck some more coals in!” “Fine!” Thing is, it’s not actually
cooking the meat with coals, that’s just providing the power for the
electric grill that’s rotating the meat… That’s a great idea.
Oh, come on BR, make it happen. BR! There hasn’t been BR for years! Congratulations Chris, you win this one! Fantastic! Congratulations, today’s prize is French. — Oh aye?
— Oui oui! You win chocolate icing
in the shape of a cow. It’s la vache ganache. You nearly got there in time on
that one Matt, well done. With that we say thank you to Chris Joel, Gary Brannan, — Matt Gray.
— Goodbye, YouTube. I’ve been Tom Scott, we’ll see you next time. [Translating these subtitles? Add your name here!]